5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan & Diet (Printable)

As a bodybuilder, you’ll need more calories than the average person to support your physique goals, but it can be difficult to eat enough calories to maintain a more muscular physique or to build additional muscle without feeling disgustingly full. 

This is why you need to be strategic about where these calories are coming from by choosing foods that are higher in calories but still nutritious.

After reading this article, you’ll learn:

  • Who would benefit from a 5000 calorie meal plan
  • What foods are included in a 5000 calorie bodybuilding meal plan
  • Which foods should be avoided on a 5000 calorie bodybuilding meal plan
  • How to customize a 5000 calorie meal plan

Want to learn more about meal planning? Check out our complete guide on Bodybuilding Meal Plans For Beginners.

What Is the 5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan? 

A 5000 calorie bodybuilding meal plan is a template showing you how to eat the right combination of macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) to reach 5000 calories a day.

Those who need 5000 calories while bodybuilding are likely those who are trying to bulk to add muscle mass or those who already have plenty of muscle mass and require 5000 calories just to maintain their weight.

Additionally, 5000 calories is more likely an intake that men will require rather than women. Women typically don’t burn enough calories per day to require 5000 calories to maintain weight or bulk.

Using the 5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan To Bulk

A 5000 calorie meal plan could work for you if your goal is to bulk because to gain muscle mass efficiently, you need to be in a caloric surplus

This means that you’re eating more than your body requires to maintain its weight so that your body has additional energy to put towards building muscle. 

For example, if you’re eating 4500 calories per day and are just maintaining your weight and there are no changes in your body composition, then you probably do need to eat 5000 calories to bulk.

A small number of individuals may also have trouble gaining weight with 5000 calories a day. I wrote an article on why this happens and how you can fix it: Eating 5000 Calories A Day And NOT Gaining Weight (5 Reasons).

Using the 5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan To Maintain Weight

A 5000 calorie meal plan could also work for you if your goal is to maintain your weight and you’re unable to do so by eating less than 5000 calories. 

For example, if you’re eating 4500 calories per day and still losing weight, then you probably do need 5000 calories just to maintain.

This is unlikely to be the case for most individuals, but if you have a substantial amount of muscle mass who is quite active throughout the day, you may require 5000 calories to maintain your weight.

What Foods to Eat on a 5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Diet?

What foods to eat on a 5000 calorie bodybuilding diet?


Protein is a key nutrient for the 5000 calorie bodybuilding diet. If you’re not eating enough protein, then it’s more likely that you’ll gain more fat than muscle.

This is because protein is a building block for muscle mass. Therefore, your body has an increased capacity to build muscle when you consume enough protein. 

So if 5000 calories is a calorie surplus for you and your protein consumption is insufficient, your body is more likely to add fat rather than muscle from the increased calories.

If 5000 calories are what it takes for you to maintain your weight and your protein consumption is insufficient, then you could lose muscle mass over time.

This is because it costs your body energy to maintain muscle mass, so if it doesn’t feel the need to keep it, then it won’t.

Protein should be around 30% of your daily calories, so if you’re eating 5000 calories this would be 1500 calories.

To convert the number of calories allocated to protein to grams of protein per day, you can divide the calories by 4 because protein has 4 calories per gram.

1500 protein calories / 4 calories per gram = 375 grams of protein per day

If you think about the fact that we’re generally looking for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight for adequate protein consumption, then you can see that we would expect someone who requires 5000 calories per day to weigh around 375lbs. 

Some examples of high-quality protein sources are:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • salmon
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese

You may also wish to choose protein sources that are high in fat to make it easier for you to reach your calorie goals.


Carbs are another important nutrient that will be on your 5000 calories bodybuilding plan, and they are generally the nutrient that you will consume the most. 

This is because carbs are the body’s preferred energy source as they are most easily converted to energy. Energy is something that you will require for your bodybuilding workouts to maintain your physique and improve it.

Carbs will also give you the appearance of “fuller” muscles because for every gram of carb you store 3 to 4 grams of water.

The water retention in your muscles from carbs, especially when you’re depleted, is how many bodybuilders step on stage and look jacked.

Carbs should take up 40% of your calories when you’re eating 5000 calories a day regardless of if you’re eating 5000 calories to bulk or to maintain. 

This would come out to 200 calories per day dedicated to carbs, which you can divide by 4 to find the grams of carbs per day because carbs also have 4 calories per gram.

2000 carb calories / 4 calories per gram = 500 grams of carbs per day

Some examples of high-quality carbohydrates sources are:

For more ideas on carb sources to eat on a high-calorie diet, check out these cheap bodybuilding carbs that are ideal for bulking.


Fat is the other nutrient that will be helpful for your 5000 calorie bodybuilding meal plan because fat has the highest number of calories per gram (9 calories per gram).

Fat is going to be your best friend while you’re trying to eat 5000 calories per day because it packs a larger calorie punch with a smaller serving size. 

This is beneficial because it can be physically and mentally challenging to eat 5000 calories every single day without feeling disgustingly full.

Being able to add fat sources to your meals is going to make reaching the 5000 calorie target much easier than if you were trying to reach it with only protein and carbs that have larger serving sizes because they’re only 4 calories per gram.

Fat should take up the remaining 30% of your 5000 calories, which is 1500 calories and around 166 grams of fat per day.

1500 fat calories / 9 calories per gram = 166 grams of fat per day

Some heart-healthy examples of fat are: 

  • Avocado/avocado oil
  • Olives/olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (such as chia seeds)
  • Fatty fish such as Salmon
  • Cheese
  • Coconut oil

What Foods to Avoid On A 5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Diet?

There aren’t any foods that should be considered off-limits for a 5000-calorie bodybuilding diet. However, there are some foods that you may want to be mindful of.


Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that you need to feel your absolute best and stay healthy. However, there is such a thing as eating too many vegetables when you’re on a 5000 calorie meal plan.

Vegetables are a source of carbohydrates, but they’re so low in calories that it’s easy to fill up on them without consuming many calories.

If you’re filling up on vegetables to the point that you’re physically unable to eat 5000 calories per day, then you may need to cut back on your vegetable intake.

It’s still important to include some vegetables in your bodybuilding plan because of their health benefits, but you will need to be mindful of how much you’re physically able to eat.

Unhealthy Fats

Although you do require a substantial number of calories per day, it’s important to be mindful of the quality of these calories. As important as it is to eat enough, it’s also important that you’re mindful of your overall health.

If you’re consuming too many unhealthy fats, you’re more likely to experience increased inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, and other negative health outcomes

For this reason, it’s important to be intentional about the quality of fat that you’re intaking when your intake is higher.

Most of the time you should opt for healthier unsaturated fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Some of the time you can choose saturated fats like cheese, butter, bacon, and sausage. Avoid trans fats as much as possible.

5000 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan

With this 5000 calorie bodybuilding meal plan, there are two options for each meal that you can alternate as you like for variety. These full days of eating are designed based on the recommendations discussed above.

Total Daily Nutrition

  • Calories – 5000
  • Protein – 375g
  • Carbs – 500g
  • Fat – 166g
Meal 1Calories - 800
Protein - 50g
Carbs - 70g
Fat - 35g
Egg & Oatmeal Breakfast

- 4 eggs
- 2 cups oatmeal
- ½ scoop protein
- ½ cup berries
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
Protein Smoothie

- 1 cup chocolate milk
- 1 banana
- 1 ¼ scoops protein powder
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
Meal 2Calories - 670
Protein - 30g
Carbs - 70g
Fat - 35g
Trail Mix

- 2 oz nuts
- ½ cup dried fruit
- 1 oz beef jerky
Snack Plate

- 3 oz pita chips
- ¼ cup hummus
- 1 oz cheese
- 3 oz chicken
Meal 3Calories - 840
Protein - 60g
Carbs - 80g
Fat - 30g

- 7 oz lean ground beef
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
Salmon Bowl

- 7 oz salmon
- 2 cup couscous
- 1 oz feta cheese
- ½ cup cucumber
- ¼ cup red onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Meal 4Calories - 850
Protein - 50g
Carbs - 130g
Fat - 15g
Thai Chili Chicken Stir Fry

- 7 oz chicken
- 1 cup mixed vegetables
- 2 cups rice
- ½ avocado
- 2 tbsp Thai chili sauce
Beef Tacos

- 4 oz lean ground beef
- 3 taco shells
- ½ cup black beans
- ½ cup bell pepper
- ¼ cup salsa
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
Meal 5Calories - 825
Protein - 70g
Carbs - 85g
Fat - 25g
Banana Chocolate Protein Shake

- 1 ½ cup chocolate milk
- 2 scoops protein powder
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
Protein Cereal

- 1 ¾ cup cereal
- 1 cup milk
- 2 scoops protein powder
Meal 6Calories - 660
Protein - 50g
Carbs - 70g
Fat - 20g
Greek Yogurt Bowl

- 1 ¾ cups Greek yogurt
- ½ cup granola
- ¼ cup berries
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips
Avocado Toast

- 3 slices whole grain bread
- ½ medium avocado
- 2 eggs
- 4 slices turkey bacon
Meal 7Calories - 320
Protein - 50g
Carbs - 5g
Fat - 10g
Egg Whites & Turkey Bacon with Cheese

- 1 cup egg whites
- 1 oz cheese
- 2 slices turkey bacon
Cottage Cheese & Berries

- 1 ½ cup cottage cheese
- ¼ cup berries

How To Customize The 5000 Calorie Meal Plan 

To customize the 5000 calorie meal plan you can:

  • Trade out any food for its equivalent
  • Customize pre- & post-workout meals
  • Add spices & sauces

Trade Out Any Food For Its Equivalent

To customize this 5000 bodybuilding meal plan, you can trade out any food for its equivalent. Although the calories won’t be an exact match, it will be close enough that it won’t make a massive difference.

As long as serving sizes are kept constant, a carb can be traded for a different carb, a protein for a different protein, fat for a different fat, and the same goes for fruit and veg.

For example, you can eat cottage cheese instead of Greek yogurt, choose potatoes instead of rice, or add more olive oil to the cooking process instead of having ½ an avocado with your meal.

Being able to trade out foods can give you the choice of having more variety, which can make sticking to the 5000 calorie meal plan feel a bit easier.

Customize Pre & Post Workout Meals

To make this meal plan your own, you may also want to organize the meals so that they align with your workouts. You’ll want your pre and post-workout meals to have higher amounts of protein and carbs.

I would recommend having your highest carb meal of the day after your workout because this is when the carbs will be most necessary for energy replenishment.

Protein shouldn’t be an issue because it’s spread evenly enough throughout each meal and snack.

I also recommend avoiding too much fat before and after your workouts because it can slow the absorption of protein and carbs.

Add Spices & Sauces

Lastly, to customize this 5000 calorie meal plan you can add your own sauces and spices to make the meals more enjoyable.

When you enjoy the food you eat, you’ll find it easier to adhere to the plan.

Final Thoughts

A 5000-calorie meal plan can help you to figure out how to consume enough calories to bulk or maintain with the right combination of nutrients to support your bodybuilding physique goals.

Other Similar Meal Plans

Check out all our meal plans or view similar calorie specific meal plans.


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About The Author

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath.  She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

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