6000-Calorie Diets

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6000-Calorie Diets
If you are an athlete training for an event, you may need 6,000 calories per day. (the athlete series image by csaba fikker from Fotolia.com)

Only the most active people – such as professional athletes -- or those looking to gain weight, should follow a 6,000-calorie diet. The UK Department of Health recommends a daily calorie intake of 1940 calories per day for women and 2550 for men not looking to gain weight or practicing sport professionally. Consuming 6,000 calories per day requires planning and focus.

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Types of Food

Although you may be tempted to turn to junk food to help you fit in your calories, your high-calorie needs do not make you immune to health problems associated with consuming too much saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. Stick to healthy, naturally high-calorie foods to make up the majority of your 6,000-calorie meal plans. Proteins low in saturated fat -- including turkey, chicken, salmon, lean steak and beans -- whole grains, nuts, seeds, plant oils, dried fruits and dairy are healthy options. Choose starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes, often.

Strategies

In order to fit in all 6,000 calories, you will need to eat at least three 1,200- to 1,500-calorie meals and three or four snacks of 400 to 800 calories each. Carry snacks with you – in your backpack, handbag or a cooler – so you never miss a meal. Drinking calories can also help you consume 6,000 calories without having to eat more solid food.

Meal Ideas

A meal plan with three 1,350-calorie meals beings with 3 scrambled eggs, 1 oz. of cheddar cheese, a cinnamon raisin bagel, 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal cooked in water, 28g of toasted almonds, 1/2 cup raisins and 340g of low-fat milk. At lunch, boil 113g of dry pasta. Toss the cooked pasta with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and top with 170g of lean ground turkey, 4.4cl semi-skimmed mozzarella cheese, 2 cups steamed broccoli and 1 cup of marinara sauce. Have 2 whole wheat rolls on the side. For dinner, fill a 12-inch whole wheat tortilla with 113g of grilled sirloin steak, 1 cup of black beans, 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 sliced avocado and 1/4 cup salsa. Have 340g of 100-per cent fruit juice on the side.

Snacks

Mid-morning, have ¾ of a cup of trail mix and a large apple. Mid-afternoon, make a high-calorie smoothie with 1 large banana, 1 cup mango, 2 tbsp. almond butter, 1 tbsp. flax seed oil, 1 cup ice cubes and 1 1/2 cups cow or soy milk. Before bed, spread 2 tbsp. of peanut butter, 1 tbsp. of honey and a sliced pear on a whole wheat bagel and have with 12cl of low-fat milk. Other high-calorie snack ideas are ½ cup of bean dip spread on two slices of whole grain bread with a glass of low-fat milk; four fig biscuits with an 226cl container of non-fat yoghurt and 28g walnuts; or 1 cup of granola with low-fat milk and sliced peaches.

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