Introduction To Meal Plan Budget

It is common for people to think, weight gain is not possible on a budget. Many of us get deterred on their journey to weight gain as they consider it expensive. However, there is a weight gain meal plan Budget which is affordable and won’t stretch your finances.

It would help if you started by preparing a weight gain Meal plan budget, which will help you to decide the food items which you can include in the meal plan. Many cost-effective food items are high in calories and provide excellent nutrients, which is essential for weight gain.

The current article provides insights into food sources that are rich in protein, fats, and carbohydrates, along with being healthy and cheap too. We will include a 3000-calorie meal plan for an average adult.    

Essential Nutrients for Weight Gain

The three primary nutrients for weight gain are- protein (4 calories per gram of protein), carbohydrates (4 calories per gram of carbohydrate), and fats (9 calories per gram of fats). An average male will require 180-220 grams of protein daily, and an average female will need 100-120 grams.

You can plan your weight gain meal budget to get the remaining calories from fats and carbohydrates. The meal plan needs to be designed to ensure that at least 20-30% of the daily calorie intake should be from fats.

Most people are apprehensive about consuming fats for weight gain. Good fats are essential for your body as it helps in proper organ health, brain, and skin health.

You should, however, avoid consuming trans-fats and saturated fats which are unhealthy for you. Your weight gain meal plan should not include carbohydrates that contain plenty of sugar and flour, as they are not suitable for healthy weight gain. 

Budget Protein Foods

Meal Plan Budget 1

You can divide your daily protein requirement into small servings. If you plan to take 210 grams of daily protein intake, then it is better to divide them into small serving sizes of 30 grams each.

You can then take seven such servings daily to meet your protein intake requirements. It is not mandatory to prepare a schedule for consuming proteins. You can take protein at any time of the day.

Protein helps your muscle tissues to repair and recover. You can consider including the following food sources which are rich in protein and affordable too: 

  • Chicken 
  • Peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Black beans
  • Whole milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tuna
  • Whey proteins

Peanut butter and black beans are also a rich source of carbohydrates, which makes them must-have food items in your weight gain meal plan.  

Budget Fat Foods

Meal Plan Budget 2

Fats are essential for weight gain and also they won’t break your meal plan budget. As already discussed, 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from healthy fats.

If you are on a 3000-calorie meal plan, then 900 calories of your daily intake should be from fats. You can consider adding the following food items which are a rich source of healthy fats:

  • Olive oil 
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Ghee 
  • Almonds
  • Cheese 

Cheese is an essential food item for weight gain as it includes healthy fats, protein, and has high nutrition. Avoid foods that contain unhealthy saturated and trans-fat, as they will lead to unhealthy weight gain, which is not desirable. 

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Budget Carbohydrates Foods

Meal Plan Budget 3

If you meet 30% of your daily calorie intake from fats, that leaves the remaining 70% of your intake from carbohydrates and protein. You should only include healthy carbohydrates in your meal.

Consuming an excess of sugary foods as a source of carbohydrates is terrible. While they may seem a budget-friendly source of carbohydrates, they are not suitable for your health. It would be best if you planned to include healthy carbohydrates in your meal.

The following food items which are a rich source of carbohydrates should be in your weight gain meal plan

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Noodles
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cream of wheat 

Read Also: Weight Gain Diet Plan For Diabetics

A 3000-Calories Weight Gain Meal Plan Budget

If you are tight on money, then you need to prepare a weight gain meal plan budget. It is essential to fix a daily, weekly, or monthly budget on how much you can spend on weight gain meal plan.

This weight gain plan budget will help you to decide which food items you need to include in your meals. There are meal plans which can be developed, costing you less than $5 daily. Such meal plans will lead to healthy weight gain without burning a hole in your pocket. 

You should divide your daily meal plan into several small meals. An ideal 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan can consist of the following meals and timings:

  • Meal 1: Oats (15 ounces), four eggs cooked in one pat of butter. (Nutrition 646 calories, 36 grams of protein, and 53 grams of carbohydrates).
  • Meal 2: 1 scoop of peanut butter fluffy whey in 12 ounces of water blended with 1 ounce of peanut butter (Nutrition- 315 calories, 32.1 grams protein, 10.5 grams carbohydrates, and 18.3 grams fats).
  • Meal 3: 5 ounces of canned tuna with one pack of noodles. (Nutrition- 540 calories, 46.1 grams protein, 51.4 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fats). 
  • Meal 4: 1 scoop of gainer (this needs to be consumed immediately after working out. nutrition- 470 calories, 25 grams protein, 75 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fats).
  • Meal 5: 6 ounces of chicken legs with 10 ounces of cooked rice, and one cup of baked black beans. (Nutrition- 800 calories, 56.1 grams protein, 121.9 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fats).
  • Meal 6: 1 scoop of protein whey in 8 ounces of whole milk and 1 ounce of heavy cream (Nutrition- 399 calories, 33.4 grams protein, 18.6 grams carbohydrates, and 22.9 grams fats). 

The above weight gain meal plan budget will not cost you more than $7 per day. It consists of daily calorie intake of 3,170 calories. It will provide you 228.7 grams of protein (29%), 330.3 grams of carbohydrates (42%), and 104.9 grams of fats (29%). 

Learn More: Weight Gain Meal Plans

FAQs On Meal Plan Budget

Are budget foods really healthy?

Budget foods are very healthy because they don’t contain harmful things. Mostly budget foods contain vegetables, pulses and legumes. They are very nutritious and don’t affect the level of sugar or cholesterol level of blood. Comparatively junk foods are expensive and unhealthy.

What proteins can I use? I am vegan

Vegans also have a lot of choices for protein. You can eat plant-based protein which is equally healthy. You can eat red beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.

Doesn’t fat cause cholesterol problems?

Basically here are 2 types of fats saturated and unsaturated or normally known as good or bad fats. Bad fats are not good but unsaturated fats are essential as they give energy. So they will not increase cholesterol level if taken in recommended amount. Excessive use can cause cholesterol problem.

Do I need to eat 3000 calories daily?

Normal caloric need of a female is about 1800 to 2200 calories and for male 2500 to 2800 calories a day. If you are gaining weight then you have to increase about 500 caloric intake a day. Some dietitians also suggest to calculate it according to 5 to 10 percent of total need.

Last Words On Meal Plan Budget

To save more, you can consider including frozen vegetables. They will be cheaper than fresh vegetables and will also last longer. You can buy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mix veggies, carrots, corn, etc. which are suitable for weight gain

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