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2800+ Calorie Meal Plan w/ Very Little Supplements?

I’m looking to rely on food more than supplements. Also, want to cut the cost down and save money. I do take whey protein, casein protein powder, fish oils, ZMA, multivitamin, BCAA, glutamine, and vitamin D currently but I’m thinking of cutting out BCAA, glutamine, and casein protein powder.

What can I cut out? I do take whey protein powder to mix into a smoothie twice a day to help gain weight. I have a hard time eating a lot without getting full so having a smoothie twice a day helps a lot. Any good diet plans that are 2800 calories or more for lean muscle gains? I prefer something like 30/40/30 macros (protein/carbs/fat). I’m currently 145 lbs with 8-9% body fat (27-years old male 5’8). I’m happy with my body fat and feel pretty good but I want to gain more muscle and want my goal to be 165-170 lbs someday.

I feel like supplements do help me especially whey protein powder in a smoothie for weight gain and ZMA for sleep/testosterone support. I take a multivitamin and vitamin D because I worried that I’m missing out on minerals/vitamins that I don’t get from food. Same for Omega-3 fish oils, I don’t really eat fish often because it’s very expensive and low quality in most grocery stores near me.

Unless you’re something like five feet tall, just eat. It sounds like you’re emaciated.


Unless you’re something like five feet tall, just eat. It sounds like you’re emaciated.

Well, I don’t think I look emaciated. I was like 135 lbs 2 months ago. I did look very skinny. I did have a health problems during summer caused by severe stress, not eating well, and liver issues with high bilirubin. I had a physical checkup around then and was told to gain some weight and stay away from any supplements or fast food. My testosterone levels were low as well but I feel like it’s back to normal now (or I hope) since I have better energy.

Whey is one of the cheapest forms of protein out there and fish oil a cheap form of omegas. Moving to solid good equivalents is probably not going to save you much, it will probably end up costing you more.

The multi vitamin, ZMA, BCAA and glutamine you can drop. Usually these are cheap and won’t give you much cash back for real food.

Perhaps just post you diet so we can see where you can save money.


So how tall are you?

My bad, you’re 5 feet 8. At 145 lbs that’s emaciated. I’m somewhere around 5 7’ to 5 8’ (can’t convert centimetres to inches for shit) and at 185 lbs there wasn’t much of me.

I would suggest not worrying about supplements, not worrying about body fat and just eat a lot of mostly unprocessed food until the scale says 180 lbs. Train with weights three to four times a week and take the opportunity to get good at pullups, dips and pushups while you’re really light


Here you go Mountain Dog Diet Thread


True. Whey protein does not cost a lot when you think about it. A jug of protein powder can last 2 months depending on how often you take it. Same for multivitamin and fish oil. I like ZMA since I get much better sleep.

I’m also looking to make my meal plan easy to meal prep as well.

Here’s my diet looks like (I have a cheat meal 3 times a week which is usually pizza or chipotle Mexican food):
Calories Total: 2800 avg.
Macros: 30% protein, 40% carbs, 30% fat


  • 1 cup of oatmeal with berries and 1/4 cup of raw almonds mixed together with cinnamon powder
  • 2 whole eggs scrambled
  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder mixed with water as a drink
  • Big-ass cup of black coffee (pre-workout)


  • Protein Smoothie: 1 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt, 1 banana, and 1 scoop of whey protein powder.


  • Turkey Burritos: 2 tortilla wraps, 1/4 of shredded cheese, 2 whole eggs, 4oz of turkey, 4oz of sweet potatoes and some chopped onions.


  • 1/4 cups of nuts such as walnuts or brazil nuts
  • Apple


  • 4oz of ground beef (beef burger)
  • 2 slices of whole-grain toast
  • 1 scoop of casein protein powder mixed with water before bed

So far, this diet has helped me gain muscle weight when I was 135lbs. I’m now 145lbs with 8-9% BF and I need to increase my calories total but I want to change my diet plan to be more flexible and much easier to cook or meal prep for the week.

I’m 5’8. 27-year-old male. I have always struggled with weight gain. I look muscular and I’m stronger than anybody I know except for really tall guys who are naturally strong (and they don’t even lift).
I workout 5 days a week doing this workout which has been helping me a lot and I love it: A Tried and True Bodybuilding Program Template

I really wish I was 170-185 lbs like you with 10-15 bodyfat. I really want to get to that weight. What food do you eat a lot off?

Oh man. How can I say this nicely? You’re not muscular at 5 8" and 145 lbs. You also quite probably don’t know anyone who is strong, let alone have seen any in real life. That would explain why you think this of yourself. This isn’t a criticism, it’s just a wakeup call.

A good starting point would be to find somewhere guys significantly bigger and stronger than you train and train there. It changes your perspective when you look around and see what is possible in the flesh.

Well, first of to get there I started at 225 lbs and around 25 per cent bodyfat. Before that I started out around 200 lbs about two years before, similar body composition. Currently I sit around 260 lbs, again around the mid 20s in terms of body fat percentage.

Do you see where I’m coming from? It’s a shitload easier to get to a lean 185 lbs when you start out at a chubby 225ish.

Right now you really, REALLY don’t need to be worrying about what to eat. Just eat. Fuck supplements. Get 4000 calories a day as a minimum from 75 per cent or so ‘clean’ sources - and all I mean by that is a shitload of veggies (which don’t count towards calories), rice, pasta, potatoes and meat. The remaining 25 per cent can be whatever the hell you want. It’ll help boost the calories. Milk is great if your gut can handle it too.

Personally, I like to split calories up along the lines of 2xbw protein/20 per cent fat/rest in carbs. For you, maybe 2.5xbw protein might be better, and 25 per cent fat simply because it’ll make getting calories easier.

So something like

Protein 360 grams
Fat 110 grams
Carbs 400 grams

Anything within 25 grams of any macro will be fine.

Look, I get it. You haven’t been around properly big strong guys so it isn’t your fault that you’ve got a skewed idea of what muscular and strong is. I’m not trying to talk down to you. I was similar when I started training with a barbell in 2014. It wasn’t until I started training around big, strong dudes that I realised I was neither of those things. It’s a good realisation, because it opens your eyes and you start doing what you need to do to change it.

I think your training is probably fine, just make sure your bust your backside doing it. If you think you might be able to work harder, you need to work harder. Always be looking over your shoulder judging whether you’re slacking off or not.

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I think you can cut cost by ditching the casein protein and doing some kinda greek yogurt or cottage cheese at night. Shit, I do whey and whole milk before bed. My 25g shake if done with water is 51 g with 16oz Fairlife milk. I used to mix milk powder with whole milk and it was easy to mix 3 scoops of milk powder into whole milk for basically denser milk.

Whole milk, whole eggs, beef, cheese, pasta, white rice, and bagels are great calorie dense options. A serving of cheese is usually 7-9g protein, so just tossing that in with your eggs, pasta, or chili is a good way to sneak stuff in.


I do know what’s possible and no, my view is not skewed. Most of the guys at my gym are very skinny or just casual gym-goers or don’t have any muscle definition at all from high body fat. There are a few guys there that are huge. I was 155 lbs a couple of months ago but then I had health problems and liver issues which I don’t want to talk about. I’m trying to get back to where I was and push beyond that. I had a friend who used to work out and he was 200 lbs and pretty muscular with abs and all that but he quit the gym 2 years ago due to injuries.

Got any meal plan examples? I don’t have a lot of money. I got a minimum pay job and own 2 houses and a lot of other personal shit going on. So, $150 is my maximum budget for food a month.
I worry a lot about what I eat because both of my parents had cancer (one of them didn’t make it). I also had health problems a few months ago with my liver and low testosterone. I lost almost 20 lbs in a month just because of that. My doctor told me I need to eat healthier and gain weight. So that’s what I have been trying to do, I have gained 10 lbs so far and been eating healthier and feeling a lot better.

Why do you need one? You’ve been given good advice that is not to reliant on supplements, you’ve been linked a meal plan, you are gaining weight so you know how many calories you need to do so.

Here’s the process you should go through now, rather than a kind soul here doing it for you,

Take the number of calories you are eating today and either split your calorie intake into 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.


Compute how much protein you need, anything between 0.8—1.25g protein per lbs / BW will be fine.

Take your bodyweight in kilos, that number is the amount of fat in grams you should target. Add the two up, and then have the rest of your calories come from carbs.

There’s 4 calories to a gram of protein, ditto for carbs. 9 for fats.

And then go to work on puzzling together meals that get you there. You can for starters do this for a single day, and then eat that way every single day of the week. And then, make a new plan, and alternate between the days. And so on. Four weeks from now, you’d have four meal plans. 7 weeks from now, you’d have a meal plan per day. Not that you need that many. Then you can tweak them, or opt for the cheapest one say three times a week or something. There’s a lot of variability in food likes/dislikes etcetera not to mention how things are priced (as you mention a budget concern).

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Sorry for your loss

As far as budget, 150 a month isn’t a lot for food. But it can cover the basics of eggs, milk, cheap ground beef (you can always strain out the excess fat if you get 73-80% ground beef). Frozen and canned vegetables will usually be your best bang for buck. Most bakeries sell day-old bagels for cheap too.

It’s processed AS FUCK, but my go to bulk meal used to be 2 packets of ramen with added protein of canned tuna, pre-cooked ground beef, canned smoked oysters, or eggs and cheese.


Basically, apply the ideas of progressive overload and small increments - i.e. an iterative approach to your diet and you’ll get there really quickly without having to overthink it to much just to find out what you plan out doesn’t work when you hit the store.

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Nope. I don’t meal plan, never have, and you don’t need to either. Just eat. Figure out the most calorie dense food you can get on your budget and work with that.

@SOUL_FIGHTER ramen thing actually sounds like a winner if you’re on a budget. Also stuff like liver. Cheap AF, tons of nutrients and plenty of protein.

Broken down as simply as possible: eat more. If you still don’t gain weight, eat even more until you do.

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Yup exactly and it was a quick trip for 165ish to 180 for me

Also forgot to mention canned chicken breast (gross) or rotisserie chicken (not as gross but still gross). But they’re budget friendly.

I also never meal planned. I started at 140-150 (Weighed in at 140 for a Muay Thai fight but was usually 150) when I committed to my bulk. I just ate whatever my parents gave me and drank milk and ate pop tarts in between. I’m 200-210 now

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Thanks for the advice guys. I will just figure out a grocery list and just start eating more that fits my macros requirements and calories. If I don’t gain weight each week, keep adding more food.

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@SOUL_FIGHTER @MarkKO it’s been a while since I saw someone recommend old-school bulking, which you both are (in a way) and for a super-light weight that has never been fat that makes sense but I’m just curious, at your respective weights how much fat are you carrying? Beach lean?

@hawkeyefitness you can look at @jackolee s log to get an idea of how muscular you can look at different weights, but your take away should be that you are going to have to get to a abs still showing 185 to look truly muscular at anything below that.

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Like I said, I sit around 260 lbs and mid 20s in bodyfat. I put pictures up on my log fairly regularly. I’ve been as low as around 10 per cent before, but I looked like shit because there wasn’t anything to show.

Sorry, it was too early in the morning for me to remember having read that yesterday! goes and visits log

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