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Healthy Weight Gain Meal Plans for Females (7-Day)

weight management expert
Last updated on July 31, 2022

Many times, females fail to gain weight because they lack a high-calorie meal plan that meets their needs.

Illustration of a weekly weight gain meal plan for females - featured.

Besides being ineffective, the wrong meal plan can make you unhealthy, miss meals, eat foods you dislike, be in a constant hurry, and feel sluggish.

To help, we made it easy for any female looking to gain weight to follow or build the right meal plan.

This article contains daily and weekly (7-day) weight gain meal plans for different caloric needs, a step-by-step meal planning guide, and a template that females can use to build personalized meal plans.

What meal plans should females follow to gain weight

If you’re a female trying to gain weight, know that the best meal plans for you have the following characteristics:

Besides, whether you’re on a keto, vegan, Mediterranean, Paleo, or any other diet, your meal plans should respect the diet plan you’re following.

Preferably, your diet plan should contain foods that are rich in proteins, carbs, and calcium. These 3 types of nutrients help females build muscle instead of fat while increasing their osteoporosis-prone bone health.

Also, if you have any sensitivities, allergies, or restrictions to certain foods, you must avoid adding them to your meal plans.

For example, if you need to restrict carbohydrates, then you should build your weight gain meal plans around high-calorie low-carb foods.

Last but not the least, your meal plans should fit your budget. It’s hard to respect a meal plan you can’t afford.

Weight gain meal plans for females

To see how does a healthy weight gain meal plan for a female looks like, we created one tailored to different calorie needs (2000 to 3000 calories).

Besides, further down the article, you will find a daily meal plan for gaining weight on a budget.

Feel free to follow these simple yet effective meal plans, if they meet your calorie, macronutrient, and diet needs.

Otherwise, check the instructions found later in this article to get inspired and then craft a meal plan personalized to your lifestyle.

7-day weight gain meal plan for females

A 7-day (weekly) meal plan designed for females is the most effective kind of meal plan because it allows you to prepare meals a week ahead.

This way, on top of saving time you'd otherwise spend thinking about what to eat, you can ensure your meal plan offers all the healthy nutrients you need to gain weight daily.

Besides, a weekly meal plan targeting the right number of calories allows females, girls or women, to gain weight in just 7 days. If you eat about 500 calories more than you consume daily, you can expect to gain about 0.25-0.5 kg (0.5-1 pound) per week.

Below is a 7-day meal plan designed for females needing 2000, 2500, or 3000 calories per day to gain weight.

Day 1

Breakfast
Oats and low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) oats
    • Calories: 362
    • Proteins: 12 g
    • Carbs: 70 g
    • Fat: 7 g
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Calories: 73
    • Proteins: 10 g
    • Carbs: 4 g
    • Fat: 2 g
Oats with low-fat Greek yogurt.

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 435
  • Proteins: 22 g
  • Carbs: 74 g
  • Fat: 9 g
Pre-workout snack
Cottage cheese, pineapple, and bananas.
  • 200 g (7 oz) cottage cheese
    • Calories: 164
    • Proteins: 22 g
    • Carbs: 9 g
    • Fat: 4 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) pineapple
    • Calories: 100
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 26 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 1 large banana (136 g) banana
    • Calories: 121
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 31 g

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 385
  • Proteins: 24 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 411
  • Proteins: 36 g
  • Carbs: 52 g
  • Fat: 10 g
Lunch
Roasted chicken breast, white rice, and vegetables.
  • 140 g (5 oz) roasted chicken breast
    • Calories: 231
    • Proteins: 43 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 491
  • Proteins: 46 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 6 g
Snack
Round illustration of almonds.
  • 30 g (1 oz) almonds

Snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 164
  • Proteins: 6 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 14 g
Dinner
Baked potatoes and cooked salmon.
  • 300 g (11 oz) baked potatoes
    • Calories: 279
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) cooked salmon
    • Calories: 462
    • Proteins: 52 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 27 g

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 741
  • Proteins: 58 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 27 g
Day 1 totals
  • Calories: 2627
  • Proteins: 192 g
  • Carbs: 320 g
  • Fat: 70 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: cut down breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving sizes by 25%, or skip the breakfast and the pre-dinner snack.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: double the breakfast serving size.

Day 2

Pre-workout breakfast
Egg whites, boiled eggs, English muffins, and orange juice.
  • 3 large (102 g) egg whites
    • Calories: 54
    • Proteins: 12 g
    • Carbs: 2 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 1 whole (50 g) boiled egg
    • Calories: 155
    • Proteins: 13 g
    • Carbs: 1 g
    • Fat: 11 g
  • 3 (171 g) English muffins
    • Calories: 381
    • Proteins: 15 g
    • Carbs: 78 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • 300 ml orange juice
    • Calories: 135
    • Proteins: 2 g
    • Carbs: 30 g
    • Fat: 1 g

Pre-workout breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 725
  • Proteins: 42 g
  • Carbs: 111 g
  • Fat: 15 g
Post-workout snack
Low-fat Greek yogurt, bananas, honey, and mango.
  • 200 g (3.5 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Calories: 146
    • Proteins: 20 g
    • Carbs: 8 g
    • Fat: 4 g
  • 1 large banana (136 g) banana
    • Calories: 121
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 31 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 30 g (1 ½ tbsp) honey
    • Calories: 96
    • Proteins: 0 g
    • Carbs: 26 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) mango
    • Calories: 120
    • Proteins: 2 g
    • Carbs: 30 g
    • Fat: 1 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 483
  • Proteins: 23 g
  • Carbs: 95 g
  • Fat: 5 g
Lunch
Whole wheat bread, chicken drumsticks, and vegetables.
  • 4 slices (128 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 326
    • Proteins: 16 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 2 (192 g) chicken drumsticks
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 46 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 11 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 524
  • Proteins: 62 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 16 g
Snack
Cashews and dried goji berries.
  • 30 g (1 oz) cashews
    • Calories: 166
    • Proteins: 5 g
    • Carbs: 9 g
    • Fat: 13 g
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) dried goji berries
    • Calories: 140
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 31 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 306
  • Proteins: 11 g
  • Carbs: 40 g
  • Fat: 13 g
Dinner
Turkey breast, white rice, tahini, and vegetables.
  • 140 g (5 oz) turkey breast
    • Calories: 206
    • Proteins: 30 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) tahini
    • Calories: 89
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 3 g
    • Fat: 8 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 555
  • Proteins: 36 g
  • Carbs: 59 g
  • Fat: 11 g
Day 2 totals
  • Calories: 2593
  • Proteins: 174 g
  • Carbs: 361 g
  • Fat: 60 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: cut the serving sizes at the pre-workout breakfast in half and don’t eat goji berries at the pre-dinner snack.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: add 15 g of olive oil (135 calories) over the bread you have at lunch and 2 tbsp of peanut butter (190 calories) over a slice of whole wheat bread (82 calories) to the pre-dinner snack.

Day 3

Breakfast
Pancakes, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
  • 3 (105 g) pancakes
    • Calories: 269
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 57 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 2 tbsp (32 g) peanut butter
    • Calories: 188
    • Proteins: 8 g
    • Carbs: 7 g
    • Fat: 16 g
  • 1 tbsp (20 g) maple syrup
    • Calories: 52
    • Proteins: 0 g
    • Carbs: 13 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 509
  • Proteins: 14 g
  • Carbs: 77 g
  • Fat: 18 g
Pre-workout snack
Canned tuna, white rice, and vegetables.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) canned tuna
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 29 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 8 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 458
  • Proteins: 32 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 9 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 839
  • Proteins: 55 g
  • Carbs: 110 g
  • Fat: 28 g
Snack
Peanuts - round illustration.
  • 30 g (1 oz) peanuts

Snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 161
  • Proteins: 7 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 14 g
Dinner
Ground turkey patties, baked potatoes, and olive oil.
  • 170 g (2 patties) broiled ground turkey patties
    • Calories: 234
    • Proteins: 50 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 4 g
  • 300 g (11 oz) baked potatoes
    • Calories: 279
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 7 g (1/2 tbsp) olive oil
    • Calories: 59
    • Proteins: 0
    • Carbs: 0
    • Fat: 7 g

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 572
  • Proteins: 56 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 11 g
Day 3 totals
  • Calories: 2539
  • Proteins: 164 g
  • Carbs: 314 g
  • Fat: 80 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: drink just half of the Chocolate Ice Cream Shake.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: eat a Cacao Banana Rise Bar or any of the high-calorie bars with around 500 calories along with the peanuts planned at the snack before dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast
Waffles and honey.
  • 140 g (2 pieces) waffles
    • Calories: 436
    • Proteins: 12 g
    • Carbs: 50 g
    • Fat: 22 g
  • 30 g (1 ½ tbsp) honey
    • Calories: 96
    • Proteins: 0 g
    • Carbs: 26 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 532
  • Proteins: 12 g
  • Carbs: 76 g
  • Fat: 22 g
Pre-workout snack
Roasted chicken breast, tortilla wrap, light mayonnaise, and vegetables.
  • 140 g (5 oz) roasted chicken breast
    • Calories: 231
    • Proteins: 43 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 1 (72 g) tortilla wrap
    • Calories: 234
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 40 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) light mayonnaise
    • Calories: 36
    • Proteins: 0 g
    • Carbs: 1 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 501
  • Proteins: 49 g
  • Carbs: 41 g
  • Fat: 13 g
Post-workout snack
Canned tuna, whole wheat bread, and dates.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) canned tuna
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 29 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 8 g
  • 2 slices (64 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 163
    • Proteins: 8 g
    • Carbs: 28 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) dates
    • Calories: 111
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 30 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 472
  • Proteins: 38 g
  • Carbs: 58 g
  • Fat: 11 g
Lunch
Boiled pinto beans, beef tenderloin steak, and vegetables.
  • 150 g (4.5 oz) boiled pinto beans
    • Calories: 215
    • Proteins: 14 g
    • Carbs: 39 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 140 g (one) beef tenderloin steak
    • Calories: 382
    • Proteins: 37 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 25 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 597
  • Proteins: 51 g
  • Carbs: 39 g
  • Fat: 27 g
Dinner
Cooked penne pasta, roasted chicken breast, and tomato sauce.
  • 200 g (2 cups) cooked penne pasta
    • Calories: 336
    • Proteins: 12 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 140 g (5 oz) roasted chicken breast
    • Calories: 231
    • Proteins: 43 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • Tomato sauce

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 567
  • Proteins: 55 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 7 g
Day 4 totals
  • Calories: 2669
  • Proteins: 205 g
  • Carbs: 280 g
  • Fat: 80 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: skip lunch or breakfast.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: eat 2 medium croissants as dessert after lunch.

Day 5

Breakfast
Avocado, whole wheat bread, and pineapple juice
  • 1 serving (50 g) of avocado
    • Calories: 80
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 4 g
    • Fat: 7 g
  • 2 slices (64 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 163
    • Proteins: 8 g
    • Carbs: 28 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • 300 ml pineapple juice
    • Calories: 156
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 39 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 399
  • Proteins: 10 g
  • Carbs: 71 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 417
  • Proteins: 30 g
  • Carbs: 61 g
  • Fat: 8 g
Post-workout snack
Feta cheese, whole wheat bread, and vegetables.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) feta cheese
    • Calories: 273
    • Proteins: 20 g
    • Carbs: 6 g
    • Fat: 20 g
  • 4 slices (128 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 326
    • Proteins: 16 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 599
  • Proteins: 36 g
  • Carbs: 62 g
  • Fat: 25 g
Lunch
Chicken drumsticks, mashed potatoes, bananas, and vegetables.
  • 2 (192 g) chicken drumsticks
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 46 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 11 g
  • 210 g (1 cup) mashed potatoes
    • Calories: 174
    • Proteins: 4 g
    • Carbs: 37 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • 1 large banana (136 g) banana
    • Calories: 121
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 31 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 493
  • Proteins: 51 g
  • Carbs: 68 g
  • Fat: 12 g
Dinner
Baked potatoes, cooked salmon, and vegetables.
  • 300 g (11 oz) baked potatoes
    • Calories: 279
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) cooked salmon
    • Calories: 462
    • Proteins: 52 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 27 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 741
  • Proteins: 58 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 27 g
Day 5 totals
  • Calories: 2649
  • Proteins: 185 g
  • Carbs: 328 g
  • Fat: 82 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: cut the lunch and dinner serving sizes in half.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: at breakfast, add 2 more slices of whole wheat bread (163 calories) spread with 2 tbsp of peanut butter (190 calories) or with any other of the high-calorie nut butters.

Day 6

Breakfast
Rice cakes, peanut butter, and whole milk.
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) rice cakes
    • Calories: 186
    • Proteins: 4 g
    • Carbs: 41 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) peanut butter
    • Calories: 94
    • Proteins: 4 g
    • Carbs: 4 g
    • Fat: 8 g
  • 200 ml whole milk
    • Calories: 122
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 5 g
    • Fat: 3 g

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 402
  • Proteins: 14 g
  • Carbs: 50 g
  • Fat: 13 g
Pre-workout snack
Scrambled eggs and whole wheat bread.
  • 183 g (3 large) scrambled eggs
    • Calories: 270
    • Proteins: 18 g
    • Carbs: 3 g
    • Fat: 21 g
  • 4 slices (128 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 326
    • Proteins: 16 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 5 g

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 596
  • Proteins: 34 g
  • Carbs: 59 g
  • Fat: 26 g
Post-workout snack
Muffin and low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium (113 g) muffin
    • Calories: 424
    • Proteins: 5 g
    • Carbs: 60 g
    • Fat: 18 g
  • 300 g (5.3 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Calories: 219
    • Proteins: 30 g
    • Carbs: 12 g
    • Fat: 6 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 643
  • Proteins: 35 g
  • Carbs: 72 g
  • Fat: 24 g
Lunch
Turkey breast, white rice, and vegetables.
  • 140 g (5 oz) turkey breast
    • Calories: 206
    • Proteins: 30 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 466
  • Proteins: 33 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 3 g
Dinner
Roasted goat meat, baked potatoes, and vegetables.
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) roasted goat meat
    • Calories: 215
    • Proteins: 41 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 300 g (11 oz) baked potatoes
    • Calories: 279
    • Proteins: 6 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 494
  • Proteins: 47 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 5 g
Day 6 totals
  • Calories: 2601
  • Proteins: 163 g
  • Carbs: 303 g
  • Fat: 71 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: skip dinner and the peanut butter you should have at breakfast.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: snack on a pack of 100 g (3.5 oz) of crackers between lunch and dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast
Croissant, orange juice, and low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • 1 medium (57 g) croissant
    • Calories: 231
    • Proteins: 51 g
    • Carbs: 26 g
    • Fat: 12 g
  • 300 ml orange juice
    • Calories: 135
    • Proteins: 2 g
    • Carbs: 30 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Calories: 73
    • Proteins: 10 g
    • Carbs: 4 g
    • Fat: 2 g

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 439
  • Proteins: 63 g
  • Carbs: 60 g
  • Fat: 15 g

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 842
  • Proteins: 34 g
  • Carbs: 162 g
  • Fat: 22 g
Post-workout snack
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) canned tuna
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 29 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 8 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 458
  • Proteins: 32 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 9 g
Lunch
Sausages, whole wheat bread, and mustard.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) sausage
    • Calories: 271
    • Proteins: 9 g
    • Carbs: 8 g
    • Fat: 22 g
  • 2 slices (64 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 163
    • Proteins: 8 g
    • Carbs: 28 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • 5 tsp (25 g) yellow mustard
    • Calories: 15
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 1 g
    • Fat: 1 g

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 449
  • Proteins: 18 g
  • Carbs: 37 g
  • Fat: 26 g
Dinner
Chicken drumsticks, boiled pinto beans, and vegetables.
  • 2 (192 g) chicken drumsticks
    • Calories: 198
    • Proteins: 46 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 11 g
  • 150 g (4.5 oz) boiled pinto beans
    • Calories: 215
    • Proteins: 14 g
    • Carbs: 39 g
    • Fat: 2 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 413
  • Proteins: 60 g
  • Carbs: 39 g
  • Fat: 13 g
Day 7 totals
  • Calories: 2601
  • Proteins: 207 g
  • Carbs: 354 g
  • Fat: 85 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: prepare and drink just half of the Strawberry Oat Shake instead of the full one.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: add 30 g of cashews, 40 g of goji berries, and another medium croissant to breakfast.

If you want the offline version of the 7-day weight gain meal plan for underweight females, get the free PDF version of it below. This way, you can print it out and stick it to your fridge or anywhere else.

7-day weight gain meal plan for underweight females.

Weight gain meal plan for females on a budget

If you’re on a budget, you should have a meal plan with affordable weight gain foods.

Otherwise, at the end of the month, you can end up with a drained bank account.

Fortunately, adding pounds can be both effective and affordable with a meal plan made of cheap high-calorie foods that count among the best weight gain foods for females.

Below is an example of a weight gain meal plan for women on a budget who need 2000, 2500, or 3000 calories to increase their weight.

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, whole wheat bread, and vegetables.
  • 183 g (3 large) scrambled eggs
    • Calories: 270
    • Proteins: 18 g
    • Carbs: 3 g
    • Fat: 21 g
  • 2 slices (64 g) whole wheat bread
    • Calories: 163
    • Proteins: 8 g
    • Carbs: 28 g
    • Fat: 3 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Breakfast nutrition facts

  • Calories: 433
  • Proteins: 26 g
  • Carbs: 31 g
  • Fat: 24 g

Pre-workout snack

Cottage cheese, raisins, and bananas.
  • 200 g (7 oz) cottage cheese
    • Calories: 164
    • Proteins: 22 g
    • Carbs: 9 g
    • Fat: 4 g
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) raisins
    • Calories: 120
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 32 g
    • Fat: 0 g
  • 1 large banana (136 g) banana
    • Calories: 121
    • Proteins: 1 g
    • Carbs: 31 g
    • Fat: 0 g

Pre-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 405
  • Proteins: 24 g
  • Carbs: 72 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Post-workout snack

Granola and low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) granola
    • Calories: 489
    • Proteins: 14 g
    • Carbs: 54 g
    • Fat: 24 g
  • 200 g (3.5 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Calories: 146
    • Proteins: 20 g
    • Carbs: 8 g
    • Fat: 4 g

Post-workout snack nutrition facts

  • Calories: 635
  • Proteins: 34 g
  • Carbs: 62 g
  • Fat: 28 g

Lunch

Roasted chicken breast, white rice, and vegetables.
  • 140 g (5 oz) roasted chicken breast
    • Calories: 231
    • Proteins: 43 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 5 g
  • 200 g (7 oz) white rice
    • Calories: 260
    • Proteins: 3 g
    • Carbs: 56 g
    • Fat: 1 g
  • One serving of vegetables

Lunch nutrition facts

  • Calories: 491
  • Proteins: 46 g
  • Carbs: 56 g
  • Fat: 6 g

Dinner

Ground lean beef, cooked penne pasta, and tomato sauce.
  • 200 g (7 oz) ground lean beef
    • Calories: 352
    • Proteins: 40 g
    • Carbs: 0 g
    • Fat: 20 g
  • 200 g (2 cups) cooked penne pasta
    • Calories: 336
    • Proteins: 12 g
    • Carbs: 66 g
  • Tomato sauce

Dinner nutrition facts

  • Calories: 688
  • Proteins: 52 g
  • Carbs: 66 g
  • Fat: 20 g
Daily total
  • Calories: 2652
  • Proteins: 182 g
  • Carbs: 287 g
  • Fat: 82 g

To make it a 2000-calorie weight gain meal plan: skip lunch.

To make it a 3000-calorie weight gain meal plan: add 15 g of olive oil (135 calories) over the white rice you have at lunch; eat 2 tbsp of peanut butter (190 calories) spread over a slice of whole wheat bread (82 calories) as a post-lunch snack.

Meal planning for weight gain: step by step

1. Find how many calories you need to gain weight

To find out how many calories you need to eat daily to gain weight, add 500 calories over your maintenance calories (how many calories you burn daily). With a surplus of 500 calories, you can expect to gain around 0.25-0.5 kg (0.5-1 pound) of weight per week.

Now, there are two methods you can find your maintenance calories.

TDEE method

Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), which is a measure of how many calories you burn per day, will tell you what are your maintenance calories.

You can use a TDEE calculator to easily calculate your maintenance calories. Make sure to introduce the correct measurements into the calculator.

Also, don’t forget to select your gender since females burn fewer calories than men.

Generally, according to the Dietary Reference Intakes, women need about 400 calories less than men.[1]

TDEE method example: according to the TDEE calculator, a 20 years old woman who is 1.70 m (5.57 feet) tall, weighs 55 kg (121 pounds), and does moderate exercise (3-5 days a week) needs 2095 calories to maintain her weight. To gain weight, she needs to eat 500 calories more, which results in 2595 calories.

BMR method

A less straightforward way of calculating your maintenance calories is to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and then add the calories you burn through physical activity.

But, as certified personal trainer Mike Matthews says in his bestselling book Bigger Leaner Stronger, this method is “an unnecessary complication.”

2. Set your daily macronutrient needs

Once you know how many calories you need daily to gain weight, make sure those calories come from a balanced intake of macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats).

To determine how many proteins, carbs, and fats you should get daily from the foods you eat and beverages you drink, you need to consider:

  • The acceptable macronutrient levels
  • Your weight gain goal
  • Your diet plan

Acceptable protein, carb, and fat levels

First of all, the Institute of Medicine published the acceptable ranges for macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fat).[1]

According to them, you have to adjust your meal plans so your protein, carb, and fat daily intakes respect the following ratios:

  • Protein: 10-35% of calories
  • Carbs: 45-65% of calories
  • Fat: 25-35% of calories

Optimize for weight gain

Firstly, if you are a female looking to gain weight, you should work out regularly to use the nutrients you get from food to grow muscles, instead of storing them as fat.

After all, females deposit fat easier than men. Because females have higher estrogen levels and lower amounts of testosterone, they are more likely to store fat than men.[2]

Secondly, you should focus on foods that are rich in protein and carbs because these nutrients help you build muscles and fuel them.

Find foods that have plenty of carbs and proteins in our list of high-calorie low-fat foods.

Respect your diet plan

In case you’re following a certain diet, like the vegan, Paleo or Mediterranean ones, you may want to optimize your protein, carb, and fat intake, so you respect the guidelines of the diet.

For example: a woman that needs 2595 calories to gain weight, and is on a 25% protein, 50% carbs, and 25% fats diet has the following daily macronutrient needs:

  • Protein: 162 g (648 calories)
  • Carbs: 324 g (1296 calories)
  • Fat: 72 g (648 calories)

To do the math, you need to know that 1 g of protein or carbs has 4 calories while 1 g of fat has 9 calories.

3. Break macros into servings

After you’ve set your macronutrient needs, break them out into portions served across the day.

More specifically, set a certain number of proteins, carbs, and fat to consume at every meal and snack you take.

Start by planning how many macronutrients you’ll eat at your pre-workout and post-workout meals because these are very important in maximizing muscle growth. Then, spread the remaining macros across other meals and snacks.

Pre-workout meal serving guidelines

Taken about 30 minutes before your training session, your pre-workout meal should contain proteins and carbohydrates to build more muscle and improve your performance.

Pre-workout protein

According to a University of Birmingham study on protein intake before and after exercise, pre-workout protein may help you gain more muscle.[3]

Regarding how much protein you should have before your workouts, aim for 20 to 40 g of protein as a rule of thumb.

Pre-workout carbs

According to a University of Texas study about physical exercise, carbohydrates improve your performance during workouts.[4]

A Loughborough University study on carbs and muscle exercise suggests that, for optimal performance during your training sessions, you should eat carbs 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.[5]

In the hours before engaging in any exercise longer than 60 minutes, the Academy, DC, and ACSM recommend consuming 1 to 4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.[6]

Takeaway:

To maximize muscle growth and exercise performance, about half an hour before training, eat a pre-workout meal that has 20-40 g of proteins and 1-4 g of carbs per kg (2.2 pounds) of your body weight.

Post-workout meal serving guidelines

To help your muscles grow and recover, eat a post-workout meal that has protein and carbohydrates in the first 2 hours after you exercise.

Post-workout protein

According to a McMaster University study on protein intake, to maximize protein production in your body, necessary for muscle growth, you should eat at least 20 g of protein post-workout.[7]

However, to account for other factors, like large muscle mass, high activity levels, older age, or elevated levels of cortisol, you may want to eat 30 to 40 g of protein after your workouts.

Regarding the timing of the post-workout protein portion, according to a Danish study on post-exercise protein intake, you should eat it in the first 2 hours after finishing your workouts to boost muscle growth.[8]

Post-workout carbs

A reasonable rule of thumb for how much carbohydrates to consume in your post-workout meal is 1 g of carbohydrates per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

To boost your carbohydrate intake, eat foods like grains, pancakes, patisseries, starchy vegetables, and high-calorie fruits.

Takeaway:

To maximize muscle growth and recovery, eat a pre-workout meal that has 20-40 g of proteins and 1 g of carbs per kg (2.2 pounds) of your body weight in the first 2 hours after training.

Meal and snack servings guidelines

With your pre-workout and post-workout meals settled, you can go on and spread the remaining macros across your daily meals and snacks.

Schedule your meals and snacks according to your daily schedule and calorie target.

You can eat as often as you like, whether you prefer eating every 3 to 4 hours or every 5 to 6 hours. Just make sure you hit your macronutrient needs and don’t overlap meals with the busy times of your days.

To boost your calorie intake, don’t forget to schedule high-calorie snacks or weight gain drinks between meals.

Another tip for increasing calories is to replace low-calorie veggies with high-calorie vegetables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, it’s important to include in your meal plan the macronutrients you get from any supplements you take. This is a great way to also remind yourself to take the supplements.

Now, before moving on to the next step, you should have a breakdown of your daily macronutrient needs, as explained below.

For example: a woman weighing 55 kg (121 pounds) that needs to eat 162 g of protein (648 calories), 324 g of carbs (1296 calories), and 72 g of fat (648 calories) could break her macronutrients as described below:

  • Breakfast: 10 g of proteins, 80 g of carbs, and 11 g of fats
  • Pre-workout meal: 30 g of proteins and 55 g of carbs
  • Post-workout meal: 40 g of proteins and 55 g of carbs
  • Lunch: 40 g of proteins, 60 g of carbs, and 11 g of fats
  • Snack: 5 g of protein, 4 g of carbs, and 20 g of fats
  • Dinner: 40 g of proteins, 70 g of carbs, and 30 g of fats

4. Write down a weekly meal plan

Once you know how many proteins, carbs, and fats you need to consume at each meal or snack, your only task left in the meal planning process is to select nutritious foods that will make you hit your macronutrient needs and write them down on a weekly meal plan.

To help you in the process, here is a free weekly weight meal plan template you can print out and use.

7-day weight gain meal plan template for females.

Pick weight gain foods

Generally, the most helpful foods in gaining weight are high-calorie foods that are rich both in macros and micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals.

Yet, as a female, you might want to try the foods proven to help women gain weight.

To meet your macronutrient goals every day, when choosing weight gain foods for your meal plan, pick lean sources of protein, like fish, poultry meat, lean beef, low-fat cottage cheese, and beans.

Add foods rich in calcium

When making their meal plans, females should also add calcium-rich foods because they aid in the absorption and retention of this mineral, which is crucial for bone health.

A Journal of Clinical Medicine Research study says that females are 4 times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.[9]

The good news is that, according to the British Journal of Nutrition, calcium foods reduce the risk of osteoporosis.[10]

Here are a few examples of foods that help boost calcium intake:

  • Dairy products
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Beans

Finally, to write a great meal plan, get inspiration from the examples in this article.

Grocery shopping list

After finishing writing a meal plan, the next step is to note down all the foods you need to prepare the planned meals and snacks on a grocery shopping list.

Then, go to your preferred stores and buy each food on the grocery list.

Meal prepping

Meal prepping, the action of preparing meals ahead, can help you save time and stick to your meal plan.

If you’re wondering how to do meal-prepping, you have to prepare your meals and snacks every Sunday for the following week.

Cook meat, rice, or any other foods you have on your meal plan, put them in food boxes, and store them in an appropriate place, such as the fridge.

Frequently asked questions

How can a girl gain weight fast?

The fastest way for a girl to gain weight is to eat more calories than she consumes daily. To make sure she eats more than her maintenance calories, she has to plan her weight gain meals using a meal plan.

How can a girl gain weight in 7 days?

A girl can gain weight in as short as 7 days by eating more calories than she burns daily. The easiest way to end up on a daily caloric surplus is to plan her meals for one week ahead.

What a woman should eat to gain weight?

To gain weight, a woman should focus on high-calorie foods rich in both macronutrients and micronutrients that help her add size in a healthy way.

How do skinny people gain weight fast?

Skinny people can gain weight fast by consuming more calories than they burn daily. Meal planning is the best way to ensure that they do so.

Conclusion

By utilizing weight gain meal plans, underweight females can gain healthy weight easily and conveniently because any woman or girl can tailor a meal plan to their own lifestyle, preferred foods, and budget.

Start by following our 7-day weight gain meal plan designed for females or our daily budget meal plan.

Alternatively, you can get inspiration from the two meal plans to make your own. If you decide to make your own weight gain meal plan, don’t forget to follow the step-by-step meal planning process in this article.

And, after you are done with meal planning, remind yourself to make the grocery list and set time for meal prep.

Ultimately, whether you follow the provided meal plans or make personalized ones, these meal plans are meant to help any female finally see progress in their weight gain journey.

Sources

Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.

Ideas for high-calorie diets
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