Need ideas for a bodybuilding diet? Don’t worry, our experts at Protein Review Insider have you covered…
You can learn a lot from bodybuilders. Bodybuilders are notorious for rippling muscles and shredded physiques. This all comes from a mastery of dieting and lots of time in the gym. The results are visibly clear.
Whatever your fitness goals – whether you’re looking to build muscle or burn fat – dieting like a bodybuilder can improve your results. Today, we’re going to help you do that with a simple, easy meal plan that will make the most of your hard work in the gym.
If you want to gain muscle without the guesswork, stick with us!
Master the bodybuilding diet basics
Dieting like a bodybuilder isn’t cutting edge science and fancy techniques; all it takes is mastery of the basics.
It starts with your calories: you need to eat more than you’re using to build muscle. Beyond that, you need a meal plan that balances the big 3 “macro” nutrients:
Protein is the most important for muscle growth, since muscles are made of proteins. These are the basic unit of muscle and they’re found in lean meats, fish, dairy, beans and the best protein powder. All the fun stuff!
Carbs are your body’s main fuel source. From white bread (which is junk) to pulses and wholegrains (which are amazing), your choice in carbs is crucial to gaining weight and keeping healthy.
Fats don’t make you fat. They provide the basic building blocks of hormones, which are key to everything from muscle growth to long-term health.
You need all 3 of these nutrients. The quality matters just as much as the quantity for health and muscle growth. We’re going to provide a great balance of each and ensure that you’re getting the very best for muscle growth.
Bodybuilding Diet Meal Plan to Muscle Gains
This meal plan is aimed directly at muscle gains. You’re not going to lose weight on this plan because it relies on eating more than you use. You need to eat to fuel your muscles, but this plan is all about adding muscle without too much fat.
This is great for everyone. Total beginners will lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, and gaining muscle makes it easier to lose fat in future.
Obviously, this isn’t going to work if you’re not kicking ass in the gym. You should be training 3-4 times a week with a balance of high-intensity (1-5 rep) and high-volume (5-8 rep) sets. If you’re trying to gain muscle, there are a lot of factors:
- Nutrition (don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this one!)
We’ll do the nutrition for you, but you have to do the rest for yourself or it’s all for nothing!
Bodybuilding Diet Breakfast:
Muscle-Building Meals to Fuel Your Day
Breakfast is all about slow-digesting foods. You can go with high-fiber carbs or fats and proteins. These choices give you the best release of energy and will keep you fueled all morning.
Eggs are the classic breakfast. They’re great for breakfast because they contain healthy fats and protein. This means slow digestion and lots of energy through the morning.
They also contain key nutrients like choline. Choline contributes to mental performance, endurance, and power output – meaning more strength and better muscle-growth.
Oats are a classic carb choice. You can mix them with protein powder and then add milk (either cow’s milk or coconut milk) for one of the most amazing, well-rounded bulking meals.
This key wholegrain is packed with protein, fiber, and magnesium – an essential mineral for getting the most out of your food.
Yoghurt isn’t the most obvious choice, but it can be an amazing way to improve your bulk. Start with fat-free yoghurt (because the protein is way higher), then add fresh fruit, granola, nuts and seeds, and any other high-calorie foods.
You can even mix protein powder into yoghurt and it creates this amazing, fluffy breakfast while boosting the amount of protein in your breakfast bowl! This is a probiotic food, which is a fancy way of saying that it improves gut health.
Bodybuilding Diet Lunch:
Bulking up the Middle of the Day
Trying to gain muscle? Ditch the light lunches and get fed.
Beef and Fatty Cuts are the best way to approach gaining weight and building muscle – especially if you’re food-prepping.
Get some fatty meats and pack them in with some green veg and a high-calorie carb. You can use honey-glazed roast sweet potato and you’ll never miss fast food again.
Beef (and other red meats like venison) are full of calories and provide key minerals. One great example is Zinc – a key mineral for keeping your testosterone levels healthy. Iron improves blood quality and the delivery of nutrients into muscles (key for muscle growth).
Wraps are underrated. Your average tortilla is versatile, easy and contains a fair few calories. Pack it with fried chicken and bacon (you read that right), a healthy homemade coleslaw, and any other veg you want. A few of these wraps can quickly add up and reach the 4-digit calorie mark.
Chicken and veg are a classic, and the extra calories you get from the batter and homemade ‘slaw make it easy to smash your calorie goals.
Plant foods need to be in a weight-gain diet. They provide key vitamins and minerals, but they also have special “phytonutrients” that improve health.
Bodybuilding Diet Dinner:
Feeding Your Recovery and Growth
Dinner is key – it’s the easiest time of day to get the most calories in. Unlike breakfast and dinner, you’re probably not doing much after dinner. This means you can spend your calories here and fuel a huge, restorative, muscle-building sleep. Hit this meal hard and you’ll be able to bulk effectively forever!
Mexican food will always be the easiest way to get a huge amount of calories into your dinner. There are a few cornerstone ingredients that go into good Mexican food:
- Top-quality meat (grilled chicken and beef are key)
These are all rich in calories and nutrients, making them a great choice to gain quality weight.
Bean-Rich Casseroles are another example of a comforting, healthy dinner for weight gain.
With a bunch of beans and other pulses, they’re dense with nutrients as well as calories. Using chickpeas and red kidney beans with chicken and sausage is a great way to get protein and high-quality carbs to fuel muscle growth.
You can add any of your personal favs to this process, and casseroles are great for food-prep. All it takes is a Tupperware, freezer and a microwave!
Muscle-Building Weapon or Fad?
A shake with protein and other supplements is a great way to add calories and essential nutrients to your bodybuilding diet. The regular protein shake is well-known, but we’ve got a much better choice – this is a recipe for a science-backed, kick-ass post-workout shake.
- 60g of protein powder (key for muscle recovery and growth)
- 1 cup of coconut milk (rich in calories and vitamins)
- 3-5g of creatine (the most important muscle-building supplement)
- 200-400mg of Beta-Alanine (to maximise the effect of creatine)
If you’re eating this around dinner time, you can make this even more effective by blending it with the following extras:
- ½ – 1 banana
- ¼ – ½ cup of oats (rolled or steel-cut)
You can even use this first thing in a morning if you’re short on time. Add a single espresso shot for a totally unique breakfast experience!