Bodybuilding Nutrition Plan: What to eat, what to avoid

A bodybuilding nutrition plan can be a daunting task. Indeed, the constant tinkering with containers, the choice of the most anabolic products, and cooking will tire anyone. Success in building powerful muscles will be achieved by those who follow a diet for a set, and eat relatively healthy foods. At the same time, it is not necessary to go crazy and run after organic bulgur grown in the fields of a secret farm. Quite ordinary food is able to satisfy the body’s need for micronutrients and eliminate the need to take additional dietary supplements or clomid. It is only important to be able to combine it all, and not forget to eat during.

2 phases of nutrition in bodybuilding

In bodybuilding, judges evaluate not how a person trains in the gym, but his physical condition. In this regard, weightlifting and powerlifting are easier. No one looks at your abs, and does not assess the presence or absence of a fat layer. A bodybuilder is forced to adhere to a fairly strict nutrition plan for a whole year in order to stand on the competitive stage for only 5 minutes. But what is even more difficult is the path of an ordinary fitness player. “Healthy lifestyle” nicknames do not use the help of pharmacology, and must monitor nutrition even more strictly in order to look good all year round.

Nutrition in bodybuilding is a constant alternation of two phases:

A set of muscle mass. The athlete eats a lot, consumes an “excessive” amount of calories from the point of view of the needs of the layman, and a lot of protein to provide muscle growth with the necessary “fuel” and energy.

Fat burning. The athlete cuts the caloric content of the diet, but tries to maintain the amount of protein at the normal level or even higher. For at least 12 weeks, an athlete eats with a calorie deficit, eats a lot of protein and fiber, a normal amount of fat, and quite a few carbohydrates. This phase leads the practitioner to the very appearance that everyone envies. After the end of the “drying”, you need to stay on a maintenance calorie for a while and start a new set.

Bodybuilding nutrition plan – The need for calories and macronutrients

On average, a bodybuilder needs more calories and macronutrients than an ordinary person of his age with the same weight indicators. The fact is that training should be provided energetically, which means that the amount of carbohydrates on the mass set may be higher than the figures recommended for ordinary citizens. On the mass set, you need to eat about 15% more calories than in the normal state.

bodybuilding nutrition plan

Muscle growth is an energy-intensive process, in addition to the cost of training, it itself increases calorie consumption. If it is a plus for “drying”, then it is necessary to cover this difference on the “mass”. For example, if a bodybuilder normally has a calorie requirement of 3000 kcal, then you will need to eat 3450 kcal on weight.

What to eat and what to avoid

General recommendations for the organization of a diet for human health sound like this:

  1. Avoid “processed” food with a low content of vitamins and minerals, choose whole grains instead of cereals, natural meat and fish instead of sliced and sausages, whole eggs instead of powder, and whole-grain pasta instead of instant noodles;
  2. Give up saturated hydrogenated fats. Say a firm “no” to margarine, rapeseed and soy oil and products from them, as these oils contain too much omega-6;
  3. Do not consume more than 10% of the daily calorie content with sugar and fructose. Take into account everything, including maltodextrin contained in gainers;
  4. Eat regularly, let the volume of portions be reasonable, you do not need to get up from the table with a weight. If you can’t “eat all the calories” with this condition, use a reasonable amount of gainer.

This is how the lists of bodybuilding products should look like:

  • Meat, fish and poultry – lean beef and pork steaks, lean pork tenderloin, chicken and turkey breasts, salmon, cod, tilapia, chicken thighs from farm chickens;
  • Dairy products – low–fat cottage cheese and yogurt with natural lactobacilli, skimmed milk, cheeses (limited);
  • Cereals – buckwheat, oatmeal, bulgur, pearl barley, bread from wholegrain flour, as well as pasta from it, soba, quince, rice, popcorn without butter, sauces, sugar;
  • Fruits – oranges, melons, apples, berries, pears, peaches, grapes;
  • Vegetables – all kinds, especially green leafy and broccoli;
  • Starchy vegetables – sweet potatoes and potatoes, green peas, milk ripeness corn;
  • Legumes – chickpeas, beans, green and ordinary peas, lentils, ordinary and red, white beans;
  • Vegetable oils – olive and avocado; Saturated fats – natural unsalted butter or ghee.

Foods to avoid – bodybuilding nutrition plan

  1. Alcohol. The same US FDA guides imply that a woman can drink 0.33 beer, or a glass of wine, or 1 shot of a strong drink, and a man can drink twice as much. But we must remember that alcohol can significantly affect recovery, and its use can contribute to slowing down protein synthesis, so it should be excluded during serious preparation;
  2. Sugar in foods and dishes. Cookies are better to bake at home, pies and casseroles too, wholegrain flour and a calorie-free sweetener based on stevia will be much more useful than a sweet supplement from ordinary sugar. A small amount of simple carbohydrates before and after exercise is useful, but it should be obtained from allowed grapes and peaches, not sugar. So it will be easier to gain the right amount of calories;
  3. Foods fried in fat. When heated, even the most useful oils turn into a potential source of inflammatory processes in the body. This slows down the recovery in bodybuilding, and is quite harmful to health. Therefore, it is better to eat fried fish and meat minimally. It is worth carefully reading the composition of nut pastes. They should not contain saturated hydrogenated fats.


Bodybuilding nutrition plan is a combination of mainly complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and full-fledged protein sources. Each meal should contain about 30 g of protein, or slightly less. It is better to stick to a fractional style of nutrition, if there are no problems with the pancreas, and use the most natural products. Nutrition for a set or drying is not a “diet” with a meal schedule, they are given in the article simply as an example of a varied diet. It is important to observe the number of calories, and stick to the right amount of portions, and at the same time try to eat as diverse as possible.

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