Bodybuilding Foods: 7 Things To Eat (And To Avoid) For Fast Muscle Gain


by Adam Torkildson

Are you looking to hit the gym to cut out the extra fat in your belly? Or are you just aiming to lose extra pounds? Whether your purpose for going to the gym is competitive or recreational, one thing is certain: you need to have a bodybuilding diet plan.

It has always been said that bodybuilding is a lifestyle. Eating inappropriate foods can jeopardize your plan to build that muscle.

A proper bodybuilding diet can lead to a magnificent muscular physique. Read on to learn the bodybuilding foods one should eat and avoid for a leaner body.

The Basics of Bodybuilding

Before we focus on the bodybuilding diet, let’s first understand what bodybuilding entails. Traditionally, bodybuilding has been based on two phases: Bulking and Cutting stages.

The bulking phase is where the bodybuilder eats high-calorie foods while implementing weight lifting exercise.

It is advised that you eat 15% more calories than your normal calorie requirement in this phase. For example, if your normal body requirement is 3000 calories, then during this phase, you should consume around 3450 calories (3000×1.15). This enables you to build muscles and acquire the physique you want as a bodybuilder.

The second phase of bodybuilding is the Cutting stage, where the bodybuilder loses excess fat in the body, leaving the developed muscles. This stage involves eating food with slightly a few amounts of calories, preferably 15% less than your normal body requirement. If your normal body requirement is 3000, then you need to take in 2550 calories (3000×0.85). This will enable you to shed off the extra unwanted fat and retain the desired body muscles.

But how do you know the right amount of calories for your body? It's simple. Measure your weight throughout a week or a month. If your weight does not increase or reduce in that period, then you are taking the right amount of calories.

You see, bodybuilding is different from weightlifting in the sense that it is the physical appearance that is judged rather than personal strength. Therefore, the primary focus of bodybuilding is to build muscles rather than increasing your physical strength.

Bodybuilding Foods: 7 Things to Eat (And to Avoid) for Fast Muscle Gain

The bodybuilding diet is an integral part of achieving the desired muscle gain. Eating the right types of foods makes your body muscles healthier and stronger. The right types of food also help your muscles to heal rapidly after workouts. Below are 7 foods that you should include in your bodybuilding diet.

1. Fish, Meat, and Poultry

These foods offer a significant amount of proteins that are essential for bodybuilding. For red meat, consider ground beef, sirloin steak, and pork tenderloin. The chicken breast is a good option for poultry foods, whereas tilapia, cod, and salmon can be good fish supplements.

2. Dairy

Dairy foods can also be a good supplement for fat and proteins. Consider cheese, low-fat milk, and Yogurt. However, you should be careful when consuming dairy products. Don't over consume them, especially before going to the gym. Eating food-containing fats may lead to indigestion hence cause discomfort. 

3. Grains

Grains are essential bodybuilding foods as they offer the right amount of carbohydrates that are needed for workouts. Remember that when you are training in a gym, you need energy to burn the calories. Carbohydrates are the primary sources of this energy. Rice, bread, oatmeal, and cereal are some types of grains that you should include in your bodybuilding diet.

4. Fruits

These types of foods are important in maintaining your health and boosting immunity. Fruits are particularly important in the cutting phase of bodybuilders. During this phase, the body receives fewer calories; hence, the body immune system may be weakened. Fruits can help protect the body during this vulnerable period.

Fruits are also a great way to lose extra pounds. This is especially important in female bodybuilding to achieve a highly muscular body. Apples, Oranges, Watermelon, Bananas, and Pears, are some fruits that you should consider including in bodybuilding diet.

5. Vegetables

Like fruits, vegetables offer the body with a broad range of vitamins that it could use to fight diseases. As a bodybuilder, you do not want to have a weak immune system as this might force you to stay out of the gym for a while. Make sure to include vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, leafy green salads, and spinach in your diet.

6. Beans and Legumes

These foods are great for offering proteins and fibers that are essential in your body for two ways. First, the protein content of the beans and legumes is significant for muscle building. Second, these foods are also important for their fiber content, which helps in eliminating constipation. This will give you an easy time when training; hence, it is a step closer to achieving that lean body.

Example of beans and legumes that you should include in your bodybuilding diet plan include black beans, lentils, kidney beans, and Chickpeas. Nevertheless, you should not take large amounts of beans as they may lead to digestion problems.

7. Seeds, Nuts, and Oils

Bodybuilding requires a balance of all types of foods, including seeds, nuts, and oils. These types of foods are essential in giving the body extra nutrients that are required in building muscles. Oils, seeds, and nuts, for instance, contain omega-6 fats, which are important in providing energy. The fats contained in oils and seeds also support cell growth.

As a bodybuilder, you will want to build that body from the inside out. I suggest that you include olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil in your bodybuilding diet plan. For seeds and nuts, try including sunflower seeds, almonds and flax seeds in your diet.

However, foods to avoid in your bodybuilding diet include:

1. Alcohol

Alcohol limits the ability to your body to lose fats hence interferes with your bodybuilding plan.

2. Added Sugars

These are food with high-calorie content, but few nutrients. Avoid sugary foods such as candies and sugary drinks too.

3. Deep Fried Foods

Avoid deep-fried foods such as chicken strips and french fries as they promote inflammation.

4. High Fat Foods

High-fat foods such as buttery foods and high-fat meats limit your ability to shed off weight.

5. High-Fiber Foods

Fiber foods are good for digestion, but high-fiber foods can slow down your digestion.

6. Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks such as diet sodas and sparkling water can also slow down digestion hence limit your ability to exercise.

7. White Bread

This food may seem healthy but is not as healthy as you may think. White bread contains fructose that may tempt you to eat more carbs than you expected. As a result, you might find yourself gaining weight instead of losing.

Bodybuilding Diet

Bodybuilding foods are a great place to start when trying to get that leaner body. The foods that you consume play a pivotal role in achieving the physique that you desire.  For the best results, your diet needs a blend of different and nutritious foods.

Visit our FAQ section to learn more about bodybuilding. 




Adam Torkildson
Adam Torkildson

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