7-day bodybuilding meal plan: Benefits, nutrition, and grocery list – Medical News Today
Bodybuilding involves developing muscle and improving physique through progressive weight training and intentional dietary changes.
Bodybuilders are interested in increasing the size of their muscles and improving their appearance, not just developing their overall strength.
A person can apply the same techniques of bodybuilding for their regular workout routines. People interested in growing muscle, whether for bodybuilding or general fitness, need to focus on challenging resistance training to trigger the development of larger muscles.
People can also consider the following three potential mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy:
In addition to workouts, bodybuilders need to focus on their diet. A good understanding of how foods affect their size and current goals is important for those looking to bulk up or lean out.
A bulk-up period can last several months to years. During this time, a person will consume a high calorie and protein-rich diet to grow as much muscle mass as possible.
During the lean-out stage, the person focuses on losing as much body fat as possible while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible.
Bodybuilding can yield several health benefits. One clear advantage comes from exercise frequently with aerobic and strength training sessions.
People often use aerobic exercise to lose body fat. According to a recent
Strength training also plays an important role in overall health. According to another
Although the review article
In developing their diet, bodybuilders will want to focus on healthful foods and nutrition. They should follow a healthful dietary eating plan that includes the foods they need to develop muscle mass safely.
According to the
To effectively gain muscle mass or reduce body fat, a person needs to focus on eating the right number of calories.
They also need to concentrate on their macronutrient consumption and eating strategy, or how many times they eat throughout the day.
The number of calories a person eats, combined with exercise, affects whether they will gain, lose, or maintain their current weight.
In order to bulk, bodybuilders should eat more calories than their body needs to maintain weight each day. Conversely, when preparing for a competition, they need to eat fewer calories than they need each day to lose fat while preserving muscle mass.
According to an older
A person should consult their doctor, certified fitness instructor, or dietitian for professional guidance on how many calories they need to eat daily. They can also try using a reputable
A person can then tailor their caloric intake based on whether they are in the bulking or leaning phase of their training.
Macronutrients, or macros, are three general types of nutrients that provide energy to a person. They are:
A person following a bodybuilding routine should base what they eat on a balance of these three macronutrient groups.
Various methods can determine how much of each macronutrient a person should consume. Here are a couple of approaches:
According to an older
A more recent
There is still debate about the number of meals a person should eat each day within the bodybuilding community.
A bodybuilder can choose from many different foods when preparing their meal plan across the week. In general, they should focus on foods that provide adequate calories and nutrients.
During the cutting phase, it is desirable for a bodybuilder to feel fuller on a given amount of calories. However, they may struggle with the opposite problem during the bulking phase. This is because they may need to continue eating to hit high calorie intake goals, despite possibly feeling full.
Proteins should make up a portion of a bodybuilding diet.
Sources should include lean proteins, including:
A person who is bodybuilding needs carbs to provide additional energy during workouts.
They can include the following as examples:
Fats are the third macronutrient people need to focus on in their diet.
Health-promoting fats include:
A person should note that many foods provide more than one macronutrient. For example, nuts can provide both fat and protein.
A person’s specific needs for each food will vary based on their size and daily calorie requirements.
Eating plans will vary from person to person based on biological gender, size, and goals.
Additionally, different coaches and nutritionists may make varying recommendations based on whether the person following a bodybuilding meal plan is trying to cut excess body fat or build lean muscle mass.
According to a study in the
The most abundant macronutrient in the bodybuilder’s diet plan across all phases was carbohydrates from fruit, whole grains, and vegetables.
The same study states that protein from white meats, dairy, nuts, and seafood was the second most abundant macronutrient in a bodybuilder’s diet.
The study notes that bodybuilders ate fewer red meats and eggs, though they still received protein from those sources.
Portions will vary from person to person. For portion recommendations, a person should calculate their own macro needs or consult a certified nutritionist.
Here is a sample 7-day meal plan for bodybuilding.
Supplements can play an important role in providing nutrients to a bodybuilder.
According to a recent
There is some debate about whether protein shakes are necessary for bodybuilding.
Protein shakes can help people who cannot get all the protein they need from their daily diet. A person may want to avoid shakes with excessive added sugar unless it is consistent with their nutritional needs.
When choosing any supplement, a person should note that the regulation of the supplement industry by the
They should also seek advice from their doctor or nutritionist when choosing a supplement or shake.
There are some risks associated with bodybuilding.
One risk is overtraining, which could lead to injury or even illness. Some experts recommend taking a rest day every 7–10 days to ensure their muscles have a chance to recover fully. A person may also wish to avoid overworking the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Another risk of bodybuilding is that some participants may have body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.
A bodybuilding meal plan should consist of healthful fats, proteins, and carbs. A person should plan to eat between three and six times a day and adjust their total caloric count based on whether trying to bulk up or lean out.
A person should talk to their doctor or a certified fitness professional before starting a bodybuilding routine or meal plan for the first time. That way, they can get additional information on how to implement a new program safely.
Last medically reviewed on December 22, 2020
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