How Do Bodybuilders Build Muscle With Diet?

A healthy bodybuilding diet is necessary if you want to achieve bodybuilding gains quickly. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced level bodybuilder, you need to have a carefully structured daily meal plan that is designed to meet your peculiar bodybuilding goals.

This muscle diet plan will consider many factors including your age, current health status, body mass index (BMI), workout plan, bodybuilding goals amongst other key considerations.

For muscle building, you will need to have a diet that is rich in protein, one of the three macronutrients necessary for promoting protein synthesis, muscle growth and repair.

In this post, we highlight the required diet for bodybuilding, a food list and our seven day meal plan for building muscle mass fast.

Diet for Bodybuilding


When running a bulking training program you need to accomplish two things. The first is to build muscle mass and the second is to shed body fat. To achieve both bodybuilding objectives, you need to engage in strength training and eat healthy. Eating proper simply means having a muscle diet plan that has been carefully drawn up.

This plan should ensure that you consume the right amounts of macronutrients and calories that will see you gain skeletal muscle mass while maintaining or losing body fat as well. When looking to bulk up, your caloric intake needs to be high in order to maintain or exceed a target weight.

However, bodybuilders training for a competition would need to consume less calories than they normally would on a daily basis in order to maintain their skeletal muscle mass.

During strength training or your off-season, you should increase your daily caloric intake by as much as 15% while to lose body fat, you have to equally reduce your daily caloric intake by 15%.

Before you start up any meal plan, it would be advisable to consult your physician, dietician, and trainer. These professionals will be in the best position to guide you through the amount of calories you need to consume daily.


There are three macronutrients or macros, namely; proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Typically, your daily bodybuilding dietary plan will consist of meals that contain these three macros. The question lies with what percentage of carbs, proteins and fats you should eat daily in order to maintain or lose body fat and build muscle mass in the process.

One study suggests a percentage range for the caloric intake for all the three macros during your bulking program. This consumption rate is highlighted below;

  • Proteins: Between 25 to 30% of your daily calories should come from protein-rich foods like fish, lean beef, and beans
  • Carbohydrates: Between 55 to 60% calories should be derived from carbohydrate rich foods like brown rice, wheat bread, and quinoa
  • Fats: Between 15 to 20% of your daily calories should come from foods with healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and olive oil

Apart from having a daily muscle diet plan that consists of all three macros, your plan should also make provisions for a minimum of three meals per day.

Which Foods Are Best Included in Your Diet?

Your primary focus when choosing the meals you eat daily should be getting healthy foods that will provide you with your required nutrients and calories. When it comes to meeting your macronutrient demands, the foods below are widely considered as the best to consider for a healthy bodybuilding diet.


The best protein-rich foods you should include in your muscle diet plan are:

  • Chicken or turkey breasts
  •  Legumes and beans
  •  Eggs
  •  Fish
  •  Lean beef
  • Yogurt

Protein is essential for building muscle mass as well as repairing damaged skeletal muscles by promoting protein synthesis in your muscle tissues.


The carbs you consume will provide you with the energy needed to complete your high-interval intensity training (HIIT) sessions. Some of the best foods for your daily carbohydrate requirement include:

  • Whole grain
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereals
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Starchy veggies like Irish or sweet potatoes
  • Other veggies like broccoli, cucumbers, and leafy greens
  • Fruits like bananas, apples and oranges


It is important to include healthy fats in your diet, as they are just as important as the other two macros. Fats help to promote good brain and nervous system functions. Some healthy fats to consider including in your daily meal plan include:

  • Healthy oils like olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits like Avocado

When planning a healthy bodybuilding diet, you should note that there are many meals with combined macros. For example, nuts and seeds offer both proteins and healthy fats.

So as you plan your daily meals, you should be aware of the amount of macros calories derived from each food. This is important, as you want to maintain a caloric surplus if you are bulking, but with more emphasis on calories from protein rather than fats.

7 Day Muscle Diet Plan

First of all, this seven day muscle diet plan is only a sample. As mentioned already, you should consult with a nutritionist and/or experienced bodybuilding trainer to work out a healthy bodybuilding diet that works for you. This meal plan will take into account several factors including your age, gender, BMI, and bodybuilding goals.

Ultimately, your dietary plan will help provide you with the energy fuel needed for your daily training sessions while boosting protein synthesis during your rest days aiding muscle repair and growth.

Day 1 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal, stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, leafy greens, and asparagus plus scrambled eggs
  • Snack – Whey protein shake
  • Lunch – Baked potatoes (Irish or sweet), mixed green veggies plus grilled turkey or chicken breasts
  • Snack – Carrot sticks plus hard-boiled eggs
  • Dinner – Brown rice, green beans, and broiled salmon

Day 2 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Blueberry pancakes
  • Snack – Fruit snack like almonds and apple slices
  • Lunch – Ground lean beef burger with green beans, onions, tomatoes and lettuce
  • Snack – Whey protein shake
  • Dinner – Brown rice with stir-fried shrimp, Spinach and bell pepper

Day 3 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Whole Grain granola, walnuts, almonds, fresh berries and Greek yogurt
  • Snack – Whey protein shake
  • Lunch – Grilled salmon, Spinach salad with broccoli
  • Snack – Omelette (egg white) with mushrooms and bell peppers
  • Dinner – Turkey or chicken breasts, Irish or sweet potatoes, fresh salsa and garden salad

Day 4 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs (egg whites), oatmeal with Blueberries
  • Snack – Celery and carrot sticks with chicken breasts
  • Lunch – Sirloin or T-bone steak, mushrooms and broccoli
  • Snack – Apple slices with natty nut butter
  • Dinner – Brown rice, broiled fish with garden salad

Day 5 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal with Whey protein shake
  • Snack – Hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers and sliced peppers
  • Lunch – Grilled turkey or chicken, green beans, mixed salad
  • Snack – Nuts, berries and Greek yogurt
  • Dinner – Grilled fish, green beans and quinoa

Day 6 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Ezekiel bread with cheese, scrambled eggs, tomatoes and peppers
  • Snack – Whey protein shake
  • Lunch – Grilled turkey or chicken breasts, black beans, bell peppers, romaine lettuce and onions
  • Snack – Almonds and apples
  • Dinner – T-bone or sirloin steak, Irish or sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus and celery sticks

Day 7 Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast – Whole grain granola, Greek yogurt with Blueberries
  • Snack – Chicken or turkey breasts, celery sticks and carrots
  • Lunch – Grilled turkey or chicken breasts, almonds, spinach plus strawberry slices
  • Snack – Whey protein shake
  • Dinner – Brown rice, stir-fried shrimps, broccoli, onions, snd peppers

Final Thoughts

Along with maintaining a daily dietary plan and eating healthy, you should also consider including supplementation. Supplements like creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, omega-3, caffeine and citrulline malate provide the body with the nutrients and vitamins to help your bulking program.

A healthy bodybuilding diet combined with supplements and a strength training program will see you achieve your muscle and strength building goals. However, don’t forget to chat with your nutritionist and coach before you start any bodybuilding program. You can get your specialised muscle diet plan from an experienced coach here today.

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