Bodybuilding is centered around building your body’s muscles through weightlifting and nutrition.
Whether recreational or competitive, bodybuilding is often referred to as a lifestyle, as it involves both the time you spend in and outside the gym.
In order to maximize your results from the gym, you must focus on your diet, as eating the wrong foods can be detrimental to your bodybuilding goals. So we bring you the best diet plan for Gym beginners.
This article explains what to eat and avoid on a bodybuilding diet and provides a one-week sample menu. You can also check the Complete Workout guide for Beginners.
Bodybuilding differs from powerlifting or Olympic lifting in that it’s judged on a competitor’s physical appearance rather than physical strength.
As such, bodybuilders aspire to develop and maintain a well-balanced, lean and muscular physique.
To do this, many bodybuilders start with an off-season followed by an in-season way of eating — referred to as a bulking and cutting phase, respectively.
Benefits of Bodybuilding
There are several health benefits associated with bodybuilding.
In order to maintain and build muscles, bodybuilders exercise frequently, performing both resistance and aerobic training.
Resistance training increases muscle strength and size. Muscle strength is highly correlated with a lower risk of dying from cancer, heart and kidney disease, as well as several other critical illnesses.
Aerobic exercise, which bodybuilders regularly implement to reduce body fat, improves heart health and significantly lowers your risk of developing or dying from heart disease — the number one killer in America.
In addition to exercise, bodybuilders also focus on their nutrition.
With careful planning, bodybuilders can eat in a way that not only supports their efforts in the gym but keeps them healthy too.
Following a healthy eating pattern, including nutrient-dense foods from all food groups in appropriate amounts, can significantly lower your risk of chronic diseases.
Foods to Focus On
- Meats, poultry and fish: Sirloin steak, ground beef, pork tenderloin, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia and cod.
- Dairy: Yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat milk and cheese.
- Grains: Bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn and rice.
- Fruits: Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, watermelon and berries.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, green peas, green lima beans and cassava.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, peppers and mushrooms.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds.
- Beans and legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans.
- Oils: Olive oil, flaxseed oil and avocado oil.
Food to avoid
- Alcohol: Alcohol can negatively affect your ability to build muscle and lose fat, especially if you consume it in excess .
- Added sugars: These offer plenty of calories but few nutrients. Foods high in added sugars include candy, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, cake and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda.
- Deep-fried foods: These may promote inflammation and — when consumed in excess — disease. Examples include fried fish, french fries, onion rings, chicken strips and cheese curds .
In addition to limiting these, you may also want to avoid certain foods before going to the gym that can slow digestion and cause stomach upset during your workout.
- High-fat foods: High-fat meats, buttery foods and heavy sauces or creams.
- High-fiber foods: Beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
- Carbonated beverages: Sparkling water or diet soda.
best Diet plan for gym beginners
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and oatmeal.
- Snack: Low-fat cottage cheese with blueberries.
- Lunch: Venison burger, white rice and broccoli.
- Snack: Protein shake and a banana.
- Dinner: Salmon, quinoa and asparagus.
- Breakfast: Protein pancakes with light-syrup, peanut butter and raspberries.
- Snack: Hard-boiled eggs and an apple.
- Lunch: Sirloin steak, sweet potato and spinach salad with vinaigrette.
- Snack: Protein shake and walnuts.
- Dinner: Ground turkey and marinara sauce over pasta.
- Breakfast: Chicken sausage with egg and roasted potatoes.
- Snack: Greek yogurt and almonds.
- Lunch: Turkey breast, basmati rice and mushrooms.
- Snack: Protein shake and grapes.
- Dinner: Mackerel, brown rice and salad leaves with vinaigrette.
- Breakfast: Ground turkey, egg, cheese and salsa in a whole-grain tortilla.
- Snack: Yogurt with granola.
- Lunch: Chicken breast, baked potato, sour cream and broccoli.
- Snack: Protein shake and mixed berries.
- Dinner: Stir-fry with chicken, egg, brown rice, broccoli, peas and carrots.
- Breakfast: Blueberries, strawberries and vanilla Greek yogurt on overnight oats.
- Snack: Jerky and mixed nuts.
- Lunch: Tilapia fillets with lime juice, black and pinto beans and seasonal veggies.
- Snack: Protein shake and watermelon.
- Dinner: Ground beef with corn, brown rice, green peas and green beans.
- Breakfast: Ground turkey and egg with corn, bell peppers, cheese and salsa.
- Snack: Can of tuna with crackers.
- Lunch: Tilapia fillet, potato wedges and bell peppers.
- Snack: Protein shake and pear.
- Dinner: Diced beef with rice, black beans, bell peppers, cheese and pico de gallo.
- Breakfast: Eggs sunny-side up and avocado toast.
- Snack: Protein balls and almond butter.
- Lunch: Pork tenderloin slices with roasted garlic potatoes and green beans.
- Snack: Protein shake and strawberries.
- Dinner: Turkey meatballs, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese over pasta.
Bodybuilding is judged on muscularity and leanness rather than athletic performance.
Achieving the desired bodybuilder look requires regular exercise and special attention to your diet.
Bodybuilding dieting is typically divided into bulking and cutting phases, during which your calorie intake will change while your macronutrient ratio remains the same.
Your diet should include nutrient-dense foods, 20–30 grams of protein with each meal and snack which is provided in our Diet Plan for Gym Beginners. Also you should restrict alcohol and deep-fried or high-sugar foods.
This ensures you get all the important nutrients your body needs for building muscle and overall health.