Bodybuilding is a demanding physical activity that requires a comprehensive diet plan to maximize results. One of the most critical components of a bodybuilding diet is the macronutrient ratios that it provides.

Macronutrients refer to the major nutrients that our bodies require, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A typical bodybuilding diet will prioritize protein and carbohydrates, while reducing fat intake.

According to several sources, bodybuilders should aim for 25-30% of their calories to come from protein, with 55-60% coming from carbohydrates and 15-20% from fat. However, the specific ratios may differ depending on individual needs and goals.

A beginner bodybuilder meal plan listed in one of the sources recommends a diet consisting of 2,500 calories, 218 grams of carbs, 218 grams of protein, and 83 grams of fat. However, it is important to note that this plan is based on a moderately active 150-pound male and can be adjusted based on individual requirements.

Another critical component of a bodybuilding diet is the timing of meals. It is recommended to consume protein and carbohydrates immediately after or within 30 minutes of completing a workout, with a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. While protein supplements can be useful, it is recommended to limit their use and obtain the required amount of quality protein from lean chicken, fish, soy, and other dietary sources.

Adequate hydration is also essential for bodybuilding, with sources recommending that bodybuilders consume at least half their body weight in water daily. Sugary drinks and diet sodas should be avoided, with a cheat meal once a week as an acceptable indulgence.

What is a 40 40 20 Meal Plan for Bodybuilding?

When it comes to bodybuilding, nutrition plays a vital role in achieving your desired physique. Among the various meal plans that bodybuilders follow, one of the most popular is the 40 40 20 meal plan. This plan is designed to help bodybuilders meet their macronutrient needs and maintain their weight, gain muscle, or lose weight, depending on their fitness goals.

So, what exactly is a 40 40 20 meal plan? The name itself provides a hint: the plan is divided into three macronutrient categories, with each category representing a percentage of your daily calorie intake. Specifically, the plan consists of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% fat. By adhering to this ratio, bodybuilders can make sure that they are consuming enough of each macronutrient to fuel their workouts and build muscle mass.

In terms of specific foods to focus on, bodybuilders can choose from a variety of options that fit within the 40 40 20 ratios. Meats like sirloin steak, ground beef, and chicken breast are all great sources of protein, while fish like salmon and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients.

Carbohydrate sources include sweet potatoes, rice, and other complex carbs, which provide sustained energy for workouts. Healthy fats, like those found in avocado and nuts, are also an essential part of the 40 40 20 meal plan.

It’s worth noting that the 40 40 20 meal plan is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The exact number of calories and macronutrient ratios required for optimal results will vary depending on factors like body weight, activity level, and fitness goals. As such, it’s important for bodybuilders to work with a registered dietitian or other qualified professional to tailor their meal plans to their individual needs.

To sum up, the 40 40 20 meal plan is a popular option for bodybuilders looking to fuel their workouts and achieve their desired physique. By dividing daily calorie intake into 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fat, bodybuilders can ensure they are getting enough of each macronutrient to support their goals.

With a variety of protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat sources to choose from, bodybuilders can customize the plan to their individual needs and preferences.

What Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle?

Building muscle requires a combination of strength training and proper nutrition. While it’s essential to consume enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, it’s equally important to avoid certain foods that can hinder your progress.

One of the main foods to avoid when building muscle is processed meats such as sausages, bacon, and deli meats. These meats are often high in sodium and unhealthy fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems. Instead, choose lean cuts of meat or nitrite-free sausages to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs without the added health risks.

Another food to avoid when building muscle is alcohol. While it may be tempting to indulge in a drink after a tough workout, alcohol can negatively affect your ability to build muscle and lose fat. It can also dehydrate you and interfere with your sleep, both of which are crucial for muscle recovery and growth.

Bagels, pastries, and other refined carbohydrates are also foods to avoid when building muscle. These foods are typically high in sugar and calories, and they offer little in the way of nutrients that your body needs for muscle growth. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which provide your body with the energy it needs to perform during workouts and recover afterward.

In addition to these foods, it’s important to avoid anything that is high in added sugars or unhealthy fats. These include fast food, junk food, and sugary drinks, which can contribute to weight gain and interfere with your body’s ability to build muscle. Instead, choose whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide your body with the building blocks it needs to grow and repair muscle tissue.

Building muscle requires a combination of proper nutrition and strength training. By avoiding processed meats, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, you can ensure that your body has the nutrients it needs to build and repair muscle tissue. Incorporating whole, nutrient-dense foods into your diet can help you achieve your muscle-building goals and improve your overall health.

The Best Diet Plan for a Natural Bodybuilder

As a natural bodybuilder, determining the best diet plan for your body can be quite a challenging task. There are a number of factors to consider, including macronutrient distribution, calorie intake, and food choices. To help you navigate through this complex subject matter, we have compiled information from various sources to provide you with a comprehensive reply to your query.

Macronutrient Distribution

The ideal macronutrient distribution for a natural bodybuilder can vary depending on individual needs and goals. However, the sources we found generally agree on a distribution of 55-60% of calories from carbohydrates, 25-30% of calories from protein, and 15-20% of calories from fat. Another source suggests setting fats at 0.5 g per kilogram and carbs at 4-7 g per kilogram to optimize function, health, and performance.

Calorie Intake

Your calorie intake should be based on your individual energy needs, which can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, body composition, and activity level. A meal plan for a moderately active 150-pound male was found to be at 2,500 calories. However, the same source notes that this plan can be adjusted based on individual needs.

Food Choices

While the specific foods consumed can vary depending on personal preference, the focus should be on whole, nutrient-dense foods. Meats, poultry, and fish, such as sirloin steak, ground beef, chicken breast, and salmon, are good sources of protein. Additionally, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, along with a variety of vegetables, can provide the necessary energy and nutrients to fuel your workouts and promote muscle growth.

Workout Regimen

In addition to a proper diet, a workout regimen is crucial for natural bodybuilding. The sources we found suggest performing 5-7 exercises per workout and including barbell compound movements such as the bench press, squat, row, and deadlift at the beginning of your workout. It is important to note that top natural bodybuilders have high training volumes and frequencies, but beginners should start with lower volumes.

The best diet plan for a natural bodybuilder is one that focuses on whole, nutrient-dense foods with a macronutrient distribution of 55-60% carbohydrates, 25-30% protein, and 15-20% fat, or with fats at 0.5 g per kilogram and carbs at 4-7 g per kilogram. Additionally, a proper workout regimen should be followed to achieve the desired results.


The correct diet for bodybuilding emphasizes a high protein, high carbohydrate, low-fat diet, with proper meal timing, limited protein supplements, and adequate hydration. It is essential to tailor a bodybuilding diet plan to individual needs, including weight, height, and activity level, and consult with a nutritionist or trainer to achieve optimal results.