Updated: Nov 16, 2019
What Is The Bodybuilding Diet?
The Bodybuilding Diet, probably the most important aspect of any bodybuilding program.
Without proper nutrition your muscles simply will not grow, without proper meal planning and food choices you will not achieve your desired goal as quickly as you would with proper nutrition!
What Are Calories?
Calories are a form of energy measurement. 1 Calorie is the amount of energy required to heat up 1 Gram of water by 1°C.
Caloric Surplus & Caloric Deficit:
Calories are what your body use for energy, if you don’t acquire enough calories in a day to match or go over your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) then your body will have to acquire those calories from other sources inside the body.
This would be called a caloric deficit, in which the body metabolises (catabolism) itself to provide energy for its functions.
A caloric deficit is what is needed for your body to burn fat as energy - without the use of performance enhancing drugs.
This is done by finding out your TDEE and eating less than this amount of calories in your diet.
A calorie deficit is an effective way to reduce body fat, however it can actually cause muscle loss as a result.
A caloric surplus, the opposite of a caloric deficit, is a diet in which you acquire more calories than you expend in a day (over your TDEE).
This is how most people gain muscle, also known as a Bulking diet, an important part of any bodybuilding diet. You can get an in-depth guide on bulking here.
What Are Macronutrients (Macros):
Macro-nutrients are the specific nutrients needed in large quantities in your diet to survive, these are fats, protein and carbohydrates.
Each one has its own caloric energy rating:
Fats have 9 Calories per gram.
Protein has 4 Calories per gram.
Carbohydrates have 4 Calories per gram.
What Are Micronutrients:
Micro-nutrients are also an important part of the bodybuilding diet, they are the specific nutrients needed in small quantities within your diet in order to stay healthy, these are the vitamins, minerals and fibre found in most foods.
They are what is needed to maintain important functions of the body such as the immune system, cellular repair and growth and much more.
Micro-nutrients do not contain any calories and most are needed in trace amounts, they may be difficult to track but optimum amounts will help you perform your best.
Macro-nutrients should be acquired in different amounts, what this means is you should split your daily intake of calories between the 3 macro-nutrients.
There are lots of different ratios for macro-nutrients, in the our Bulking Guide we go much more in depth on this subject and even have 3 different macro ratios for the different body types.
This is a great guide if your serious about your bodybuilding diet and nutrition.
Most common ratio for bulking:
Most common ratio for cutting:
Cutting & Bulking Phase:
Generally 250-500 calories below your TDEE will result in steady decreases in body fat.
And anything over your TDEE will result in an increase in body weight, however, this could be an increase in both fat mass and muscle mass.
I recommend between 20-30 Calories per 1 lb of body weight for bulking and 10 Calories or less per 1 lb of body weight for cutting.
The foods you choose are important in your bodybuilding diet, be sure to check the nutrition labels of the foods and drinks you have and plan your food choices based on their calorie counts - and also their micro-nutrition content.
It may take time but it’s worth it! Of course there is also a lot more that happens biologically as a result of your diet, and it will change dramatically between people, but overall this will work for most people.
More In-Depth Information and Source: