5 Best Bodybuilding Diets for Beginners

Bodybuilding is a great way to increase your strength as well as your overall health. In order to supplement your workouts, nutrition comes into play. The below five bodybuilding diets for beginners are a great way to get you started off right. Too often I hear of hopeful bodybuilders only focusing their attention on their workouts and not enough on their diet plan. In fact, what you do in the kitchen can be just as important as what you do in the gym. A diet plan supplements your body with adequate building blocks needed to have a successful workout. So if you are wondering why you cannot increase your bench press or squat, then take a look into your diet plan. To summarize, if you want to maximize your results in the gym, you must focus on your diet plan.

Can These Bodybuilding Diet Plans Work for Males and Females?

In short, YES! The common misconception with bodybuilding is that it is a male dominated activity or lifestyle. This misconception cannot be more incorrect, bodybuilding is simply for everyone and the below diet plans will help you get on your way no matter your gender. In fact, female bodybuilding is on track to become more searched on Google then male bodybuilding. The only tailoring that would need to be made is based on dietary restrictions.

Benefits of Bodybuilding

There are two main benefits that bodybuilding has, these two are improving bodily health and improving mental health. Bodybuilding improves your bodily health by decreasing the risk for coronary heart disease (one of the leading causes of death), reducing blood pressure, reducing obesity and high cholesterol. Furthermore, bodybuilding keeps your muscles strong and flexible.

Bodybuilding works great at improving mental health as well. The famous slogan is “healthy body, healthy mind”. It does this by having a significant effect on the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, bodybuilding can boost your self-esteem by helping to develop a positive self-image. There is few greater feelings that you will have once you start seeing some of your hard work pay off. As you progress, your self-image will grow and your confidence will follow in its wake.

Keep your body fit and your mind will stay healthy and fit as well.

The Importance of using Bodybuilding Diets for Beginners

When you are first learning what and what not to eat, it may seem like EVERYTHING is bad for you. Half the world is saying stay away from carbs, the other half is saying eat a ton of them. It can all be very confusing. This is why it is important to follow a diet plan that aligns with your goals. There are bodybuilding diet plans for cutting, for bulking, and others are a hybrid. I typically stick to diet plans that focus solely on optimal muscle gain instead of worrying about excessive macro tracking. Although, the diet plan I follow may not be the one for you. The one I use focuses on high protein, low carbs, and low fat. This type of diet plan is not optimal for those looking to bulk.

I suggest reading the below five best bodybuilding diets for beginners and finding the one that aligns well with your goals. After finding the right one, do a little more research into it. Find out which foods fit well into the plan and implement a weekly schedule to stick to.


5 Bodybuilding Diets for Beginners

1. Atkins Diet – Low-Carb, High Protein

The Atkins Diet is a low carb diet aimed at weight loss. This diet is ideal for those looking to cut while maintaining their protein intake. Many people have sworn to this diet plan because you are able to eat as much protein and fat as you want, as long as you avoid foods high in carbohydrates. Created by Dr. Robert Atkins, his diet has been studied endlessly and has been proven to lead to more weight loss than the average diet plan.

The reason why this is a great diet plan for bodybuilders is simple. Protein intake is crucial to the development and growth of muscles. This diet plan allows you to eat as much protein that is recommended for your body. Because of this, the Atkins Diet is the perfect cutting diet plan. In terms of aesthetics, low-carb diets are the holy grail. Healthline writes how “A large percentage of the fat lost on low-carb diets tends to be harmful abdominal fat that is known to cause serious metabolic problems.” Reducing abdominal fat will allow your six pack to peak through if that is one of your goals.


2. The Ornish Diet – Low-Fat Diet

Very low fat diets often contain 15% or less fat, low to moderate protein intake, and very high in carbohydrates. Some foods common in this diet plan include vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and moderate amounts of egg whites and nonfat dairy. Since this diet plan gained popularity in the 1980’s, it has gone through some changes as to what is acceptable to eat. For example, back when Low Fat Diets were becoming popular, everyone believed that all fats needed to be discarded. Over time, this has been proven wrong. There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Healthy fats like those found in avocados and olive oil are great for you. Unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats should be avoided when following this diet plan.

One downside to Ornish / low-fat diets is that they are often lower in protein. Since bodybuilders rely on protein to grow their muscles, it is advised to supplement a protein powder with this diet plan. Otherwise, many experts recommend including low-fat protein rich meals into your VLF diet plan. Foods high in protein help you feel full so the more the better. A Ornish diet is great for those looking to see some short-term weight loss fast. This diet plan is meant for the short term. Carrying out on this diet for an extended period of time is not advised since dietary fat is important for brain health and development.

bodybuilding diets for beginners

3. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is more of a method of eating then it is a specific meal plan. Although, I included intermittent fasting on this list because of the success that I have seen from this as well as many of my readers. Intermittent fasting allows you to more or less or what you want, the only caveat to this is the time you eat. The most popular method of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 rule. 16 hours a day you are fasting, yes this includes the time you are sleeping. 8 hours of the day is your “feeding” window. This 8 hours is where you pack all of your daily calories in. This is plenty of time to fit in 2-3 healthy meals.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are immense. One benefit is that intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories while slightly raising your metabolism. This makes it a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat especially. For bodybuilders, intermittent fasting has been proven to increase growth hormones, decrease cholesterol, less body inflammation, and increased fat loss. This is my personal favorite method to use with my muscle building meal plan.


4. South Beach Diet – Bodybuilding Diet Plan for Cutting

Created by Arthur Agatston, MD, this diet emphasizes sugar addiction riddance during the initiation phase. The South Beach diet is often called a modified low-carb diet. This diet is lower in carbohydrates, high in protein, and higher in healthy fats than a typical diet plan. After the initiation phase, there is a good variety of foods that you can choose from for your meals. One of the great things about this diet plan is its simplicity. You do not have to weigh your food, count carbs, or measure food. This is a simple and easy diet plan to follow and is intended for bodybuilders with little time to work on their diet plan.


If you are having trouble gaining weight, check out this article on 5 Ways to Gain Weight with a Fast Metabolism


5. The Anabolic Diet

The Anabolic diet is the most unique diet plan of the bunch. The main idea of this diet plan is to carb-deplete on the weekdays and carb-load on the weekends. This diet plan was created by world class powerlifter Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale and has been widely accepted by industry professionals. The Anabolic diet involves 5 days of high protein, high fat, low carbs and then two days of high carbs, moderate fat, and low protein.

There are three main phases to this diet plan. These phases are the induction phase, bulk phase, and cutting phase. The induction phase last 4 weeks and introduces your body to the macronutrient manipulation. The bulking phase is exactly how it sounds. The aim here is to eat 20-25 calories per pound of the desired body mass each day. The cutting phase is when you drop 500-1000 calories to a caloric deficit. If you would like to learn more about this bodybuilding diet plan, check out the linked article.


I hope you learned the best bodybuilding diets for beginners. The objective of this article is to introduce you to these diet plans, for you to decide which one is best for you. It is then up to you to research the desired diet plan thoroughly. Make sure that the diet plan is right for your body. Every diet plan is not meant for everybody. Thank you for reading!

Bodybuilding Diets for Beginners

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