A Real World Bodybuilding Diet

Chicken and Rice

Let’s take a look at a real world bodybuilding diet. Your first bodybuilding diet shouldn’t be hard to follow. In this Real-World Diet plan, we have boiled down advanced bodybuilding diets to their basic elements. This makes it possible for you to maintain a busy lifestyle and a budget and still make muscular gains. So, unlike the MTV show, which only pretends to take place in reality, this bodybuilding diet is something you can follow on a daily basis in the real world.

When professional bodybuilders aren’t complaining about their contest placings, they’re griping about the difficulties of their diets. Their rigorous dieting, taken to extremes, exposes every ridge and nodule in every muscle from their calves to their serrati to their trapeziuses. The goal of a first-time bodybuilding diet should be scaled back. A successful first nutritional plan should allow you to add muscle mass without dramatically increasing your bodyfat. Of course, it’s a given that you are already following a consistent and effective training program. Only in tandem with such a workout regimen will the dietary principles outlined here be productive.

Designing A Real World Bodybuilding Diet

In designing this plan, we’ve taken into account two factors that most bodybuilding diets don’t. Your time and your money. We know it’s unrealistic to expect a first-time dieter to channel loads of cash into supplements and expensive protein drinks. We also understand that many people want to spend minimal time preparing meals. Especially if they’re trying to maintain a busy real-world schedule.

Nonetheless, we don’t want to mislead you into believing that a bodybuilding diet takes no effort. There are two basic tenets of this diet program: You need to increase the number of meals you eat each day to five or six, and you need to increase the number of calories you consume, overall and from protein, each day.

That’s all there is to it. If you’re willing to eat more food and do so more often, this bodybuilding diet will allow you to put on muscle mass without taking over your life.

A Real World Bodybuilding Diet – Eat Quality Calories

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. It doesn’t matter how much or how well you train. You can’t add muscle mass without the calories and protein to support it. You needn’t drastically increase calorie consumption. Yet you must make a consistent effort to ingest 10-20% more calories on a daily basis. For instance, if you currently consume 2,500 calories, you should strive to take in about 3,000.

Increase your protein consumption and you feed your muscles rather than your fat stores. Emphasize adding foods high in protein. This includes eggs and meat.Choose protein over foods that are starchy, such as rice and potatoes. However, these complex carbohydrates help fuel your body for workouts. Don’t cut them from your diet. Your goal should be to eat an adequate supply of carbohydrates and protein. In both cases, think at least one gram per pound of bodyweight each day.

Increase Meal Frequency

The next step to a real world bodybuilding diet is to strive to eat six meals every day. Such a plan gives you several advantages in making bodybuilding gains and achieving your goals more easily. First, the inclination is to consume more calories when you eat more often.

Second, think about what happens when you eat protein six times a day versus three. You provide your body with a steadier stream of amino acids. That’s huge for a bodybuilder. In other words, over time you’ll see more benefits from eating six 30-gram servings of protein than you will from eating three 60-gram servings. The total protein is the same, but the efficiency of use is improved by taking it in more frequently.

A third advantage is that eating more meals increases your metabolic rate. This helps prevent fat storage of excess calories and facilitates the burning of fat that has already been stored.

A Day Eating A Real World Bodybuilding Diet

The Real-World Diet consists largely of whole foods. However, you can choose to add a protein drink or two to the meal plan. It’s important to go with whole food first, then supplements. But make no mistake, supplements have an important place in this, or any, program.

The items in this program are easy to prepare. Most of the meals can be fixed ahead of time, and you can take them with you in a small cooler. That way, even if your schedule calls for you to leave home early and be gone for much of the day, you’ll be able to provide your body with everything it needs to grow.

However, if you can’t make your meal, this is where a shake comes in. Just because you have a cooler doesn’t mean you have time to eat. If you have to go with a shake, go with a shake.

Real World Bodybuilding Diet – Prep

A sample menu for one day of the Real-World Diet is included on the bottom of this article. It’s not a prescriptive plan. You needn’t follow every meal to the letter. Feel free to make appropriate substitutions. That will add variety and make the diet more enjoyable and successful. For instance, if you prefer to eat whole-grain bread instead of oatmeal, that’s an acceptable complex-carb substitution. Similarly, lean pork can replace lean beef as an acceptable protein substitution. Don’t have time to fix a good breakfast in the morning? Cook some hard-boiled eggs the night before and substitute deli meat for bacon. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on breakfast. You need to get the protein and carbs in after a night of fasting. Bear in mind, a protein smoothie can work here. Add in fresh fruit, and the milk beverage of your choice, and your favorite protein powder.

Likewise, don’t neglect the post workout meal. It bears repeating.To achieve the gains you want, nutrition is as important as the time you spend in the gym.

A Real World Bodybuilding Diet – Tips

Busy lives and tight budgets don’t always allow for the ideal food choices listed in the Real-World Diet plan. Here are some additional ideas for eating in the real world without sabotaging your bodybuilding diet.

Fast Food

Honestly, this is where you’re better off with a protein shake, or a meal replacement shake, and possibly a protein bar. Still, fast food choices should include a high ratio of protein to carbs and fat. Simple meat entrées such as grilled chicken sandwiches or large burgers without sauces and mayonnaise reduce the negative impact of these foods. Try ordering two sandwiches, remove the bun from one and combine the patties to make one double-meat sandwich. Better yet, avoid fast food in the first place.

Vending Machines

This option is not ideal either. The problem here is most options in a machine are high sodium processed food. Here’s another reason to not be afraid of a protein shake and/or bar.

Convenience Stores

Often, these places carry boiled eggs, string cheese or bags of nuts and seeds. Most convenience stores also sell low- or nonfat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.


Order simply prepared meat dishes, with vegetables, plain baked potatoes or rice. Avoid sauces and dishes that consist mostly of starchy carbs, such as pasta. All sauces should be ordered on the side.


Even pro bodybuilders cheat. If you think you’re going to die if you don’t have a cookie, then have a cookie. When cheating, work to limit the number of calories you take in. Avoid all-or-nothing thinking: If I’m going to have a few Oreo cookies, I might as well eat the entire package. Also, keep in mind that if you’re a hardgainer, a few extra calories might be beneficial in helping you put on some size.


To save time and money, buy large packages of chicken breasts and cook several at once. Cooked chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for three or four days before it spoils. You can even prepare several sandwiches at the same time to eat over the course of a few days.

A Real World Bodybuilding Diet – Example


  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 4-5 scrambled eggs
  • 3-4 slices turkey bacon
  • Water And Coffee


  • 4-6 ounces peanuts, mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, trail mix, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Piece of fruit – apple, banana, orange, peach or raisins
  • Or, protein shake/bar
  • Water


  • 6-8 ounces turkey or chicken breast sandwich
  • Carrot sticks
  • 4-8 ounces cottage cheese
  • Water


Your favorite pre-workout


  • Protein drink with carbs


  • 8-10 ounces fish or lean red meat (steak or hamburger)
  • 1 cup rice or medium-sized baked potato
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Water


  • Peanut butter, deli meat or low-fat cheese
  • Protein shake/bar

This real world bodybuilding diet example can work for anyone. This is the type of eating plan you’ll need to follow if size and strength are your goals. Remember, it’s as much about eating as it is traning. Also, don’t forget quality supplements. As suggested, protein shakes and bars. Add a pre-workout, creatine, and your favorite muscle builders.

Visit Bodybuilding Supplements Store | I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com) for all your protein and supplement needs.

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