Whether leisure or competitive, bodybuilding is a position that requires both the time you devote on and off the gym; the reason for this is simple – when you’re trying to build muscle mass, what you consume is just as significant as working out in the gym.
Using a 7-day meal plan for muscle gain could become frustrating if you don’t get the logic behind building muscles. Additionally to the basics of bodybuilding, calorie, and macro requirements, this article glances at what to consume and what to avoid on a bodybuilding diet and gives a one-week sample menu.
Must Read: 1800 Calorie Meal Plan
In this article, I will discuss the 7-day meal plan for muscle gain, how many calories you need to build muscle, the ideal macro ratio for gaining power, what to eat and avoid on a bodybuilding diet, and some recipes with a power-packed conclusion.
This is Amreen; I hold a nutrition and health education diploma and possess excellent knowledge of health-related issues and their ultimate solution. Today I am discussing the 7-day meal plan for muscle gain after thoroughly researching the content through high-authority websites and discussing it with high-level health professionals and trainers.
Since I have been evolving in the current field since 2017, I have a vast knowledge of such trending health topics.
Table of Contents
- How Does Your Body Build Muscle?
- Number of Calories You Need To Build Muscle
- Ideal Macro Ratio for Gaining Muscle?
- What To Eat On The 7-Day Meal Plan For Muscle Gain
- Muscle Building Supplements
- What To Avoid On The Bodybuilding Diet
- Benefits of 7-Day Meal Plan For Muscle Gain
- Nutrition for Bodybuilding
- Number of Meals per Day
- Bodybuilding Supplements
- One-Week Sample Menu for Muscle Gain
- Points to Remember
- Tips For Building Muscle
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
How Does Your Body Build Muscle?
The method of muscle gain and fat loss are primarily due to an energy imbalance, meaning the calorie equation.
Running on a treadmill for an hour daily would not significantly make you gain muscle mass. Neither will lift weights alone. The real magic behind building muscle mass is a calorie surplus. A well-balanced diet and a practical exercise regimen are significant in gaining lean muscle mass.
Must Read: 2000 Calorie Meal Plan
High-intensity training and hard weight lifting could provide significant results in muscle gain, although, without the correct diet, it would not result in the body you require. In fact, without a balanced diet and sufficient calories, your hard workouts would be wasted on having no muscle at all.
Number of Calories You Need To Build Muscle
A 7-day meal plan for weight loss and muscle gain comprises two phases, the bulking and cutting phase:
This phase enables muscle gain and fat loss simultaneously. It continues anywhere from a few months to years, depending on factors like experience level, time to reach the desired goal, body weight, age, etc.
During your bulking phase, it’s suggested to increase your calorie consumption by 15%. For instance, if your maintenance calories are 2,500 per day, you must consume 2,875 calories per day (2,000 x 0.15 = 375) during your bulking phase.
After the bulking cycle has been accomplished, it becomes essential to burn the extra fat. The cutting phase is much lesser than the bulking phase, remaining anywhere from a few weeks to six months. Reducing calorie consumption by 15% is suggested during your cutting phase. For instance, if your maintenance calories are 2,500 per day, you must consume 2,125 calories per day (2,000 x 0.15 = 375) through your cutting phase.
Ideal Macro Ratio for Gaining Muscle?
Although your calorie consumption will differ at different levels of the muscle-building cycle, your macro ratio is likely to stay persistent. To gain muscle, it’s suggested that you get :
- 30–35% of calories from protein
- 55–60% of calories from carbs
- 15–20% of calories from fat
Let me take the sting out of this demanding process if you’ve mobilized the courage to squeeze your weight loss goal.
What To Eat On The 7-Day Meal Plan For Muscle Gain
Consuming the right foods in the suggested amounts contributes to your muscles with sufficient nutrients to retrieve from intense workouts and grow bigger. Some of the foods that must be present on your 7-day meal plan for lean muscle gain consist of:
Carbs are the chief source of energy for your body. They are necessary to propel you through high-intensity workouts and keep you going throughout the day.
Eat starchy carbohydrates like rice, pasta, and bread to build you with a sufficient amount of energy to train at a high intensity. Also, opt for starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and cassava.
This is the principal nutrient that holds up long-term muscle growth. It’s also satisfying enough to power you through the day without having to binge on unhealthy foods. Eat lean proteins such as lean beef, skinless chicken, fish, and turkey regularly to ensure your recovery from strenuous workouts.
All vegetables are good in nutrients and fiber that accelerate digestion, metabolism, and muscle development. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, watercress, and broccoli contain high amounts of iron, vitamin A and folate, which aid you recover from intense training. Vegetables also contain antioxidants that stop muscle damage and help muscle recovery.
Fiber is one of the essential nutrients for good digestion and fuel-effective workouts. Fiber slows digestion, provides your body with longer-lasting energy, repairs damaged cells, and keeps you feeling fuller for a long time, so you won’t feel like snacking when not in a training session. High-fiber foods include brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, beans, and legumes.
Healthy fats are essential for a balanced diet. They provide your body with energy, keep you full for longer and help in muscle recovery. Healthy fats consist of avocado, extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish, nuts like almonds and walnuts, and seeds like sunflower seeds.
Muscle Building Supplements
Taking supplements is vital if you’re following a training routine to help maximize your muscle-building efforts. Accessories consist of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make you healthy when training hard and enhance the rate at which you gain muscle mass. Some of the most popular bodybuilding supplements consist of:
- Whey Protein – is an easy way to increase your protein intake.
- Creatine – gives your muscles the energy required to perform an additional rep or two.
- Caffeine – reduces fatigue and enables you to work harder.
You could take a pre-workout supplement before every workout like whey protein mixed with creatine and essential amino acids to boost practical activities; during your training, have a BCAA supplement to stop muscle damage; and have a protein shake with essential amino acids, creatine, and glutamine after every workout.
Make sure to utilize the right amount of supplements suggested by your trainer to gain effective results without any detrimental side effects. Always consult any accessories with your healthcare provider, especially if you possess any medical conditions or are on any medications.
What To Avoid On The Bodybuilding Diet
The incorrect food or not having enough of the right ones could frustrate your bodybuilding efforts. Here are some foods you must limit or avoid altogether:
Consuming alcohol could enhance the rate at which you gain fat, making it difficult for you to build muscle mass. While pure alcohol could temporarily improve your mood and provide more energy, it’s not a great idea to consume alcohol while trying to put on lean mass.
Deep Fried Foods
Fried foods are packed with unhealthy fats, which could adversely affect your body. Fried foods don’t give your body the nutrients it requires to build muscle, and the excess amount of fat in them would make it difficult for you to lose weight.
Prevent adding sugar into your food as much as possible. Foods composed of added sugars are high in calories and relatively high in fat, making it impossible to gain lean mass.
Eat foods rich in protein, like skinless chicken, fish, and turkey, to help prevent muscle breakdown while following the bodybuilding diet.
Benefits of 7-Day Meal Plan For Muscle Gain
Bodybuilding could provide several health benefits. One clear advantage comes from exercising regularly with aerobic and strength training sessions.
People primarily use aerobic exercise to lose body fat. A recent review shows excellent evidence that regular exercise increases a person’s lifespan and helps prevent several chronic conditions and diseases.
Strength training also plays a vital role in overall health. According to another review, muscular strength decreases the risk of numerous mortality risk factors.
Although the review article highlights scientists are required to do more research on the subject, the benefit of strength training plays a significant role in keeping people healthy.
In developing their diet, bodybuilders want to focus on healthful foods and nutrition. They must follow a healthy diet plan that consists of the foods they need to build muscle mass safely.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adopting a nutrient-rich diet could also help reduce the hazard of developing health conditions that negatively affect a person’s quality of life and life expectancy.
Nutrition for Bodybuilding
To efficiently gain muscle mass or decrease body fat, a person must focus on eating the correct number of calories.
They must also concentrate on their macronutrient intake and eating strategy, or how many times they consume throughout the day.
The number of calories a person consumes, combined with exercise, impacts whether they will gain, lose, or maintain their current weight.
To bulk, bodybuilders must eat more calories than their body requires to maintain weight daily. In contrast, when preparing for a competition, they must eat fewer calories than they need each day to lose fat while preserving muscle mass.
According to an older review, a bodybuilder must increase their necessary caloric consumption by 15% during the off-season or bulk-up periods. To lose fat, they must eat 15% fewer calories than the number they regularly need to maintain their weight.
A person must consult their doctor, certified fitness instructor, or dietitian for professional instruction on how many calories they require to eat daily. They could also opt to use a reputable online calculator.
A person could then plan their caloric consumption based on whether they are in the bulking or leaning phase of their training.
Macronutrients, or macros, are three basic types of nutrients that give energy to a person. They are:
- carbohydrates or carbs
A person adopting a bodybuilding regimen must base what they eat on a balance of these three macronutrient groups.
Various methods could determine how much of each macronutrient a person must consume. Here are several approaches:
According to an older review, a person must eat the following percentages of each macro during both the bulking and leaning phase:
- 55–60% of calories from carbohydrates
- 25–30% of calories from protein
- 15–20% of calories from fat
A more recent review recommended the following distribution of macros:
- 2.3–3.1 grams per kilogram of lean body mass per day of protein
- 15–30% of calories from fat
- The remaining calories should come from carbohydrates.
Number of Meals per Day
There is still discussion about the number of meals a person must eat daily within the bodybuilding community.
One study suggests that a person could consume between three and six meals daily. It indicates the timing of meals and workouts does not affect retaining muscle or reducing fat.
Many bodybuilders consume dietary supplements, some of which are beneficial while others are not. The best bodybuilding supplements consist of:
- Whey protein: Having whey protein powder is an easy and convenient step to increase your protein consumption.
- Creatine: Creatine gives your muscles the energy required to perform an additional rep. While there are wide varieties of creatine, look for creatine monohydrate as it’s the most efficient. Caffeine: It reduces fatigue and enables you to work harder. It’s present in pre-workout supplements, coffee, or tea. A multivitamin and mineral supplement could be beneficial if you cut your calorie consumption to decrease body fat during the cutting phase.
One-Week Sample Menu for Muscle Gain
The diets of bodybuilders are mainly termed as restrictive, repetitive, and boring.
Traditional bodybuilding diets primarily consist of limited food selections and little variety among and inside food groups, which could cause an inadequate consumption of essential minerals and vitamins.
For this reason, it’s significant to include variety into the diet to ensure your nutritional requirements are met, especially during a cutting phase when you consume restricted calories.
Each meal and snack must contain 20–30 grams of protein to optimize muscle building. The food consumption will be much higher when you’re in a bulking phase than when you’re in a cutting phase.
You could enjoy the same foods in the cutting phase when bulking — just in lesser portions.
Here is a sample one-week bodybuilding menu:
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs along with mushrooms and oatmeal.
- Snack: Low-fat cottage cheese along with blueberries.
- Lunch: Venison burger, white rice with broccoli.
- Snack: Protein shake with a banana.
- Dinner: Salmon with quinoa and asparagus
- Breakfast: Protein pancakes, light syrup, peanut butter, and raspberries.
- Snack: Hard-boiled eggs with an apple.
- Lunch: Sirloin steak, spinach, sweet potato, salad with vinaigrette.
- Snack: Protein shake along with walnuts.
- Dinner: Ground turkey with marinara sauce with pasta
- Breakfast: Chicken sausage along with egg and roasted potatoes.
- Snack: Greek yogurt with almonds
- Lunch: Turkey breast with basmati rice and mushrooms
- Snack: Protein shake along with grapes.
- Dinner: Mackerel, brown rice, and salad leaves along with the vinaigrette
- Breakfast: Ground turkey, egg, cheese, and salsa wrapped in a whole-grain tortilla.
- Snack: Yogurt along with granola.
- Lunch: Chicken breast with baked potato, sour cream, and broccoli.
- Snack: Protein shake along with mixed berries.
- Dinner: Stir-fry with chicken, brown rice, egg, broccoli with peas and carrots
- Breakfast: Blueberries, strawberries, and vanilla Greek yogurt in overnight oats.
- Snack: Jerky, along with mixed nuts.
- Lunch: Tilapia filets with lime juice, black and pinto beans with seasonal veggies.
- Snack: Protein shake along with a watermelon.
- Dinner: Ground beef with corn, green beans, brown rice, and peas
- Breakfast: Ground turkey, egg with corn, bell peppers, cheese along with salsa.
- Snack: Can of tuna along with crackers.
- Lunch: Tilapia filet, potato wedges with bell peppers.
- Snack: Protein shake with a pear.
- Dinner: Diced beef with rice, black beans, bell peppers, cheese, and pico de gallo.
- Breakfast: Egg, along with avocado toast.
- Snack: Protein balls along with almond butter.
- Lunch: Pork tenderloin slices, roasted garlic potatoes, and green beans.
- Snack: Protein shake with strawberries.
- Dinner: Meatballs, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese with pasta.
Points to Remember
For the most part, bodybuilding is a passion linked with several health benefits, but there are some things to understand before starting bodybuilding.
Low Levels of Body Fat Can Negatively Impact Sleep and Mood
For a bodybuilding competition, competitors acquire deficient body fat levels, with men and women primarily earning body fat percentages of 5–10% and 10–15%, respectively.
Consequently, this could reduce your ability to function daily, negatively impact those around you and leave you more vulnerable to disease.
Hazard of Anabolic Steroid Use
Many, but not all, muscle-building supplements are promoted by bodybuilders who utilize performance-enhancing drugs, like anabolic steroids.
This deceives many bodybuilders into thinking they could achieve the same muscular look by having the advertised supplement.
In order, many bodybuilders, particularly those at the start of their journey, grow unrealistic expectations of what could be accomplished naturally, which could cause body dissatisfaction and eventually the desire to opt for anabolic steroids. Although, anabolic steroids are very unhealthy and connected to several hazards and side effects.
Additionally to being illegal to own in the US without a prescription, using anabolic steroids could enhance your risk of heart disease, reduce fertility and result in psychiatric and behavioral disorders such as depression.
1. Mighty Turkey Burgers Recipe
Prep time 10min Cooking time 15min
Calories 722 Protein 75g Carbs 45g Fat 27g
You likely didn’t expect to see burgers in this plan. The thing is, there’s nothing essentially wrong with a burger. The thing that’s damaging about how they’re usually served is the massive bun and significant portion of fries, which consist of a lot of calories but not much in the way of valuable nutrients. Prepare them like this, though, and you’ll be able to enjoy the taste while remaining on track with the goals.
Ingredients (serves one)
- 300g turkey mince
- 15g porridge oats
- An egg
- Quarter onion, finely diced
- Half tsp chili flakes
- 100g green beans
- One tbsp rapeseed oil
- A small portion of oven chips
- Put the sliced onion in a bit of rapeseed oil, then take it away from the pan and allow it to cool.
- Keep the turkey mince in a mixing bowl, then break an egg into the bowl and add the chili flakes and oats.
- Once the onions have cooled, add them to the mixture. Cover with salt and pepper and mix it so the ingredients are mixed evenly.
- Take out a small handful of the mixture and roll it into a compact ball in your hands, then keep the ball on a baking tray. With the palm of your hand, press the ball down so that it shapes a flat patty about 2.5cm thick. Repeat this method until you have utilized all of the mixtures.
- Roast the burgers for five to seven minutes, then turn and cook them for five minutes or until the patties are cooked through.
- Have it with the green beans and a small number of oven chips.
2. Tuna Salad Niçoise Recipe
Prep time 10min Cooking time 20min
Calories 520 Protein 50g Carbs 30g Fat 23g
This French classic, so easy to make, is loaded with flavor, protein, and lots of the micronutrients your body requires. There are quite a few components, but it doesn’t need any cooking skills –you need to toss them together and add the simple dressing.
Ingredients (serves one)
- One can of tuna, drained
- 200g new potatoes
- Two eggs, boiled
- Quarter red onion, sliced
- 100g green beans
- 100g cherry tomato
- Salad leaves
- Two tbsp rapeseed oil
- One tsp dijon mustard
- Five ml red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Boil the new potatoes and keep them cool down, then slice them in half.
- Steam the green beans, then keep them cool.
- Boil, shell, and quarter two eggs.
- Put the salad leaves in a bowl, then assemble the potatoes, eggs, tuna, green beans, onion, and tomato.
- To make the topping, mix the rapeseed oil, dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar and add it to the salad mix.
- Combine everything and cover with pepper and salt.
3. Power Prawn Curry Recipe
Prep time 5min Cooking time 25min
Calories 572 Protein 41g Carbs 83g Fat 7g
You possibly don’t automatically think of curry as a healthy food. That’s partly because many are made with liberal quantities of butter and cream and are often washed down with a few cups of lager. But many methods of making curries fit easily into how you’d like to consume them while following your New Body Plan. Even better, it’s also possible to prepare them in a way that’s both rapid and tastes excellent.
Ingredients (serves one)
- 150g king prawns
- Half onion, diced
- One garlic clove, crushed
- Two large tomatoes, chopped
- One tsp rapeseed oil
- Half tsp chili powder
- Half tsp coriander powder
- Half tsp ground cumin
- Half tsp turmeric
- One tsp curry paste
- 75g brown rice
- Warm the rapeseed oil in a pan and slice the onion. Put the onion in the pan and fry until golden brown. Put the garlic and decrease the heat.
- Put 100ml of water and simmer for about ten minutes.
- Put the chili, coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook for a further five minutes.
- Assemble the prawns and the curry paste and cook for another five minutes.
- Serve with the rice.
4. Chia Seed Power Pot Recipe
Prep time 5min Cooking time 2hr
This quick and straightforward recipe tastes like an easy-going treat but will aid you in acquiring your better-body goals. You could also prepare it in advance and keep it in the fridge. Chia seeds have become increasingly famous in recent years, and with good cause: they’re rich in fiber, which could help digestion and aid you feel full, while they are also loaded with a protein punch and are high in omega-three fatty acids, which will decrease post-workout inflammation.
Ingredients (serves one)
- 20g chia seeds
- 100ml coconut milk
- 10g clear honey
- 15g whey protein powder
- 50g frozen berries
- Put the coconut milk into a bowl.
- Now, add the chia seeds into the bowl and stir, so they combine well with the coconut milk.
- Put in the honey and whey protein powder and mix thoroughly to combine evenly.
- Keep the bowl in the fridge and let it sit for a couple of hours.
- When you’re ready to serve, dress it with frozen berries.
We’ve collected the ingredients from this meal plan for muscle gain and mentioned them below, including quantities where sensible. Although it’s unexpected, you’ll find the required amounts, so portion out what you need when you get home and freeze any excess to prevent unnecessary food waste.
Also, watch “best before” and “use by” dates on the fruit and veggies, so they don’t spoil before consuming them.
While your local supermarket could stock whey protein, you could often find a better value online.
Meat, fish, and dairy
- Bacon, lean smoked (six rashers)
- Beef jerky (100g)
- Cheddar cheese (110g)
- Chicken breast (750g)
- Eggs (23)
- Greek yogurt, low-fat (850g)
- Ham (50g)
- King prawns (150g)
- Milk, semi-skimmed (600ml)
- Pork chops 250g
- Roast beef (400g)
- Salmon filet (two)
- Smoked salmon (70g)
- Tuna (three cans)
- Turkey mince (300g)
- Brown rice (225g)
- Oven chips
- Porridge oats (15g)
- Wholemeal bread (one loaf)
Fruit and veg
- Apples (four)
- Avocado (two)
- Banana (five)
- Berries, frozen (350g)
- Broccoli (one head)
- Carrot (two)
- Cherry tomatoes (400g)
- Courgette (one)
- Garlic (one charge)
- Grapes (three handfuls)
- Grapefruit (one)
- Green beans (300g)
- Lemon (one)
- Lettuce (one small)
- Mushroom (small pack)
- New potatoes (400g)
- Onion (three)
- Oranges (two)
- Peppers (two)
- Potatoes (300g)
- Red onion (two)
- Rocket leaves
- Salad leaves
- Spring onion
- Brazil nuts (100g)
- Cashew nuts (25g)
- Chia seeds (25g)
- Chili flakes
- Chili powder
- Coconut milk (100ml)
- Coriander, ground
- Cumin, ground
- Curry paste
- Dark chocolate (50g)
- Gravy granules
- Ginger, ground
- Honey, clear
- Mayonnaise, low-fat
- Peanut butter (90g)
- Popcorn, salted (small bag)
- Pine nuts (10g)
- Rapeseed oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Rice cakes, salt and vinegar flavor (six)
- Soy sauce
- Tomato purée
- Veg stock cubes
- Whey protein powder (285g)
Tips For Building Muscle
A lot could be said about the correct diet for muscle gains. Although, your success eventually comes down to doing these things:
- Keep your diet lean
- Drink a lot of water each day
- Stay on track
- Go for a weekly cheat meal
- Click progress photos
- Have protein drinks and bars to curb cravings
A 7-day meal plan for muscle gain is fantastic, but knowing the basics of muscle building is equally significant. Once you do, you’ll remain lean and stay compatible. Your efforts would be rewarded with muscle gains and a toned body.
A proper bodybuilding diet is vital for gaining muscle mass. By following the steps and meal plan presented in this article, you will find a method to accomplish your fitness goals. Supplements must only be used for an additional energy boost, not as a substitute for real food.
Consume nutrient-rich foods to ensure the body receives all the vitamins and minerals for good muscle growth.
This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Question 1. What is the best meal plan to gain muscle?
Answer: The following food items help in gaining muscles:
Meats, poultry, and fish: Sirloin steak, pork tenderloin, venison, ground beef, chicken breast, cod, tilapia, and salmon.
Dairy: Yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk, and cottage cheese.
Grains: Bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, and popcorn.
Question 2. How can I build muscle in 7 days?
Answer: You can build muscle in 7 days by following the given steps:
Know the concept of hypertrophy
Focus on compound lifts.
Increase time under tension (AKA workout volume)
Have better sleep
Take about 20-25 grams of protein at every meal
Reach for casein before bed
Cut down stress
Don’t limit calories, just focus on whole foods
Question 3. How can I get 150g of protein a day?
Answer: You can get 150g of protein a day from the following sources:
Lentils (Green Moong)
Question 4. What foods build muscle quickly?
Answer: The following foods build muscle quickly:
Question 5. What kills muscle gains?
Answer: The following habits kill muscle gains:
Not Stretching or Cooling Down.
You add peanut butter to your post-workout shake
You don’t eat carbs post-workout
You eat heavy food after training
Question 6. What foods do bodybuilders avoid?
Answer: Bodybuilders must avoid the following foods:
High-fat foods: High-fat meats, buttery food items, and heavy creams or sauces
High-fiber foods: Beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. Carbonated beverages: Sparkling water or diet soda
Question 7. What are five bodybuilding foods?
Answer: The five bodybuilding foods are;
Question 8. What snacks are high in protein?
Answer: The following snacks are high in protein;
Greek yogurt parfait
Veggies and yogurt dip
Peanut butter celery sticks