Bodybuilding Diet For Women | Your Comprehensive Guide

The best bodybuilding diet for women to build muscle

woman bodybuilder diet showing a woman sitting and eating a health meal looking lean and muscular

It’s one thing knowing how to lift weights and build muscle for women, but, it’s another ball game altogether when deciding which bodybuilding diet for women is the best for you.

If you want to lose weight, and build solid muscle in all the right areas, your diet must be on-point!

Lucky for you, you’ve stumbled on the best diet, and nutrition guidelines that’s been designed for female bodybuilders.

But first, let’s look into macros, counting calories, and meal prep. So without delay, let’s get into it!


bodybuilder diet for women showing a woman eating a tuna salad

MACROS

Proteins

It’s one of the most important macros when it comes to building muscle – protein, the ‘no 1’ macro for female bodybuilders.

Protein helps to rebuild damaged muscles, balances blood sugar levels, improves cognitive function, and provides essential amino acids for health and vitality.

You could say it’s a miracle macro!

Amino Acids In Protein:

In protein, there’s what’s known as ‘amino acids.’ It’s these amino acids that make up complete proteins.

A complete protein contains all 9 essential amino acids. These amino acids are called:

Essential Amino Acids

Essential Amino Acidmg/g of Protein
Tryptophan7
Threonine27
Isoleucine25
Leucine55
Lysine51
Methionine+Cystine25
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine47
Valine32
Histidine18

Now that we know what amino acids are, let’s look into what foods contain all of these amino acids.

By knowing which foods contain all of the essential amino acids, you’ll be sure you’re feeding your muscles in the most optimum way.

Proteins That Contain All Amino Acids

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, whey)
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Hemp and chia seed
  • Spirulina

woman eating a bananna and drinking water after exercise

Carbs

If you’re looking to build extra muscle, or you need fuel for your workouts, either way, you will benefit form adding carbs into your diet.

The best choices of carbohydrates and from whole foods, more specifically, from complex carbohydrates.

The best sources of complex carbohydrates:

  • Sweet potato
  • Whole meal bread
  • Whole meal pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Butternut squash
  • Multi grain cereals
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Pumpkin

Simple Carbohydrates

It’s also worth mentioning simple, and more easily digested carbohydrates. Such as fruit, white rice, white pasta, and white potatoes.

The simple sugars in some of these foods can cause weight gain if not eaten correctly.

Overall, they should be limited around your workouts, as they’ll supply the body with a quick fuel source to boost you through your sessions, and replenish muscles.

Having simple sugars/carbs around your workouts, will also help you to avoid any unwanted fat gain.

Simple Carbohydrate choices:

  • Fruit
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • White potatoes
  • Fruit juices
  • Sports drinks

bodybuilding woman standing next to a picture of nuts

Fats

Fats have gotten a bad rep in recent years, but people are now starting to recognize the overall benefits of this essential macro.

Fats regulate hormones, repair muscles, provide energy to the brain, lowers the risks of heart desease, and much more.

However, not all fats are created equal, let’s run through the different types of fats…

Saturated fat

Saturated fat, is mostly solid at room temperature. It mainly comes from animal sources such as cheese, steak, and eggs etc.

Unsaturated fat

On the other hand, unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Most unsaturated fats come form plant sources such as nuts, seeds, and vegetables etc.

  • Monounsaturated fat: You’ll find this fat in nuts, and vegetable oils, such as avocado, olives, and peanut oils.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: This type of fat comes from vegetables such as, sunflower, sesame, soybean etc.

Polyunsaturated fats are also known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Trans fat

This is a fat that you must have in limited amounts, as it has been through a process called hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation increases the shelf life of fats. This makes the fat harder at room temperature, and also, more difficult to digest.

The best choices of fats:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Salmon
  • Small amounts of red meat
  • Olives / Olive oils
  • Avocados

best bodybuilding diet for women counting showing a woman reading a food label

Counting Calories

Okay, so now you know what the best type of macros you should be looking into. Let’s now run through how you can easily count your calories, for the best bodybuilding diet for women.

Counting calories doesn’t have to be a huge chore, it can be a simple task.

BMR: This is known as your BMR (basil metabolic rate) the rate at which you burn calories while at rest.

As everyone is unique, with different lifestyles, and training goals, we can’t give you an exact number – this is something you’ll have to work out yourself.

However, we can give you the tools to work it out. Follow the simple calculation below to calculate your calories.

TIP! This is just a rough guide, you’ll need to figure out how many calories you burn each day, in order to adequately give your body the right amount of calories to support new muscle growth and repair. 

How To Count Calories:

This calculation is supplied by the ‘World Health Organization‘ (WHO). They developed an equation for estimating energy needs in the 1980’s.

Results are based on a woman weighing 156 lbs.

  • Age 18 to 29 years = 14.7 x (Weight in kg 156 ) + 496 = 2,789 calories
  • Age 30 to 60 years = 8.7 x (Weight in kg 156 ) + 829 = 2,186 calories
  • Age over 60 years = 10.5 x (Weight in kg 156 ) + 596 = 2,234 calories

woman bodybuilder doing meal prep

Meal Prep

Now you know how many calories you need, and what foods you should be eating, we can move onto meal prep!

An easy way to meal prep is by having multiple containers the same size. You’ll then cook your food in bulk, weight out each ingredient, then add it to your food containers.

If you have cooked too much, then don’t worry, you can always freeze it for later in the week.

How To Meal Prep:

  • Use multiple containers
  • Bulk cook food
  • Freeze for convenience

woman bodybuilder sitting eating food from her meal prep

Bodybuilding Meal Plan For Women

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, a full eating plan for female bodybuilders:

You can adapt this program as you wish, but, to make things easier for everyone, we’ve used the most common foods that all bodybuilder use to build, and maintain lean muscle.

Meal 1 – Breakfast 

  • Oats
  • Fruit
  • Nuts

Meal 2 – Mid Morning Snack 

  • Whole egg
  • Banana

Meal 3 – Lunch 

  • Whole wheat chicken sandwich
  • Fruit
  • Salad

Meal 4 – Pre Workout 

  • Dates
  • Seeds

Meal 5 – Post Workout 

  • Brown rice
  • Chicken/fish/beef
  • Green vegetables

Meal 6 – Post Bed Snack 

  • Yogurt/Cottage cheese
  • Fruit

female weightlifter training in the gym training obliques

Conclusion

There you have it ladies, a comprehensive look at the best bodybuilding diet for women. If you stick as close to this as you possibly can, you will reach your goals in no time!

Bear in mind, this is just a rough guide, you can choose whichever foods you like the most on this plan, and remove those ones you don’t.

However, keep in mind everything we’ve discussed here, and try to follow these tried and tested rules on bodybuilding nutrition.

With all said and done, the only thing to do now is go out there and get prepping!


 

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