Yes, sure you can, most definitely. The reason we can say this with such confidence is that when a bodybuilder steps on stage, especially at the professional level, they are some of the leanest people on the planet. It’s not uncommon for them to have body fat levels around 3% to 5%.
This is incredibly lean.
Now, we know, you may or may not have the goal to achieve that levels of leanness, but you can rest assured it is possible on the bodybuilding diet.
Bodybuilders have tried virtually everything over the last few decades and honed it down to just a few things that actually work when it comes to getting that lean.
Below we will answer many of the top questions people just like you are asking all over the internet. Be sure to look at all of the sub-headlines because there will most likely be more than one topic that interests you.
But first we have to give you the disclaimer that lets you know the purpose of this content.
Disclaimer: The following is for educational purposes only. We are not advocating a change in dietary, health or exercise protocols. Please seek the advice or council of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to engaging in any dietary or exercise changes.
Now with that out of the way, without further ado, let’s answer those questions!
How Much Fat Can You Lose On A Bodybuilding Diet?
Almost as much as you want. Why would we say almost? Because the diet has you restricting carbohydrates and to some extent fat, you will be hard pressed to stay on this type of a diet all year round because it will be hard to get all the nutrients you’re missing from those carb and fat foods.
So, if you’re starting off wanting to lose a lot of weight, say 75 pounds or more, you’re not going to be able to stay on this diet long enough to lose all that weight without starting to compromise your health.
This diet is best used for no longer than 16 weeks at a time. Longer than this and you may start to show nutrient deficiencies that could affect your long-term health.
In fact, one study conducted on bodybuilders dieting to prepare for a show found that the majority of them were not getting all the nutrients needed to support optimal health
However, during this 16 weeks you should aim for between 1 and 3 pounds of fat loss per week.
Remember, bodybuilders are not concerned so much with total weight loss, they generally want to be bigger. They are far more concerned with fat loss which uncovers and displays the muscularity that they have worked so hard to build.
Will A Bodybuilding Diet Cause Kidney Damage?
There is no scientific evidence that supports the unsubstantiated clams that a high protein diet will cause kidney disease. If you already have kidney disease or kidney damage then yes, there is evidence that a high protein diet can exacerbate the condition.
However, this is far different than causing it.
So, according to all the data, studies and empirical evidence that we have been able to procure at the time of writing there is no evidence to support it causing it, but that if you already have it, there are some cases where it may worsen it.
Will A Bodybuilding Diet Cause Constipation?
It sure can. Just with any high protein diet where carbohydrates are kept low, there is generally a lack of dietary fiber. Without adequate dietary fiber the microbiome does not function well, the body may see even higher levels of cholesterol and food won’t pass through the digestive tract at optimal rates.
Another affect is that the stools in general will become harder and can become much more difficult to pass. This is because the fiber holds water into the stools which softens them.
Bodybuilders often complain about how they suffer from constipation while dieting.
They, in most cases, resort to a fiber supplement to help alleviate the challenge. This of course is not optimal because the fiber supplement is generally devoid of the nutrients that are found in the missing high fiber foods that they are supplementing to cover up for.
Can A Bodybuilding Style Diet Cause Acne?
Yes, it can. You will very often see professional bodybuilders with back or chest acne. This is generally due in part to the high protein diet causing food to transit the intestinal tract more slowly which cases fermentation, putrefaction and rot, that shows up as pimples, which is the bodies warning sign that something is amiss.
It can also be cause by the steroids required to be used to win a pro bodybuilding show let alone the Mr. Olympia (the top show in the world).
Yes, of course most all the pro’s will deny their use. But let’s be real, you can’t weigh 330 pounds with a 4% bodyfat level at five feet ten inches tall, that’s just not possible naturally. However, that is precisely the stated stats of one pro bodybuilder when he was competing for the Mr. Olympia title.
The human body is just not built to support that large an amount of lean tissue. It would have been counterproductive to the survival of our ancestors. That amount of tissue needs a crazy number of calories to support itself and then even small amounts of movement will burn eve more calories.
It’s just not practical when your tribe (back in the really old days) goes through feast and famine on a regular basis.
Can A Bodybuilding Diet Cause Excessive Gas?
Oh man, you better believe it… Whoa!!! The foods bodybuilders eat tend to cause copious amounts of gas anyway. But, when you put bodybuilders on a cutting diet, OMG, holy crap, they produce enough natural gas to make Exon(TM) blush.
The cause it that, generally they are taking in far more protein than their bodies can digest properly which then ferments in the gut and causes that foul smelling gas they keep spewing everywhere.
It gets so bad that just prior to a bodybuilding show you almost can’t step foot into a bodybuilding gym. Ok, that’s an overstatement, but you get the point.
We have personally seen it cause husbands and wives to have to sleep in separate rooms pre-contest.
Will A Bodybuilding Type Diet Cause High Cholesterol?
It can elevate cholesterol because in order to get that much protein in your diet the main source of protein that they are generally consuming is some form of meat and a whole lot of eggs.
Yes, with the eggs they will limit the number of yolks they eat. As an example, if you eat 8 eggs you might only have 2 or 3 yolks and the rest are the egg whites. The reason they don’t just eat only egg whites is that the yolk is required to make it a complete protein.
So, with all that meat-based protein and eggs in their diets, yes, they can elevate cholesterol.
However, do remember that cholesterol is just one part of the picture as far as heart disease goes. There are many other contributing factors that are part of the whole, such as sugar consumption, stress, smoking, exercise and several more.
How Much Weight Loss In 2 Weeks On A Bodybuilding Diet?
The amount of weight you can lose has many variables. However, with just a mild caloric deficit you will likely lose between 2 and 7 pounds of water and 1 to 3 pounds of fat. The reason that we broke this down is that, just like on most any lower carbohydrate diet you’ll lose some water weight the first week. And since your real goal is to lose fat, we separated that out to be as realistic as possible.
Now, if you’re doing 45 minutes to an hour and a half of cardiovascular training 6 days per week, then you may lose even more fat. If you’re also incorporating weight training, then you could lose weight even faster.
How Much Weight Loss In One Month On A Bodybuilding Diet?
The first week expect to lose between 2 to 7 pounds of water weight. Then, the amount of fat that you can lose will be based on many factors. But you should shoot for somewhere between 4 and 12 pounds of fat loss over the month.
Again, as cited above, the contributing factors will be, how large of a caloric deficit are you in, how much cardiovascular training are you doing and of course are you weight training?
If you’re doing all of these things right, then, you might get close to the 10 to 12 pound mark plus the water weight.
Do be aware that as soon as you go back to eating carbs that water weight will almost always come back. That’s one of the reasons we separated it out for you.
How Do Cutting And Bulking Bodybuilding Diets Differ?
For the most part, when bulking up you don’t restrict your carbs or fat except to be in alignment with your total caloric and macro goals. You eat in a slight caloric surplus instead of a deficit so that you have the calories needed to add lean tissue.
This amount is really not that much, say an extra 100 calories per day above maintenance is all that’s required.
Now, some guys do what’s called dirty bulking here they don’t care what garbage they eat, so long as it meets their macros. We cannot condone this behavior. You should eat a very well balanced, super nutritious diet that gives you all the nutrients your body needs for optimal health. Dirty bulking is for amateurs.
How To Do A Bodybuilding Diet On A Budget?
The easiest and coincidentally the healthiest way is to eat whole natural foods and stay completely away from any processed or packaged foods. If it comes in natures wrapper like the skin on fruits and vegetables, then eat it. If it comes in a can, plastic or a box, then leave it alone. These natural foods will always be better for you and cheaper too.
If you eat meat, then go to Costco and buy the big bag of frozen chicken breasts or chicken thighs. This will be one of your best bets on a cost per serving basis.
As for heavier carbs eat potatoes not pasta, eat rolled oats not bread. Not only are these options far healthier, they are, in most cases a fraction of the cost per serving.
Does The Bodybuilding Diet Work For Women?
Yes, of course it does. The muscle cells of a woman and man are identical. The main thing that separates us is the ratios of hormones testosterone and estrogen. We actually build muscle in exactly the same way. A stimulus is provided that is strong enough for the body to need to adapt to it. Then, our bodies build lean tissue to be able to be ready for the next stimulus of that nature and magnitude.
Yes, we are genetically and hormonally different, but the muscle tissue and fat loss happen in exactly the same way.
So, yes, a bodybuilding type of diet regime can be just as safe for women as it is for men.
Is A Bodybuilding Diet Only Chicken And Rice?
No, of course not, you can have water too. Just joking. Don’t worry, there are plenty of foods you can eat in this diet, here are just a few. Beef and broccoli, scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes, salmon and asparagus, trout and Chinese pea pods. The list if combinations is endless. There is absolutely no reason to eat just chicken and rice, unless of course you want to.
What Is The Bodybuilding Egg Diet?
This was mad popular because just focusing on one food for the last few days before a show makes it easier when you’re so depleted. Bodybuilders would literally just eat eggs for the last 3 days before a contest. We can’t condone or recommend this diet for a whole host of reasons.
Not the least of which is that you will likely have a case of Sulfur gas that could clear the auditorium you’re competing in. Then, you won’t have any of the nutrients your body needs for those days, and you’ll likely experience constipation.