Yes, sure you can. Most definitely. The reason for our 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 of around 3% to 5%.
This is incredibly lean.
Now, we know you may or may not have the goal of achieving that level of leanness, but you can rest assured that 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 work when it comes to getting that lean.
Below we will answer many of the top questions people 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 before 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 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 these 16 weeks, you should aim for between 1 and 3 pounds of fat loss per week.
Remember, bodybuilders are not so much concerned with total weight loss, they generally want to be bigger. They are far more concerned with fat loss, which reveals 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 claims 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 from 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 if you already have it, there are some cases where it may worsen it.
Will A Bodybuilding Diet Cause Constipation?
It sure can. Just like with any high-protein diet where carbohydrates are kept low, there is generally a lack of dietary fiber. Without adequate dietary fiber, the micro biome 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 effect is that the stools will become harder and more difficult to pass in general. This is because the fiber holds water in the stools, which softens them.
Bodybuilders often complain about how they suffer from constipation while dieting.
In most cases, they 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 high-fiber foods that they are supplementing to cover up for.
Can A Bodybuilding Style Diet Cause Acne?
Yes, it can. You will 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 causes fermentation, putrefaction, and rot, which show up as pimples, which is the body’s warning sign that something is amiss.
It can also be caused by the steroids required to be used to win a pro bodybuilding show, let alone Mr. Olympia (the top show in the world).
Yes, of course, most of the pros will deny their use. But let’s be real, you can’t weigh 330 pounds with a 4% body fat level at five feet ten inches tall. That’s just not possible naturally. However, those are 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 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 even more calories.
It’s just not practical when your tribe (back in the really old days) goes through feast and famine regularly.
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 is 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 before a bodybuilding show, you can’t even 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 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 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. Many other contributing factors are parts 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 to be as realistic as possible.
You can lose more weight if you’re doing 45 minutes to an hour and a half of cardiovascular training 6 days per week. And you can lose even faster if you’re also incorporating weight training.
How Much Weight Loss In One Month On A Bodybuilding Diet?
In the first week, expect to lose between 2 and 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, weight training.
If you’re doing all of these things right, you might get close to the 10 to 12-pound mark plus the water weight.
Be aware that as soon as you go back to eating carbs, the water weight will almost always come back. That’s one of the reasons we separated it 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. To ensure that you have enough calories to add lean tissue, you eat in a slight caloric surplus rather than a deficit.
This amount is 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 processed or packaged foods. If it comes in a natural wrapper like the skin on fruits and vegetables, then eat it. If it comes in a can, plastic, or box, then leave it alone. These natural foods will always be better for you and cheaper too.
If you eat meat, go to Costco and buy a 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, and eat rolled oats, not bread. Not only are these options far healthier, but they are also, 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 a man are identical. The main thing that separates us is the ratio of hormones, testosterone, and estrogen. We build muscles in the same way. A stimulus is provided that is strong enough for the body 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 muscle tissue and fat loss happen in 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 on 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 of 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 very popular because just focusing on one food for the last few days before a show makes it easier. Bodybuilders would literally just eat eggs for the last 3 days before a contest. For a whole host of reasons, we can’t condone or recommend this diet.
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.