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Calisthenics Meal Plan
Do you want to devise the perfect calisthenics meal plan so you can achieve your fitness goals and get the physique you’ve always dreamed of? If so, the first thing you need to understand is that consistency and determination is everything. Although it may be difficult to find a meal plan for your bodyweight fitness goals, a positive attitude will ultimately be essential in your success.
Excuses are lame. Regardless of what your reasons may be. Time, money, family, school, age, gender, height, upbringing, and whether you are fat or skinny. You need to recognize these excuses and face them. Nothing really restrains you from sticking to the calisthenics meal plan you want, other than yourself and your attitude.
Take action every day, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. Your journey will build your character through adversity This is part of the process. But now you know that the power is in your own hands. Use it to take control of your health and body. Let’s go over the basics of a calisthenics diet so that you can create your bodyweight fitness diet plan and get in the best shape of your life!
Dietary Basics – The Fundamentals
Before we dive into the diet plan, let us first understand the absolute basics of nutrition. This will be the bare minimum and it won’t be complicated. Keep reading on and don’t be discouraged if you are uncertain about some things. Be open-minded and remember that the journey is the reward. You will learn the fundamental diet terminologies and their roles in your health:
- Protein (amino acids)
- Carbohydrates (sugar)
- Fats (lipids)
A calorie is a unit that can be used to measure energy in the same way that a pound/kilo is a unit that is used to measure weight, just the same way that a centimeter, meter, or foot is used to measure length. To function as a human, your body requires energy, and that is why we eat food – To gain energy. Food is energy, however, some foods contain more energy in them than others.
The body has to acquire calories in order to obtain energy, and there are three different kinds of nutrients:
- Carbohydrates (our main source of energy)
- Proteins (for growth, repair, and good health)
- Fats (contains essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce. It protects our organs, support cell growth, and help body absorbs vital nutrients)
For example, sweet potato is mainly made up of carbohydrates, as well as being low in fat and protein, per 100 grams. Whereas an egg has a good amount of protein and fat, but has little or no carbohydrates, per 100 grams. Each food contains a different amount of calories in them, depending on the make-up of macro the food consist of.
Build Muscle or Lose Fat
When it comes to muscle building or fat loss, you would consume a certain amount of each component of macronutrient to achieve your goals. For example, to build muscle, you must intake a high amount of protein because it contains amino acids, which are the building blocks used for muscle growth.
If you consume only sweet potatoes (which are made up of carbohydrates) to cover all the calories needed, you won’t be able to build muscle because you are missing vital building blocks of protein to help repair and maintain muscle tissue.
Conversely, if you intake foods that contain high levels of fat and carbohydrate, you could get fatter than needed, even if you meet the protein requirement. While, if your diet is high in protein and carbs, but low in fat, you could “deprive your body of what it needs most”, says Vasanti Malik, a research scientist at Havard. Lack of vital hormones could cause your health to suffer.
As you can see, you will need to consume calories from macronutrients that will help you to achieve your goal (that isn’t fizzy drinks, sugary sweets, and candy bars).
Much like calisthenics exercises, a calisthenics diet is pretty straightforward. It is very flexible and can be easily modified based on fitness goals. There is no cheat code for this, but rather, some basic suggestions that you should follow. If you’re eating the correct stuff, there’s no need for you to weigh your food. Below are some diet recommendations to complement your calisthenics workouts:
Prioritize Protein Intake
When you practice calisthenics you will provide high levels of tension on your body for your body to overcome movements in training. For example, executing perfect reps when doing pull ups, dips, push ups, and squats (these are the calisthenics fundamentals). This means that you should consume whole foods like lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, beans and legumes, salmon, tofu, eggs, etc.
Protein helps repair and build lean muscle after exercise. This will increase muscle mass and strength which is essential for progressing in calisthenics. The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests intaking a sufficient amount of protein provides your body with amino acids it requires to repair and reconstruct these proteins. A meta-analysis conducted in 2018 suggests that intaking approximately 0.73 to 1 gram per pound of body weight is optimal for muscle growth.
Eliminate Junk Food
You should treat your body like a sports car and fuel it like one. When you go to pump your supercar at the gas station, you’d use the premium fuel to keep it in good condition for it to run optimally. Your body is like those supercars, it has the capability to do amazing things, and one of the biggest things that your body is missing is premium fuel for your engine.
Eliminate junk, processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates (empty carbs). This includes candy bars, sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks, sweet juices, processed food as these can affect your exercise performance by exhausting your energy, undermining your metabolism, and inducing any unnecessary weight gain.
Fuel your body with rubbish, you are going to feel rubbish. Fuel your body with premium fuel, and you are going to feel like a million-dollar Lamborghini.
According to the United States Geological Survey, around 60% of your body is made up of water and it plays a crucial role in your bodily function. Water is an essential substance to the life of every cell, it acts first as a building material. Your body can lose a lot of fluid when exercising through breathing and sweating.
If you don’t replenish this fluid back up, you can get dehydrated. This can affect your health and exercise performance. Going for a personal best record in diamond push ups? Well if you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel more tired quicker, and you won’t be able to manipulate your body temperature as well as normally.
Supplements Can Be Useful
Vitamins and minerals are crucial to helping your body advance and function as it should. While many people get all of what’s recommended (iron, calcium, vitamin D) by consuming healthy foods, others may need a little boost in nutrients and this is where supplements come in.
Supplements can be useful in physical activities. These goods may increase your strength, enhance your performance, increase lean muscle mass, and decrease fatigue. You should be getting the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthful and strong. However, if you think that you could benefit from extra supplementation, here are some that you could include in your diet.
- Creatine – Enhance exercise capacity and training adaptations. These adaptations enable individuals to increase training volume, which could lead to greater growth in lean mass and muscular strength and power. Intaking 2.5 to 5 grams per day can be effective.
- BCCAs – Known as Branched-Chain Amino Acids. This is a key component for protein synthesis. This increases muscle growth and helps decrease muscle soreness after workouts. A dose of 5g at least an hour before exercise can be effective.
- Multivitamins – These are supplements that contain a large range of vitamins and minerals. Our body needs 13 vitamins to maintain health and wellbeing.
|Meat, poultry, and fish (beef, chicken, fish, pork)
|Quinoa, couscous, brown rice, oats, bread, pasta, lentils
|Nuts and seeds
|Dairies such as milk and yogurt
|Fruits and vegetables
|Fish such as salmon
|Beans such as chickpeas, lentils
|Potatoes and sweet potatoes
|Vegetable oils, olive oil, and olives
|Soy and tofu
Calisthenics Meal Plan
If you were to follow the figures generated by your calculations using this guide, then you should have no problem with constructing the best diet for calisthenics. You will need to trust the process and be consistent. Also, you may need to make adjustments along the way.
Changing your physical body is never linear without any adaptations. Therefore, as your body weight changes, you’ll still need to continue to modify your caloric intake to achieve your fitness goals.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you could increase your energy expenditure by training at a higher intensity or by decreasing your calories intake. Whereas if you want to build muscle and increase strength, you should prioritize protein intake and decrease fat and carbs in your macronutrients. Below are meal options that you can try for a protein-rich calisthenics diet.
|Canned tuna with boiled eggs and salad
|Protein shake with a banana
|Grilled chicken with mixed vegetables
|3-4 egg omelets with spinach
|Hummus with vegetables
|Mixed beans goulash
|Cup of mixed nuts
|Salmon with mixed vegetables
|3-4 poached eggs with smoked salmon and avocados
|Greek yogurt with cinnamon and nuts
|Chicken with mixed vegetables and quinoa
|3-4 Hard-boiled eggs
|Spinach salad with quinoa
To determine your progress effectively, you should weigh yourself every 1-2 weeks and take progress photos. Do not weigh yourself every day as this is not healthy for your mind – It will drive you crazy and causes you to lose motivation! Your weight can fluctuate highly due to fluid changes in your body.
The Key Takeaways
- It will be difficult for you to achieve your goals if you don’t fuel your body with the right food
- Intake adequate protein to get the best possible results from your workouts
- Prioritize sleep and recovery
- Stay hydrated
Hopefully, this blog has given you some insight on how to manage and optimize your diet when it comes to losing fat or building muscle. A crucial factor is to incorporate a diet that is ideal for your calisthenics goals. This way, you’ll be able to stick with it in the long term and see progress during your workouts.
For those who are looking for a comprehensive step-by-step program that demonstrates to you how to properly manage your diet and train weeks on end to transform your body and achieve your goals, then book a consultation with one of our calisthenics diet coaches today!
I’m Pat Chadwick, a qualified Level 2 and Level 3 calisthenics coach and athlete from London, England, with six years of experience. I’ve competed in various UK competitions, including the Kalos Stenos Championships, where I achieved third place in the lightweight category. My passion is highlighting the beauty of calisthenics as an authentic and pure form of body expression. I believe that everyone has the potential to become a champion of their body and mind, and that calisthenics opens the door to personal empowerment.