Female Bodybuilding Diet: Why People Fail and How To Make It Work

Female Bodybuilding Diet - Why People Fail and How To Make It Work

Losing fat while gaining muscle is a challenging task, but it becomes even more challenging when you are planning to enter a bikini competition.

Or when you only have 6 weeks more to go before the next summer beach trip…

If you are following a female bodybuilding diet to get that well-defined, well-toned muscles without getting huge like men do, it could pose major challenges when you are unaware of some important pointers.

And if you are not getting the results you want, such as gaining more muscle without gaining more fats, you could be doing something wrong.

Regardless, if that sounds like your situation, you are at the right place!

Here are 17 proven tips to follow if you are preparing for a beauty competition, bodybuilding contest, or if you just want to have well-toned muscles, and lean abs. Here goes…

1.  Know the Best Caloric Intake for You

Know the Best Caloric Intake for You

When you are in the process of gaining muscles, knowing the right number of calories is necessary to achieve the goals you want to achieve. Adjusting your macronutrient intake is necessary, depending on the intensity of the training that you plan to follow. While building muscle and losing fat is possible, it would be better to focus on just one goal. You can either aim for fat loss or muscle building.

Here’s how to determine your carb/protein ratio:

  • For Bodybuilding: For a female bodybuilder who wants to focus on body building, higher amounts of carbohydrates may be necessary. If you belong to this category, you need about 25 to 35 percent of protein and about 40 to 60 percent of carbs.
  • For Maintaining Weight: Moderate amounts of carbohydrate intake is necessary for maintenance and the protein intake is the same, but the carb intake is only 30 to 50 percent.
  • For Losing Weight: For those who want to focus on losing fat, their protein intake should be about 40 to 50 percent, while carbs are only 10 to 30 percent.

In any of these cases, your fat intake should not be lower than 15 percent. The body requires fat to function properly. A deficiency in essential fatty acids could lead to serious diseases, such as cancer.

2. How to Eat According to Your Gender

Eat According to Your GenderThere is a major difference between men and women when it comes to the bodybuilder’s diet. For one, women are better at burning fat than men. Given this information, women can operate at lower calories than their male counterparts. This is one reason why the recommended amount of calories for females is lower.

The reason behind this difference can be attributed to the presence of estrogen. This female hormone helps in improving the body’s ability to break down fats. In women, blood flow to the adipose tissue is also faster and this can assist in the breakdown of fats. While this may show that women have an edge when it comes to bodybuilding, there are other factors to consider.

This implies that women should follow diets specific to their gender. When following bodybuilding diets for any gender, it is best to stick to the lower spectrum. Either way, it is necessary to increase carb intake when bodybuilding does not yield the desired results.

3. Learn How to Make Caloric Surplus Work for You

For those who are focused on a female bodybuilding diet plan to build muscle, learning about the caloric surplus is a must. By taking in more calories than you burn, you will become more effective in losing fat.

If you have been a body builder for some time, you probably know how important it is to burn more calories than you consume. However, just creating this surplus is not enough. You also need to flex your muscles.

When you are gaining fat but you think you are targeting caloric surplus, then you might be eating too much. You need to stick to your portions since eating more will not lead to more muscles. It is also vital to remember that muscle growth is limited to about 10 to 15 pounds.

4. Go on a Temporary Bread and Dairy Ban

Bread and Dairy Ban

When your target is to gain more muscle, it is time to take out bread and dairy on your grocery list. These two items are great when you are trying to gain weight; however, when you are in a phase where you have to shed fat, these food items could compromise your efforts.

For the next three months, you need to prepare yourself for a ban on pastries and dairy. This includes all kinds of dairy products.

Most bodybuilders do not eat bread when they are training. Although the female figure competition diet does not ban bread and there are bodybuilders who eat this food. In most cases, however, bread is only eaten when a bodybuilder is following a high calorie diet or during the off season. If these competitors do eat bread, they only eat the whole grain variety which is the healthier kind of bread.

5. Never Underestimate the Need for Proper Hydration

Proper HydrationWater should be part of your diet especially when you are following intense female bodybuilding workouts. Optimal hydration can make you feel full longer and it does not contain added calories. Most beverages, even diet ones, contain calories and this could affect your overall caloric intake.

When you are a serious bodybuilder, you need to focus on staying hydrated, not just on eating the right foods. Thirst should not be your basis for drinking water. According to science, people only feel the need to drink when they have already lost about two percent of their body weight. By this time, you are already dehydrated.

If your workout is under 60 minutes, the best choice of drink would be water. You need to replenish the fluids in your body quickly since dehydration can affect performance.

6. Pick Nutrient Dense, High Fiber Carb Sources

fruits and vegetablesOne key to achieving the kind of body that you want is by getting the right amount of carbs in your diet. There are some people who hate carbs because it plays a huge role in gaining weight. However, it is also vital to acknowledge the importance of this macronutrient in your diet.

It is important to choose your carbs to get the most out of your diet. Be sure to reserve your carbs for fruits and vegetables. Since you will be eating more protein, consider your protein intake when calculating the correct number of carbs you can consume.

Stay away from starchy carbs as these will be full of empty calories. Instead, look for carbohydrates that are full of nutrients. If you plan to eat anything with a high-carb content, reserve that food for your post workout meal. The body will require the most amount of nutrients right after your workout. Since your fat burning ability is best at this time, consuming high carb meals would not undermine your bodybuilding effort.

7. Choose Lean Proteins

chicken breastsYou should add a source of lean protein. Your choices include cottage cheese, chicken breast, and the lean parts of beef or turkey at every meal. While there are a lot of lean protein sources, you need to avoid food sources that are high in fat.

Some of the best choices for you include egg whites. Compared to whole eggs, these are completely fat-free and also high in protein. This protein source is highly digestible, which makes this desirable for many bodybuilders.

Those who are not averse to consuming soybeans should also try eating tofu. The fat content of this meat substitute is so low that it will not hurt your diet. If you want real meat, you should try consuming turkey breast. This is a delicious food choice and it is a good source of protein.

8. Load Up on Essential Fats

peanut butterJust because you are trying to lose weight, that does not mean you have to eliminate all types of fat in your diet. Keep in mind that there are essential fatty acids that are necessary to maintain your body’s health. Aside from improving hormone production, essential fats will make it easier for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, K, E and D.

When choosing your fat sources, look for unsaturated fats. They can come from monounsaturated fats, as the type found in olive oil and peanut butter. This can help you add bulk while you are training.

Polyunsaturated fats are also another option for those who are into bodybuilding. These fats contain omega 3, and they are found in fish and sunflower seeds. This can help burn fat while you are training.

9. Increase Caloric Intake During the Off Season

best time to add bread to your dietWhen it is off-season, it is important to increase calorie intake, as it plays a vital role in muscle building. Bear in mind, you need to to drop carbs, calories, and fats, so you can lose fat after preparing for a bodybuilding contest. When you are not in an active competition, you can increase the number of calories in your diet. Remember, this is not a license to eat everything you want.

Since you are not bound for an active competition anytime soon, you can focus on bulking up. This is the best time to add bread to your diet if you really miss it; however, you still need to monitor your portions carefully.

10. Give in to Temptation, But Do Not Pig Out

Women bodybuilders are constantly watching their diets. This means the kind of food they consume is based on their current diet plan. When following a strict diet such as this, there could be a lot of foods that you cannot eat and it is easy to give in to temptation.

If you do succumb to a few unhealthy treats, keep them to a minimum — just enough to satisfy your cravings. As a rule, it is not a mortal sin to defy you eat some treats from time to time. While a few bites are acceptable, pigging out can ruin your diet.

11. An Effective Female Bodybuilding Diet Calculates Protein Intake

protein intakeProtein is one of the most controversial topics in the female bodybuilding diet. The most common belief is that a person should consume at least one gram of protein for each pound of body weight.

There are a lot of experts who argue with this, since there are many studies revealing that people will only need about 0.82 grams per pound of body weight. Anything more than that amount will not have any added benefit.

While there are different findings from scientific studies, beginners as well as people with high anabolic hormones could benefit from increasing their protein intake. While there is no exact science on which is the magic number for protein, make sure that you are eating from 0.82 to one gram.

Stick to what works for you. Keep in mind that results will differ from one individual to another.

12. Time Your Meals

time your mealsWomen’s bodybuilding requires dedication. If you want to hit your target and achieve the body that you have been wanting, you need to obsess over details. One of the most effective ways to improve your body’s ability to produce muscle in burn fat is to time your meals.

You should never underestimate your body’s ability to use up fat. Experts suggest that you need to fast for two hours before you train to get achieve the best results. There are also differing opinions on this issue but based on research, exercising on an empty stomach is more effective when you are trying to lose fat. However, if your focus is on muscle building, you need to eat before working out although you need to avoid food for the next two hours.

If you do not have calories to burn, your body could break down your muscles. This is also the same reason why you need to have a good post workout diet.

13. Low Carb Diets are Best for Muscle Building

muscle buildingA low carb diet for adding bulk is not too different from a diet for losing fat. The main difference between the two is the amount of calories you need to consume. Most bodybuilders decide to work on bulking up in between their shows.

Sticking to a diet that is low in calories is a great choice since it can keep you lean and muscular. It is necessary to stick to a diet that could maximize the number of carbs you are allowed to consume. This time, carbs that your body digests slowly would be the best picks.

14. Eat Low Calorie Veggies During the Cutting Phase

Low Calorie VeggiesThe cutting phase is essential in losing fat and decreasing your caloric intake is a major consideration. Processed foods should be out of your diet by this time. You need to focus on eating vegetables that contain lower amounts of calories.

Although fruits and vegetable as good choices, you should still choose what you eat with care. Celery is one of the veggies with the lowest calorie count. Cauliflower, mushrooms, and broccoli could also be a good choice.

You need to stick to the caloric intake budget that you have; hence, you need to stick to food with the lowest amount of calories.

15. Try to Snack with Care

Snack with CareJust because you are following a diet does not mean that you should stop snacking. There are still so much that you can eat, although you need to stick to a certain caloric intake. Fruit can be a good snack, as well as nuts, but make sure that they fit your daily food plan.

Snacks play a vital role in helping you achieve your goal since they can prevent hunger pangs. By choosing snack items that can help you stay full for a longer amount of time, your diet will not be too torturous.

16. Eat More Frequent, Smaller Meals

smaller mealsWhen you are dieting to build muscle while losing fat, you need to eat more than you usually do. Spacing out meals and eating five to six times a day would allow your body to burn fat more effectively.

If you are a stickler for three square meals, slowly transition to your new diet. For those who are under intense training, it is also vital to account for your training time. Planning pre-and post-workout meals is essential. There are varying opinions on this topic, but many bodybuilders opt for six or more small meals in a day.

17. Whole Foods Are Your Best Friend

whole foodsWhen you are into bodybuilding, the golden rule is to stay away from foods in a pack or in a box. Whether you are a man or a woman, processed food is not good for your physique. It would be better to prepare your food at home and pack your meals. Although there are food stops where you can buy food, you cannot be sure what goes into your food.

Preservatives, sodium and saturated fats could ruin your diet because they could induce cravings. Try to stick to whole and fresh foods as much as you can. If you eat bread, make sure that it is made from whole grains.


Muscles are made in the kitchen. The way you eat will have a huge impact on the results of your workouts. If you are trying to stick to a female bodybuilding diet, you should take note of these tips and see if they could solve your problems.

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