An ideal gym diet plan helps you keep tabs on the calories you burn and the nutrients you consume. With this comprehensive and easy to follow gym diet plan, you can strike the perfect balance between your meals and exercise regime. Learn how adequate physical activity and nutritious gym diet food complement each other.

Pack on muscles with this easy-to-follow gym diet plan

A deciding factor in exercise is the diet one opts for during the training period. It would have little meaning to burn calories when you do not keep a tab on the calories and nutrients consumed through food.

It is necessary to strike a balance between exercise and diet, for food and working out to go hand in hand. Follow along for an effective gym diet that can help you make wise food choices and double the impact of the time you spend lifting weights and running on the treadmill.

What must I include in my gym diet?

The best diet for the gym must include the following:

  • Carbohydrates provide energy. These can be obtained from cereals like oats, wheat flour, and ragi which are used in chapatis, dosas, and nutrient-dense cookies. 
  • High protein foods help repair and heal the tissues that would be subjected to wear and tear during exercise. It thus necessitates the addition of eggs, fish, milk, amaranth, quinoa and pulses like rajma and chickpeas to gym meals.
  • Moderate amounts of healthy fats like omega 3 and omega 6 can help in recovery and soothe inflammation. This can be achieved by including fish like mackerel and salmon, and nuts such as walnuts and almonds. You can also eat avocados or use olive oil to increase the intake of good fats as they are all gym healthy foods.
  • Fibre is also an essential part of the gym food list in order to provide satiety and a feeling of fullness and to control one's appetite. Examples include whole grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
  • Water is an essential nutrient that must be consumed in adequate quantities while exercising to control dehydration.

Nutrient Breakdown:

Your body's caloric requirement can be calculated from the amount of macronutrients you must eat per day based on body weight.

  1. A diet of 25 to 35 kcal per kg per day, or about 1800 to 2400 calories per day, will likely be sufficient for a recreational gym goer because caloric expenditure demands from exercise are not large (i.e., 200 to 400 kcal/session).
  2. However, for someone who is involved in moderate levels of exercise training for longer durations like 2 to 3 hours/day or multiple times a week (5 to 6 times/week), or high-intensity power or resistance training of 3 to 6 hours/day that includes high-intensity or high-volume training multiple times per week (5 to 6 times/week) he/she can burn 600 to 1200 or more kcal/hour of exercise.

Gym Diet Plan

A balanced diet filled with nutrition is paramount when it comes to determining the best foods for gym. The following is a list of some essential gym foods you can include in your menu when hitting the gym. Assuming you train in the evenings after work, this is what your gym diet food chart may look like,although this is just a sample suggestion and a healthcare professional needs to be approached for individual and specific needs:

  • Breakfast: As the first meal of the day, breakfast should not be missed. After a night of fasting, breakfast fuels your body with the essential nutrients and boosts performance. Breakfast options for gym-goers include Vegetables Mixed Flour Cheela with Mint Chutney or Cheese Paneer Paratha with Mint Coriander Chutney along with a glass of milk.
  • Mid-Morning: Dividing meals into smaller quantities is a wiser option than consuming three large meals throughout the day. You can sneak in a snack at break time like a  Chicken Tikka Sandwich, Scrambled Egg and Avocado Toast, or a Quinoa Tortilla along with some fruit.
  • Lunch: Since protein needs are high during exercise, you could eat Methi Khichdi, or Veg Malabari along with a serving of chicken breast/ fish/ egg fry and a bowl of salad.
  • Pre-Workout: This meal can be light and easy, but shouldn’t be skipped as research suggests carbohydrates before a meal can enhance exercise performance. Keep it simple with berries added to yoghurt or peel and pop a banana!
  • During Workout: Stay hydrated so you can finish the goals set for the day. You could do so by drinking tender coconut water rich with electrolytes, or drinking caffeine/ beetroot juice, as there is some evidence saying it can bolster activity.
  • Post-Workout: Concentrate on taking in protein, as there is an anabolic window immediately after exercise – the period where the body initiates the repair of damaged tissue. Milk enhanced with a tablespoon of powdered nuts including pistachios, almonds, cashews and ground seeds like sunflower and flaxseeds can do great wonders!
  • Dinner: Include options like Shahi Paneer with Multigrain Chapatti or Mixed vegetable Dal with Brown Rice along with a cup of salted yoghurt.
  • Bed – Time: You could drink a glass of mango smoothie or oatmeal with strawberry before going to bed!


Keeping oneself active and engaging in regular exercise is proven to help manage several diseases. But the maximum benefits from exercise can only be reaped when accompanied by the right nutrition. After all, adequate physical activity and a nutritious diet plan are dependent corners of the lifestyle triangle! Pick up some of the gym healthy foods suggested above and come up with a gym food menu suited to your needs.