For bodybuilders who are trying to cut, it’s important to eat the right amount of calories and the right distribution of carbs, fats, and protein to look your absolute best. To make this process easier, I’ve created a 1400-calorie meal plan that you can customize to help you achieve your physique goals.
But before you start following a 1400 calorie meal plan, you need to determine if it meal is appropriate for you, or if you will need more calories to reach your goals.
After reading this article you’ll learn:
- What a 1400 calorie meal plan is
- Who a 1400 calorie meal plan is for
- What foods you can eat on a 1400 calorie bodybuilding meal plan
- What foods to avoid on a 1400 calorie bodybuilding meal plan
Want to learn more about meal planning? Check out our complete guide on Beginner’s Guide To Bodybuilding Meal Prep.
What Is the 1400 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan?
A 1400 calorie bodybuilding meal plan is a template for you to follow to help you eat around 1400 calories with a macronutrient distribution of carbs, fats, and protein to support your bodybuilding goals.
It is only appropriate for those who are actively trying to lose weight and haven’t been successful at losing weight at higher calories. 1400 calories aren’t enough for most individuals to maintain or gain weight.
It’s important to note that 1400 calories aren’t enough calories to sustain long-term, so this meal plan is a short-term intervention to try and achieve weight loss.
After weight loss has been achieved or progress has stalled, it’s time to stop following the 1400 calorie meal plan and start reverse dieting.
The only people who should eat less than this 1400-calorie plan are those who are cutting to step on a bodybuilding stage in the next couple of weeks. Unless you’re in this position, there is no benefit in eating less than 1400 calories.
If you’re only maintaining your weight while eating 1400 calories, you absolutely need to reverse diet.
- If you’re eating 1400 calories a day and having trouble losing weight, check out Eating 1400 Calories Per Day & NOT Losing Weight (Why?).
What Foods to Eat on a 1400 Calorie Bodybuilding Diet?
When you’re on a 1400-calorie bodybuilding diet you will need to be strategic about where these calories are coming from, which is why you will need a combination of protein, carbs, and fat.
Protein is the most important nutrient that you’ll consume while bodybuilding because it helps you to retain or build muscle depending on what phase of training you’re in.
If you’re eating 1400 calories, you’re likely in a calorie deficit (eating less than your body requires for weight loss). In this case, protein will be necessary to retain your muscle mass.
Muscle costs your body energy. If you’re strength training and not eating enough protein, your body will have no use for your muscle and will burn it off for energy.
To ensure that you’re getting enough protein while eating 1400 calories, you should dedicate 35% of your calories to protein. This would be 490 calories, which you can convert into grams by dividing by 4 because protein has 4 calories per gram.
490 protein calories / 4 calories per gram = around 123 grams of protein per day
Some examples of quality protein sources are:
- Greek Yogurt
- Protein Powder
Carbohydrates are also important in your 1400 calorie bodybuilding diet because they’re your body’s preferred source of energy when you’re training.
If you’re not eating enough carbs, you won’t have enough energy to keep up with your training or cardio. If you don’t have enough energy to strength train, you could lose muscle mass.
If you don’t have enough energy to do cardio or even everyday activities, it will be harder to lose weight because you won’t be burning as many calories.
Although carbs are often demonized when you’re trying to lose weight, they serve an important role. Therefore, you just need to balance them with other nutrients so you are less likely to overconsume carbs.
Carbs can account for 35% of your 1400 calories, which would be 490 calories. Like protein, carbs have 4 calories per gram, so you would need to eat 123 grams of carbs per day.
Some examples of high-quality carbohydrates sources are:
- Whole grain bread
Fat will also play an important role in your 1400 calorie bodybuilding plan. It’s important for maintaining your hormonal health and cognitive function and helping you to absorb more nutrients from food.
The remaining 30% of your 1400 calories should be allocated to dietary fats, which would equal around 420 calories. The 420 fat calories can be divided by 9 because fats have 9 calories per gram.
420 fat calories / 9 calories per gram = around 47 grams of fat
Fats are higher in calories compared to carbs and protein, so the serving sizes of fats will always be smaller.
Some examples of high-quality fat sources are:
Related Article: My BMR Is 1400: How do I Lose Weight? (You can calculate your BMR using our BMR calculator.)
What Foods to Avoid On A 1400 Calorie Bodybuilding Diet?
There aren’t necessarily any foods you should avoid because everything can fit into a 1400-calorie plan. However, you should consume higher-calorie foods in moderation, and some calorically dense foods may not be worth it.
Foods that are higher in calories will take up too much of your daily intake and probably leave you hungry throughout the rest of the day. This includes foods that are either high in fats or foods that have a significant amount of both carbs and fats.
Examples of foods that are high in carbs and fats are:
1400 Calorie Bodybuilding Meal Plan
For the 1400 calorie bodybuilding meal plan below, there are 2 options for each meal that you can alternate between as desired. Regardless of how you mix and match the meals, each day will provide you with approximately 123 grams of protein, 123 grams of carbs, and 47 grams of fat.
|MEAL||NUTRITION||OPTION 1||OPTION 2|
|Breakfast||Calories - 345|
Protein - 30g
Carbs - 25g
Fat - 15g
|Greek Yogurt Bowl|
- 1 cup (285g) Greek yogurt
- ½ cup berries
- 1 oz mixed nuts
|Protein Smoothie |
- 1 ¼ cup frozen berries
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 cup almond milk
|Lunch||Calories - 370|
Protein - 30g
Carbs - 25g
Fat - 15g
- 4 oz ground turkey
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- ¼ cup corn
- ¼ cup black beans
- ¼ avocado
- ¼ cup salsa
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
|Greek Chicken Bowl |
- 4 oz chicken breast
- ½ cup shredded lettuce
- ¼ cup red onion
- 2 tbsp black olives
- ¼ cup feta
- ½ cup roasted potatoes
|Dinner||Calories - 450|
Protein - 35g
Carbs - 50g
Fat - 10g
|BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza|
- 1 pita
- 4 oz chicken
- ½ bell pepper
- ¼ cup onion
- 2 tbsp bbq sauce
- 1 oz cheese
- 3 ½ oz extra lean ground beef
- 1 ½ oz pasta
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
|Snacks 1||Calories - 175|
Protein - 25g
Carbs - 5g
Fat - 5g
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 cup almond milk
|Greek Yogurt Bowl |
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ½ scoop protein powder
|Snacks 2||Calories - 80|
Protein - 2g
Carbs - 10g
Fat - 5g
- 2 cups popcorn
|Snack Plate |
- ½ cup bell peppers
- ½ cup cucumber
- 2 tbsp hummus
How To Customize The 1400 Calorie Meal Plan
There are 3 ways to customize the 1400 calorie meal plan:
- Prioritize carbs before and after your workouts
- Swap out any food item for an equivalent
- Add your own sauces and spices
Prioritize Protein and Carbs Before & After Your Workouts
To customize this meal plan to complement your bodybuilding training, you can rearrange or adjust your meals so that you have more carbs before and after your workout.
With this meal plan, you’re getting all the nutrients that you need but you won’t be dialing in your nutrient timing unless you customize the plan to your workout schedule.
You should have a source of protein and a serving of carbs before and after your workout. If your workout times fall in between meals that are lowering in carbs and/or protein, you may want to shift them around.
Swap Out Any Food Item for an Equivalent
Another way that you can customize this 1400 calorie plan is to swap out any food that doesn’t appeal to you with an equivalent.
For example, you can swap extra lean ground beef for roast beef or spaghetti squash for zucchini.
Although the calorie content of these swaps won’t be identical, they will be similar enough to work as long as you keep the serving size the same.
This allows you to include the foods you like so you can enjoy your meals while still working towards your goals.
Add Your Own Sauces & Spices
You could also customize this 1400-calorie meal plan by adding your own seasonings and sauces to make it more enjoyable for very few calories.
Adding your own flavors to these meals and snacks can help you stick to the plan for as long as you need to reach your goals.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how you can customize a 1400 calorie meal plan for your individual needs, book a complimentary consultation with one of our nutrition coaches or registered dietitians.
Following a 1400 calorie meal plan should result in weight loss while bodybuilding, but it’s important to understand that eating 1400 calories isn’t sustainable long-term.
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About The Author
Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath. She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.