What to Eat At Subway When Bulking or Cutting (6 Meals)

A lot of people looking to bulk or cut turn to convenient fast food options like Subway.  However, in order to achieve your fitness goals, there are certain options at Subway that are better than others if you have strict nutritional and caloric requirements.  

So what should you eat at Subway if you work out? If you are losing weight, a 6-inch sub or wrap will provide a high protein and moderate to a high-fat meal. If you are bulking, a 12-inch sub with double protein will provide a high protein and carbohydrate but moderate fat meal. 

In this article I will provide:

  • 3 meal options for what to eat at Subway to lose weight
  • 3 meal options for what to eat at Subway when bulking
  • My top 4 tips for eating at Subway both before and after your workout

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What To Eat at Subway To Lose Weight: 3 Meal Options  

Three 3 meal options to order at Subway to lose weight are:

 1. 400 Calorie Subway Meal Plan 

400 calorie weight loss subway meal plan
  • Order an oven-roasted chicken salad with double meat
  • Add tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers and olives
  • Add smokey honey mustard dressing
  • Add Monterey cheddar cheese
  • Add guacamole 

This meal has 400 calories, 35g of protein (35%), 18g of carbohydrates (18%) and 21g of fat (47%).

By ordering a salad, you are saving yourself 180 calories and 34g of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a quicker energy source so you won’t find the bread as filling for a longer period of time. This is an easy way to reduce total calories without missing out on nutrients or feeling hungry later.

By including chicken, cheese and guacamole, you are adding a full serving of protein and healthy fats to your meal. Fat has the opposite effect of carbohydrates so you will find yourself feeling full for much longer after the meal. Protein has a similar effect so they are helpful when you are eating less calories overall.

Customizations to this meal, that can further reduce the calories include:

  • Order without guacamole, this will reduce your meal by 70 calories and 6g of fat. 
  • Order without Monterey cheddar cheese, this will reduce your meal by 50 calories and 5g of fat.

If you are planning to eat this around a workout, removing the guacamole is recommended. This will keep the fat in your meal lower and provide you with more energy during your workout. Removing cheese also reduces the fat, it also reduces the protein. Protein is important around a workout therefore I recommend keeping it in. 

To further customize this meal for pre or post workout, order this meal as a 6 inch sub instead of a salad. This will provide you with the carbohydrates needed to provide you with sufficient energy throughout your workout.

2. 600 Calorie Subway Meal Plan

600 calorie weight loss subway meal plan
  • Order a 6-inch Chicken bacon ranch melt with double meat on multigrain bread
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onions, green pepper and cucumber 

This meal has 571 calories, 48g of protein (34%), 44g of carbohydrates (31%) and 23g of fat (35%). 

A chicken bacon ranch melt includes a relatively equal mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat. When losing weight and eating less calories, this equal mix of macronutrients helps to keep you full and satisfied for a longer period after you eat.

Customizations to this meal, that can further reduce the calories include:

  • Order without the ranch sauce, this will reduce your meal by 70 calories and 8g of fat.
  • Order without the bacon, this will reduce your meal by 70 calories and 6g of fat.

If this is your pre or post-workout meal, ordering without the ranch sauce is recommended as this will help to keep the total fat lower and keep your energy levels high throughout your workout. 

While you can also reduce the fat by removing bacon, that also lowers protein too which is important to include in a pre or post workout meal. Therefore I recommend keeping it in your order. 

3. 800 Calorie Subway Meal Plan

800 calorie weight loss subway meal plan
  • Order a large chicken caesar wrap with an additional ‘6-inch sub’ portion of chicken
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onions, green pepper and cucumber
  • Add 2 strips of bacon

A chicken caesar wrap includes a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat that are relatively even. When losing weight, and therefore eating less calories, this even mix is important to ensure you are feeling full and satisfied for the few hours after you eat. 

Adding bacon increasings the protein and fat in your meal. Both of these macros help to give you that full feeling, for a longer period of time after you eat. Again, this is helpful to make the process of consuming less calories, more comfortable and enjoyable. 

This meal has 765 calories, 67g of protein (34%), 55g of carbohydrates (28%) and 34g of fat (38%). 

Customizations to this meal, that can further reduce the calories include:

  • Order without the bacon, this will reduce your meal by 70 calories and 6g of fat.
  • Order without the caesar dressing, this will reduce your meal by 80 calories and 9g of fat.

If you are looking to eat this meal either before or after your workout, I recommend you order without the caesar dressing. Instead, subway vinaigrette is a better choice as it is lower in fat. Reducing the fat in your meal will help ensure you have enough energy throughout your workout. 

While removing the bacon could also help to reduce the total fat in your meal, this also decreases the protein. Protein is important pre and post workout for muscle growth and recovery so it is recommended to keep the bacon in your order.

Curious to know more tips for eating at Subway while cutting?  Scroll past my bulking meal plans and learn how to structure your protein, carb, and fat intake on a Subway diet.

What to Eat at Subway When Bulking: 3 Meal Options

Three meal options to eat at Subway when bulking are:

1. 700 Calorie Subway Meal Plan 

700 calorie bulking subway meal plan
  • Order 12-inch steak and cheese sub on italian bread
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onions, green pepper and cucumber 

This meal has 700 calories, 49g of protein (29%), 82g of carbohydrates (46%) and 20g of fat (26%). 

The steak and cheese sub provides a high protein meal option. Ensuring protein is high when increasing calories will make sure your body has sufficient protein to increase muscle mass and strength, which you are looking for when bulking.

Customizations to this meal, that can further increase the calories include:

  • Adding additional condiments will increase the calories, primarily from fat. The highest calories options for condiments are mayonnaise (100 calories and 11g of fat), caesar (80 calories and 9g of fat) and chipotle southwest (80 calories and 8g of fat). This low volume way of increasing calories is helpful if you struggle to eat enough when bulking.
  • Adding a second serving of steak will increase the calories by 220 calories and 28g of protein. Protein provides the feeling of being full for longer after eating. Increasing your calories from primarily protein may be too filling. If you notice this, increasing the calories by ordering extra condiments may be a better option.

This meal, pre-substitutions, is a great option before or after your workout. Given that these substitutions increase the fat significantly, they are only recommended for meals not immediately around your workout.

2. 1,000 Calorie Subway Meal Plan

1000 calorie bulking subway meal plan
  • Order 12-inch oven-roasted chicken sub with double meat on Italian bread
  • Add cheddar cheese
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onions, green pepper and cucumber 
  • Add guacamole

This meal has 933 calories, 78g of protein (33%), 90g of carbohydrates (39%) and 29g of fat (28%). 

Including a double serving of meat on your sub will increase the protein by 32g. When bulking, keeping your meals high in protein will help to give your body the protein it needs to build muscle mass and strength.

Adding cheddar cheese and guacamole increases the meal’s calories by increasing the fat. Since fat is a low volume but high calories food, it is a great way to increase calories when bulking without physically filling your stomach up as much.

Customizations to this meal, that can further increase the calories include:

  • Adding condiments is a way to increase the calories without increasing the volume of food significantly. This is helpful if eating enough food when bulking is difficult for you. The highest calories options for condiments are mayonnaise (100 calories and 11g of fat), caesar (80 calories and 9g of fat) and chipotle southwest (80 calories and 8g of fat). 

This meal, prior to any substitutions, is a great option to eat pre or post-workout. Since these substitutions substantially increase the fat, we want to limit these additions to meals that are not just before or just after your gym session.

3. 1,300 Calorie Subway Meal Plan

1300 calorie bulking subway meal plan
  • Order 12-inch oven-roasted chicken sub with double meat on Italian herb and cheese bread
  • Add cheddar cheese
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onions, green pepper and cucumber 
  • Add bacon (4 strips)
  • Add sweet onion dressing
  • Order a side chocolate chunk cookie

This meal has 1,262 calories, 90g of protein (29%), 131g of carbohydrates (42%) and 42g of fat (30%).

Adding the chocolate chunk cookie to your meal is a way to increase calories by 210 without adding significant volume to your meal. When bulking, this can be beneficial for those that struggle to eat enough. This meal is already quite high in protein so the minimal protein in the cookie is not a concern.

Customizations to this meal, that can further increase that calories include:

  • Adding a higher fat condiment to your sub will help to boost the calories without increasing the volume of food by much. The highest calories options for condiments are mayonnaise (100 calories and 11g of fat), caesar (80 calories and 9g of fat) and chipotle southwest (80 calories and 8g of fat). 

If this meal will be eating pre or post-workout, I recommend sticking to the 700 or 100 calories options. Eating this many calories and this volume of food will likely leave you feeling lethargic, similar to the post-Thanksgiving food coma. 

Tips for Eating at Subway Before a Workout

What you consume pre-workout is an important consideration for anyone looking to maximize their gym performance as it provides you with the energy you need throughout your workout. 

Should you eat at Subway before a workout? 

Yes, you should eat at Subway before a workout. A sub with protein, light dressing and no cheese or bacon is a high carb, moderate protein and low-fat meal ideal pre-workout. Order a 12-inch if you need more calories.

4 Tips for How to Eat at Subway Before a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Subway before a workout are:

1. Order a wrap or sub as your meal

Your focus pre-workout you should be eating a meal high in carbs as they are a quick energy source to fuel you throughout your workout. With this extra energy, you will likely find you’re able to push harder which is needed to see progress. 

You want to consume at least two servings of carbs, with a serving size being approximately the size of a closed fist. At Subway, the best options are a sub or a wrap. 

I find eating this higher carb meal around 1 to 2 hours prior to my workout is best.

2. Order ham, chicken or turkey as your protein source

We want to limit the fat we are eating before our workout. Since fat is a slow energy source, you won’t find yourself feeling as peppy and energized throughout your workout. 

Ham, chicken and turkey are the leanest protein sources at Subway, making them the best to eat pre-workout.

3. Order light dressing

At Subway, most dressing options are high in fat. Before our workout, we want to keep the fat low and focus on getting our energy from carb sources instead. This will ensure we have the energy needed for a big training session. 

Ordering a light serving of dressing will help to reduce the quantity of fat in your pre-workout meal. Alternatively, if you want to order a fat free dressing, sweet onion or mustard are your best options.

4. Do not add cheese or bacon to your order

Similar to dressing, cheese and bacon are high in fat which is something we want to avoid around our workout so that we are able to get that energized feeling from the carbohydrates we’ve eaten. Not adding cheese or bacon, will help to keep the fat in your pre-workout meal low.

Tips for Eating at Subway After a Workout

Your post-workout meal is also important for optimizing your gym performance. This meal is responsible for kick-starting the process of repairing the muscle damaged during your workout, which is ultimately needed to increase muscle mass and strength.

Should you eat at Subway before a workout? Yes, you should eat at Subway after a workout. A sub with double protein, light dressing and no cheese or bacon is a high carb/ protein and low-fat meal ideal post-workout. Order a 12-inch if more calories are needed.

4 Tips for How to Eat at Subway After a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Subway after a workout are:

1. Order a wrap or sub as your meal

During your workout, you will use most of the stored fuel your body has. Replenishing these stores is what kick starts the process of repairing our muscles so we want to make sure we are doing this right away. The process of damaging and repairing muscles is what ultimately will lead to growth so this process is very important.

The best way to refuel and start this repair process is by eating a meal high in carbs. This should be at least two servings of carbs, with an approximate serving size of closed fit. At Subway, the best option is a sub bun. 

I’ve found eating this higher carb meal within 1 to 1.5 hours after a workout is most ideal.

2. Order a double serving of meat

In addition to carbs, protein is the other macronutrient that our bodies need post-workout. Protein is what our body will actually use to repair the muscles. 

If we aren’t able to consume enough protein post-workout, that breakdown of your muscles that started during your workout will continue instead of the growth and repair we want. 

At Subway, adding a second serving of meat to your post-workout order is the best way to ensure your protein consumption is adequate.

3. Order light dressing

While we want to consume a lot of protein and carbs after our workout, we want to limit the amount of fat we are eating. Fat will slow down how quickly we can absorb the carbs and protein which will slow down starting that muscular repair. 

Ordering a light serving of dressing will help to limit the amount of fat in your meal. Alternatively, if you want to order a fat free dressing, sweet onion or mustard are your best options.

4. Do not add cheese or bacon to your order

Similar to dressing, cheese and bacon are also high in fat. We are looking to limit the consumption of fat post-workout so that our body is able to start the process of muscular repair as soon as possible. Excluding cheese or bacon from your order will help to keep the total fat in your meal low as desired. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions for eating at Subway if you workout:

Can I Eat at Subway and Still Lose Weight?

Yes, you can eat at Subway and still lose weight. Weight loss requires you to be eating less calories than you consume on a daily basis. Subway’s menu has low-calorie options, such as a salad with protein, vegetables and dressing, that make it possible to maintain a caloric deficit.

Can I Eat at Subway and Gain Muscle

Yes, you can eat at Subway and gain muscle. To build muscle, you need adequate protein post-workout so your muscles have what they need to repair and grow. Subway’s menu allows you to order a double serving of meat with any meal which will provide you with a sufficient amount of protein..

What Meal at Subway Has the Most Protein 

The meal at Subway that has the most protein is a 12-inch chicken and bacon ranch melt on italian herb and cheese with double meat, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers and cucumber. This meal has 1,288 calories with 104g of protein, 92g of carbohydrates and 56g of fat. 

What meal at Subway Has the Most Calories 

The meal at Subway that has the most calories is a 12-inch chicken and bacon ranch melt on italian herb and cheese with double meat, cheddar cheese, olives, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, cucumber and mayonnaise. This meal has 1,540 calories with 104g of protein, 92g of carbohydrates and 84g of fat.

Which Meal at Subway Has the Least Calories

The meal at Subway that has the least calories is a turkey salad with tomato, onions, green pepper, cucumber, olives and sweet onion dressing. This meal has 151 calories with 11g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates and 3g of fat.

Let’s get you in the best shape of your life. Sounds good?

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About The Author

Laura Semotiuk

Laura Semotiuk is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She works with athletes and active individuals looking to improve performance and develop healthy nutritional habits and behaviors. She has a passion for cooking, meal prepping, and creating simple and healthy recipes. You can connect with Laura on Instagram or through her Website.