Eating at Chick-Fil-A When Bulking (6 Bodybuilding Meals)

I recently came across a Reddit thread discussing whether you can bulk successfully on a Chick-Fil-A diet. I absolutely think it’s possible to eat Chick-Fil-A if your goals are to gain muscle.

The key is selecting the right meal to ensure you’re consuming sufficient protein, while also not eating high-volume foods that will leave you feeling too physically full, which would prevent you from eating your daily caloric requirements.

So what should you eat at Chick-Fil-A when bulking? If you are looking for a bulking meal option between 600 – 950 calories at Chick-Fil-A, a chicken sandwich or wrap with a serving of nuggets is the best choice. For a meal higher than 1,000 calories, two chicken sandwiches and a side of chicken nuggets or strips are recommended. 

In this article, I will provide:

  • 6 meal options for what to eat at Chick-fil-A when bulking
  • My top 4 tips for eating at Chick-fil- A both before and after your workout

Have a FeastGood Nutrition Coach help you get results faster than trying to stick it out alone

What To Eat at Chick-fil-A When Bodybuilding: 6 Meal Options  

Six meal options to order at Chick-fil-A when bulking are:

1. 600 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

600 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a grilled chicken sandwich 
  • Add an 8 count order of chicken nuggets 
  • Do not order fries 

This meal has 581 calories, 55g protein (38%), 52g carbohydrates (36%) and 17g fat (26%).

A grilled chicken sandwich provides a high protein meal option. Ensuring protein is high is important when bulking as protein is what your body will use to repair your muscles post-workout, resulting in increased strength and muscle mass. 

Adding chicken nuggets further boosts the protein by 27g. Additionally, it will add fat to your meal. Fat is helpful when bulking as it’s a low volume food, meaning it takes up very little physical space for the calories you are eating. Many struggle to eat enough when bulking as they constantly feel full, adding fat to your meals will help to reduce this.  

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 30 – 310 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are avocado lime ranch (310 calories), creamy salsa (290 calories) and garlic and herb ranch (280 calories).
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein) and a large fruit cup is the best high carb option for around a workout (80 calories and 20g of carbs). 

Want to more about greek yogurt? Check out my article Is Greek Yogurt Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?

Options For Pre & Post Workout

This is a great meal option to eat pre or post-workout. I recommend skipping the additional dipping sauces though as these are primarily fat. We want to keep fat low around a workout so our body can get energy primarily from carbs. Carbs will leave you with a bigger burst of energy so you can push hard during your workout.

2. 700 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

700 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a chicken sandwich 
  • Add an 8 count order of chicken nuggets 
  • Do not order fries 

This meal has 684 calories, 56g protein (33%), 52g carbohydrates (30%) and 28g fat (37%).

Opting for a sandwich with breaded chicken increases the calories by 100 compared to the grilled chicken option. Breading adds a very little volume to your meal, so it’s a great option to boost calories if you struggle with feeling too physically full when bulking. 

While french fries do add 360 calories, it is primarily from carbs and fat, with only 5g of protein in medium-size fries. When bulking, we always want to ensure our meal has 30 – 35% of its calories coming from protein. This ensures adequate protein to allow for muscle and strength growth. 

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 30 – 310 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are avocado lime ranch (310 calories), creamy salsa (290 calories) and garlic and herb ranch (280 calories).
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein) and a large fruit cup is the best high carb option for around a workout (80 calories and 20g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are eating this meal around a workout, I recommend opting for a grilled chicken sandwich as it’s lower in fat. Fat provides slow, long-lasting energy which is not ideal around a workout. Instead, we want to get our energy from carbs which provide a bigger burst of energy. I also recommend skipping the additional dipping sauces as these are primarily fat. 

To add back the additional carbs and calories that were reduced by switching to the grilled chicken sandwich, a fruit cup is a great option to add on the side. This will add 80 calories and 20g of carbs. 

Related Article: Are Chicken Thighs Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?

3. 800 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

800 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a cool chicken wrap
  • Add avocado lime dressing on the side, use 1/2 the packet 
  • Add an 8 count order of chicken nuggets 
  • Do not order fries 

This meal has 808 calories, 70g protein (35%), 42g carbohydrates (21%) and 40g fat (45%).

The cool chicken wrap is a high protein, lower carb option compared to a chicken sandwich. Instead, the meal is higher in fat primarily from the avocado lime dressing and nuggets. 

Fat is much more ‘dense’ in terms of calories, meaning you are eating less physical food. This can be especially helpful for those that find it difficult to eat enough calories when bulking because they find themselves always feeling overly full. 

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding the full avocado lime ranch dipping sauce to your meal will increase the calories by 150 and 16g of fat. 
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein) and a large fruit cup is the best high carb option for around a workout (80 calories and 20g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are planning to eat this meal around a workout, I recommend switching up the sauce as the avocado lime ranch is high in fat, leaving us less energized for our workout. Instead, I recommend fat-free honey mustard or chilli lime vinaigrette. 

4. 950 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

950 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a chicken sandwich
  • Add an 8 count order of grilled chicken nuggets 
  • Include a side of waffle fries

This meal has 918 calories, 59g protein (26%), 85g carbohydrates (37%) and 38g fat (37%).

While the waffle fries are primarily fat and carbs, combining them with the grilled nuggets which are primarily protein, creates a macronutrient balanced meal. This balance will help to provide you with adequate protein to build muscle, energy from the carbs and enough calories from fat that the volume of food you are eating is physically comfortable.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 30 – 310 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are avocado lime ranch (310 calories), creamy salsa (290 calories) and garlic and herb ranch (280 calories).
  • Adding a second side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein) and a large fruit cup is the best high carb option for around a workout (80 calories and 20g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

This meal is not the best option before or after a workout as most of the carbs come from the waffle fries, which are also high in fat. We want meals around a workout to be high in carbs but low in fat so that we have plenty of energy for our gym session. Instead, I recommend sticking to one of the other lower calories meal plans. 

5. 1,100 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

1,100 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a deluxe chicken sandwich
  • Add a grilled chicken club sandwich
  • Add a side small fruit cup

This meal has 1,084 calories, 69g protein (25%), 103g carbohydrates (38%) and 44g fat (37%).

Both the deluxe chicken sandwich and the grilled chicken club have a relatively even mix of carbs, fat and protein. This mix will provide the benefits of all three macronutrients, without any of the downside associated with eating a meal too high in one. 

The deluxe chicken sandwich has 75 more calories than the classic chicken sandwich and the grilled club sandwich has 190 more calories than the classic. The extra toppings that increase the calories are primarily fat and therefore are very low in volume. Selecting these options is an easy way to increase the calories without feeling too physically full.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 30 – 310 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are avocado lime ranch (310 calories), creamy salsa (290 calories) and garlic and herb ranch (280 calories).
  • Adding a second side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein).

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are planning to eat this meal before your workout, you may want to consider the lower-calorie meal plans as a meal this high in calories will leave you feeling slow and less energized, similar to that sleepy feeling post-Thanksgiving dinner. 

This meal would be a better option post-workout however it is recommended to opt for two grilled chicken sandwiches to help reduce the fat, something we want to keep lower after our workout to allow for our bodies to recover.

6. 1,350 Calorie Chick-fil-A Bulking Meal Plan 

1,350 calorie bulking chick-fil-a meal plan
  • Order a deluxe chicken sandwich
  • Add a grilled chicken club sandwich
  • Add an order of three chicken strips

This meal has 1,330 calories, 98g protein (29%), 104g carbohydrates (31%) and 58g fat (39%).

Adding chicken strips increases both the fat and protein in the meal. Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth, therefore it’s always important to increase a meal’s protein as the calories increase. Focusing on more fat instead of carbs will help to keep the physical volume of the meal down, making the higher calories more comfortable to eat.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 30 – 310 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are avocado lime ranch (310 calories), creamy salsa (290 calories) and garlic and herb ranch (280 calories).
  • Adding a second side to your meal will also further increase calories. Greek yogurt parfait is the best high protein option (230 calories and 12g of protein) and a large fruit cup is the best high carb option for around a workout (80 calories and 20g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are planning to eat this meal around your workout, I recommend sticking to one of the lower-calorie meal plans. Eating a meal that is this high in calories will leave you feeling lethargic and may cause digestive discomfort. Neither of these will result in a good workout or recovery post-workout. 

Tips for Eating at Chick-fil-A Before a Workout

What you eat before a workout is a key factor in how well you perform. If you are strategic with what you eat pre-workout, you can ensure you have the energy needed to perform at your best.

Should you eat at Chick-fil-A before a workout? Yes, you should eat at Chick-fil-A before a workout. A grilled chicken sandwich with fat-free honey mustard and a fruit cup provides a high carb, moderate protein and fat meal that is ideal pre-workout. Ordering a second sandwich provides more calories if needed.

Read more in my article Can You Eat Fried Food Before And After Workouts?

4 Tips for How to Eat at Chick-fil-a Before a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Chick-fil-A before a workout are:

1. Order a sandwich 

Before a workout, a primary focus is eating a meal that is high in carbs. Carbs are the quickest source of energy for our bodies, so with those additional carbs, you’ll find yourself feeling energized and able to push through a heavy gym session. 

Ideally, you want to ensure this meal is at least two servings of carbs with a serving being about the size of a closed fist. At Chick-fil-A, a sandwich bun is the best option.

I recommend eating this meal within 1 – 2 hours of your workout. 

2. Opt for grilled instead of breaded chicken

Since our focus is eating carbs pre-workout, that also means limiting the fat we eat. Fat will slow down the digestion process, making it more difficult for our bodies to use the carbs we just ate, leaving us with less energy for our workout. 

At Chick-fil-A, grilled chicken is lower in fat compared to breaded chicken and therefore the best option to eat pre-workout. 

3. Skip the sauces

At Chick-fil-A, most sauces are high in fat, which is something we want to limit around our workout so our body can easily use the carbs we are eating as energy. If you are ordering a sauce, I recommend sticking to fat-free honey mustard as this is a fat-free, higher carb sauce option that will leave you with lots of energy for your gym session. 

4. Add a fruit cup to your meal 

While eating carbs is the most important, including both fast and slow-digesting carbs can help further boost our energy during our workout. Slower digesting carbs provide energy over a couple of hours. Think of starchier foods like bread, pasta or cereal. Quick digesting carbs provide energy within a half-hour, think of foods high in sugar like fruit. 

Including both will give you a quick burst of energy at the beginning as well as some sustained energy that lasts throughout your workout. 

A fruit cup is a quick digesting carb, and therefore beneficial to include in your pre-workout meal along with the sandwich. I recommend not consuming the fruit cup at the same time as your meal, instead, eat it half an hour before the start of your workout. 

Tips for Eating at Chick-fil-A After a Workout

What you eat after your workout is just as important as what you eat before your workout when it comes to optimizing your gym performance. This meal will start the process of repairing the muscle damaged during your workout, resulting in increased strength and muscular growth.

Should you eat at Chick-fil-A after a workout? Yes, you should eat at Chick-fil-A after a workout. A grilled chicken sandwich with a side of grilled nuggets provides a high carbohydrate and protein and moderate fat meal that is ideal post-workout. Ordering a second sandwich is a good option if you need more calories.

Related Article: Should You Eat Fat Before A Workout? (No, Here’s Why)

4 Tips for How to Eat at Chick-fil-A After a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Chick-fil-A after a workout are:

1. Order a sandwich 

Throughout your workout, your body is using up its stored energy as fuel. By the end of your workout, these stores are depleted. We want to replenish these as soon as possible so we can kick-start the process of repairing our muscles that have been damaged during our workout. This repair process is also what results in muscle growth.

The best way to replenish is to eat a meal high in carbs. Generally, this looks like at least two servings, where a serving is the size of a closed fist. At Chick-fil-A, a sandwich bun is the best option.

I recommend making sure you eat this meal within 1 – 1.5 hours after finishing your workout. 

2. Choose grilled chicken as your meat option

In addition to carbs, protein is also important to consume post-workout. Protein is what our body will use to repair our muscles so getting enough is important. 

For our body to quickly use these carbs and protein, we need to limit the amount of fat we are eating post-workout. Eating a meal high in fat will slow down our digestion, delaying the beginning of the process of muscle repair. 

At Chick-fil-A, grilled chicken is the leanest option and therefore recommend post-workout.

3. Adding a side of 8 grilled nuggets

Protein is important after our workout to provide our body with the building blocks it needs to build and repair muscle. If we aren’t eating a sufficient amount of protein, the process of breakdown muscle that was started during your workout will continue instead of the desired repair. 

At Chick-fil-A, adding grilled nuggets to your meal is the best way to boost the protein without adding significant additional fat. 

4. Go light on the sauce 

After a workout, we must limit the fat we are eating. Fat slows the digestion process which makes it more difficult for our body to use the carbs and protein we need it to. 

Think of it like carbs and protein are cars that are driving along a highway with the end destination of our muscles. Fat is the other drivers going below the speed limit that slows how quickly they can get where they need to be.  

At Chick-fil-A, the highest sources of fat are sauces. If you order a meal that comes with sauce, ask for it on the side and add no more than 1 thumb size portion to your meal.

Want to learn more about fats after a workout? Check out Should You Eat Fat After A Workout? (No, Here’s Why)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions for eating at Chick-fil-A if you workout. 

Will Eating at Chick-fil-A Ruin My Gains?

No, eating at Chick-fil-A will not ruin your gains. To maintain muscle mass, the most important consideration is eating enough protein throughout the day. Chick-fil-A’s menu has lots of high protein options, such as a chicken sandwich, chicken wrap and chicken nuggets, that make it possible to maintain your gains.

Can I Eat at Chick-fil-A and Still Gain Muscle?

Yes, you can eat at Chick-fil-A and still gain muscle. To gain muscle, you need to be eating enough protein post-workout so your muscles have what they need to repair and grow. Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwiches, wraps and nuggets are all high in protein ensuring you have enough protein to make it possible to gain muscle.

What Meal at Chick-fil-A has the Most Protein?

The meal at Chick-fil-A with the most protein is the 12 count chicken nuggets. This meal has 390 calories, 41g of protein, 14g of carbohydrates and 18g of fat. 

What Meal at Chick-fil-A has the Most Calories?

The meal at Chick-fil-A with the most calories is the spicy deluxe sandwich with waffle fries. This meal has 887 calories, 39g of protein, 86g of carbohydrates and 43g of fat. 

Which Meal at Chick-fil-A has the Least Calories

The meal at Chick-fil-A that has the least calories is the 8 count grilled chicken nuggets. This meal has 140 calories, 25g of protein, 2g of carbohydrates and 3.5g of fat.

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

More Fast Food Meal Plans

Check out our other bulking and cutting meal plans from popular fast-food restaurants:


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.