Eating At Jack In The Box When Bulking (6 Bodybuilder Meals)

I’ve had several questions about whether it’s okay to eat at Jack In The Box if you’re in a bulking phase of training.  

Jack In The Box definitely has meals for bodybuilders or those looking to bulk, but the important part is selecting the right meal based on your caloric needs, and then customizing the meal depending on whether you’re eating pre or post-workout.  

So what should you eat at Jack In The Box when bulking? If you are looking for a bulking meal between 600 – 950 calories at Jack in the Box, a chicken sandwich or pita and cheeseburger is the best option. For a meal higher than 1,000 calories, add chicken tenders to your order.  

In this article, I will provide:

  • 6 meal options for what to eat at Jack in the Box when bulking
  • My top 4 tips for eating at Jack in the Box 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 Jack in the Box If You’re A Bodybuilder: 6 Meal Options  

Six meal options to order at Jack in the Box when bodybuilding or bulking are:

1. 600 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan

600 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a sourdough grilled chicken club
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 578 calories, 39g protein (27%), 38g carbohydrates (26%) and 30g fat (47%).

The chicken club sandwich comes with grilled chicken as a protein source, which provides a much higher protein meal option compared to burgers. When bulking, getting sufficient protein is a top priority as it’s what your body will use to repair your muscles after a workout leading to increased strength and muscle mass. 

The chicken club contains mayonnaise and cheese, both of which will add fat to your meal. When bulking, including fat in your meal can be beneficial as it’s a low volume food. 

This means the food will take up less physical space in your stomach for the calories you are eating, helping to reduce the feeling of being constantly full.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Substituting the mayonnaise for creamy bacon mayonnaise or creamy sriracha sauce will add an extra 40 calories to your meal. You can also ask for extra sauce to further increase the calories. 
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. An egg roll is the highest protein option at 5g and 70 calories, you can add multiple to your meal for more calories. Applesauce is the best high carb option for around a workout (45 calories and 10g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

This meal is a great option around a workout, however, I recommend you order it without mayonnaise. This will help to limit the fat in the meal, so our body can get energy primarily from carbs which will provide a bigger burst of energy during your workout. 

To add back some of the calories lost from ordering without mayonnaise, I recommend adding apple sauce to your order as a high-carb option.

Related Article: Low Sodium Jack In The Box Meals

2. 750 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan 

750 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a chicken fajita pita with salsa
  • Add a cheeseburger 
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 710 calories, 43g protein (24%), 67g carbohydrates (38%) and 30g fat (38%).

A chicken fajita pita is a high protein, high carb and low-fat meal option. A cheeseburger is a high fat, moderate carb and protein meal option. Since the two sandwiches are high in different macronutrients, they complement each other well to create a meal with a relatively even mix of protein, carbs, and fat. 

When bulking, getting an even mix of macronutrients is ideal as you get the benefits of each. You will ensure you’re eating enough protein to build muscle, feel energized throughout the day from the carbs and add some lower volume calories from the fat so you aren’t feeling too physically full.  

While french fries and onion rings do add between 300 and 480 calories, it is primarily from carbs and fat, with only 3-6g of protein. When bulking, I recommend trying to consume meals that have 25 – 35% of their calories coming from protein. This will ensure you are consuming enough protein to allow for muscle and strength growth. 

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce to your pita will add up to 120 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are creamy bacon mayo (120 calories), cream sriracha sauce (120 calories) and creamy ranch (90 calories). You can order extra sauce on your pita for even higher calories.
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. The highest protein option is an egg roll adding 5g and 70 calories; multiple can be added to your order for more calories. This highest carb option, and best for around a workout, is the apple sauce (45 calories and 10g of carbs).

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are eating this meal around a workout, I recommend opting for a second pita instead of the cheeseburger as it’s lower in fat. Fat provides longer-lasting and slow energy, which is not beneficial for a workout. Instead, we want to focus on getting our energy from carbs, which provide a quick burst of energy. 

If you do still want to order a burger, I recommend sticking to a regular hamburger and only after a workout. 

3. 850 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan

850 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a cheeseburger
  • Add a 4 piece crispy chicken strips
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 867 calories, 53g protein (24%), 58g carbohydrates (27%) and 47g fat (49%).

Adding the chicken strips will boost your meal’s calories, primarily from fat and protein. This is beneficial when bulking as it ensures your body has the protein required to build muscle while keeping the physical volume of the meal low. This can be especially helpful for those that find eating high calories tough because they are always feeling overly full.  

Customizations for increased calories

  • Adding a dipping sauce will add between 40 – 110 calories. The three dipping sauces with the highest calories are creamy avocado lime (110 calories), buttermilk (100 calories), and Jack’s mystery dipping sauce (100 calories).
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. The option with the most protein is an egg roll adding 5g and 70 calories; multiple can be added to your order for more calories. This option with the most carbs, and best for around a workout, is the apple sauce (45 calories and 10g of carbs).

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are planning to eat this meal around a workout, I recommend ordering a chicken fajita pita in place of the cheeseburger as a lower fat option. High-fat foods will leave us with less immediate energy for our workout. As all burgers at Jack in the Box are high in fat, I recommend skipping them for meals around a workout.

4. 950 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan 

950 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a sourdough chicken club sandwich 
  • Add a cheese burger
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 959 calories, 55g protein (23%), 70g carbohydrates (29%) and 51g fat (48%).

Adding a grilled chicken club sandwich to your meal is a lower fat option to add calories to your meal. While fat is a great ‘lower volume’ food, consuming too much fat in one meal can leave you with that overly full feeling, similar to when you eat too much rich food like fettuccine alfredo. 

Since the burger is beef and has added cheese, the fat in this meal is already quite high. By adding minimal additional fat, you will feel your best digestively after your meal and aren’t likely to struggle with a low appetite for the remainder of the day. 

Customizations for increased calories

  • Substituting the mayonnaise for creamy bacon mayonnaise or creamy sriracha sauce will add an extra 40 calories to your meal. You can also ask for extra sauce to further increase the calories. 
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. An egg roll is the option with the most protein at 5g and 70 calories. Apple sauce is the best high carb option and recommended for around a workout (45 calories and 10g of carbs). 

Options For Pre & Post Workout

This meal is a great option around a workout with a few small modifications. I recommend you order two sandwiches, both without mayonnaise and bacon. The burgers at Jack in the Box are too high in fat for around a workout so a second sandwich is a lower fat option.

Removing the mayonnaise and bacon will help to limit the fat in the meal, this will better allow our body to get its energy from the carbs we are eating. You will find this gives you a bigger burst of energy, ideal for any hard workout.

5. 1,150 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan 

1,150 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a jumbo jack with cheese
  • Add a sourdough chicken club sandwich 
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 1,127 calories, 67g protein (24%), 82g carbohydrates (29%) and 59g fat (47%).

A jumbo jack offers a similar mix of macronutrients as the cheeseburger, but with more calories due to a bigger pattie. This is a good option for those looking to increase the calories of your meal without increasing the volume of food significantly. 

Adding a sandwich with grilled chicken is a good way to boost the protein of the meal without risking too much fat in the meal. Keeping protein high is crucial when bulking so your body can repair and grow muscles. Consuming too much fat will lead to digestive discomfort and the feeling of being overly full, something that’s best to avoid.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Substituting the mayonnaise on the sandwich for creamy bacon mayonnaise or creamy sriracha sauce will add 40 calories to your meal. Extra sauce can also be added to your order to further increase the calories.  
  • Adding a side to your meal will also further increase calories. The highest protein option is an egg roll adding 5g and 70 calories; multiple can be added to your order for more calories. This highest carb option, and best for around a workout, is the apple sauce (45 calories and 10g of carbs).

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are eating this meal before a workout, I recommend opting for one of the lower-calorie meal plans. A meal this high in calories will likely leave you feeling slow and less energized, similar to that sleepy feeling post-Thanksgiving dinner. 

6. 1,450 Calorie Jack in the Box Bulking Meal Plan 

1,450 calorie bulking jack in the box meal plan
  • Order a sourdough grilled chicken club
  • Add a cheeseburger
  • Add a four piece crispy chicken strips
  • Do not order your meal with a side 

This meal has 1,445 calories, 92g protein (25%), 96g carbohydrates (27%) and 77g fat (48%).

Including a mix of chicken and beef will create a meal with a relatively even mix of carbs, protein and fat. This even mix is beneficial when bulking to provide the benefits of each macronutrient, without the downsides that come with eating too much of one. 

This meal has sufficient protein, providing your body with the tools it needs to repair and build muscle and strength. The carbs will keep you feeling energized throughout your day. The fat will help to keep the physical volume of your meal from getting uncomfortably high, while still keeping the calories up to a sufficient amount.

Customizations for increased calories

  • Substituting the mayonnaise on the sandwich for creamy bacon mayonnaise or creamy sriracha sauce will add 40 calories to your meal. Extra sauce can also be added to your order to further increase the calories.  
  • Adding a dipping sauce to the chicken strips will increase the calories by 40 – 110. The three dipping sauces with the most calories are creamy avocado lime (110 calories), buttermilk (100 calories), and Jack’s mystery dipping sauce (100 calories).

Options For Pre & Post Workout

If you are eating this meal before or after a workout, I recommend opting for one of the lower-calorie meal plans. Eating a meal this high in calories will leave you feeling lethargic and is likely to cause digestive discomfort. Neither of these will leave you ready to perform well during a workout or recover post-workout. 

Tips for Eating at Jack in the Box Before a Workout

What you eat before a workout can be a huge factor in helping you perform at your best during your workout. If you can consume a high carb and low-fat meal with some protein, you can ensure you have the energy needed to get through any tough workout.

Should you eat at Jack in the Box before a workout? Yes, you should eat at Jack in the Box before a workout. A sourdough grilled chicken club sandwich with no mayonnaise, cheese and bacon or fajita pita and apple sauce provides a high carb, moderate protein and low-fat meal that is ideal pre-workout. Order a second sandwich for more calories.

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

4 Tips for How to Eat at Jack in the Box Before a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Jack in the Box before a workout are:

.1. Order a sandwich or pita 

In your pre-workout meal, you want to focus on consuming foods that are high in carbs and this will provide the quickest source of energy for your body. The more carbs you are consuming, the most energized you are likely to feel and the better and longer you can perform during a heavy workout. 

I recommend aiming for at least two servings of carbs at this meal, with a serving size being about the size of a closed fist. At Jack in the Box, a sandwich bun or pita is the best option.

I recommend ensuring that you are eating this meal within 1 – 2 hours of your workout. 

2. Opt for grilled chicken for your protein

In addition to consuming a lot of carbs before a workout, you also want to limit the fat you are consuming. Fat will slow down your digestion, making it more difficult for your body to break down and use the carbs we just ate and leaving you with less energy during your workout. 

At Jack in the Box, grilled chicken is lower in fat compared to beef or battered chicken and therefore the best option to consume before a workout. 

3. Skip the bacon, cheese and sauces

At Jack in the Box, bacon, cheese and most sauces are sources of fat. Our goal is to limit the fat we are eating around our workout so our body can easily use the carbs we just ate for energy. If you are ordering a sauce, I recommend sticking to low-fat options such as ketchup, sweet and sour or honey mustard.

4. Add two sides of applesauce to your meal

While eating a lot of carbs pre-workout is important, we also want to try and include a combination of slow and quick digesting carbs to further improve the energy we have available. 

Slow digesting carbs will provide energy over a longer time, think starchier foods like bread or rice. Quick digesting carbs provide energy quicker, like within a half-hour. Think of foods high in sugar like fruit. 

If you can include both, you will have a quick burst of energy to start your workout, as well as sustained energy to keep you energized through the remainder of your workout. If you find yourself feeling low on energy partway through, you can add a quick digesting carb mid-workout. At Jack in the Box, applesauce would be your best option. 

Applesauce is a quick digesting carb, and therefore beneficial to include in your pre-workout meal along with the pita or sandwich. I recommend waiting to consume this until half an hour before the start of your workout.   

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

Tips for Eating at Jack in the Box After a Workout

The process of repairing the muscle damaged during your workout, in turn leading to increased strength and muscular growth, is initiated by your pre-workout meal. Therefore, this meal is just as important as what you eat pre-workout meal when it comes to seeing progress such as building muscle and strength.

Should you eat at Jack in the Box after a workout? Yes, you should eat at Jack in the Box after a workout. Two grilled chicken sandwiches or fajita pitas with light sauce provides a high carbohydrate and protein and moderate fat meal that is ideal post-workout. 

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

4 Tips for How to Eat at Jack in the Box After a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Jack in the Box after a workout are:

1. Order a sandwich or pita

During your workout, your body will use up the fuel it has stored to provide energy for your workout. By the end, you’ve likely depleted most of your stores. By replenishing these, kicks start the process of repairing, and in turn growing, our muscles so we want to prioritize beginning this quickly after finishing our workout.

The best way to replenish our energy stores is to eat a meal high in carbs. What does a high carb meal look like? I recommend at least two servings of carbs, where a serving is the size of a closed fist. At Jack in the Box, a sandwich bun or pita is the best option.

I recommend aiming to eat this meal within 1 – 1.5 hours after finishing your workout. 

2. Choose grilled chicken as your meat option

Protein is also important to eat after a workout. Protein is the building block that our body will use to repair our muscles damaged throughout our workout. This process of repairing muscle is what causes increased strength and muscle growth. 

For our body to be able to use the carbs and protein we are eating quickly, reducing the amount of fat we are eating post-workout is also important. If we are eating a lot of fat with our post-workout meal, it will slow down digestion and delay the muscle repair process. 

At Jack in the Box, grilled chicken is the leanest option and therefore recommend post-workout.

3. Add a second sandwich to your meal

Protein is important after our workout so our body has the tools it needs to repair and grow our muscles. If we aren’t consuming sufficient protein, the muscle breakdown that started during your workout will continue instead of the repair and growth that is desired. 

At Jack in the Box, adding a second sandwich to your meal is the best way to boost the protein without adding significant additional fat. 

4. Go light on cheese, bacon and sauces

After a workout, reducing the fat we are eating is important to ensure we aren’t slowing down digestion making it more difficult for our body to use the carbs and protein we need it to. 

I like to think of carbs and protein like cars on a highway driving, heading towards our muscles as their destination. Fat is the other drivers on the road going below the speed limit, slowing down how quickly they can get to their destination. 

At Jack in the Box, the highest sources of fat are cheese, bacon and sauces. I recommend limiting your meal to only one of these. 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. A low fat sauce option is ketchup, sweet and sour and honey mustard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions for eating at Jack in the Box if you workout. 

Will Eating at Jack in the Box Ruin My Gains?

No, eating at Jack in the Box will not ruin your gains. To maintain muscle mass, the most important factor is eating sufficient protein during the day. Jack in the Box’s menu has lots of high protein options, such as chicken sandwiches, fajita pitas, and chicken strips, that make it possible to maintain your gains.

Can I Eat at Jack in the Box and Still Gain Muscle?

Yes, you can eat at Jack in the Box and still gain muscle. To gain muscle, you need to be eating enough protein after your workout so your muscles have what they need to repair and grow. Jack in the Box’s chicken sandwiches, fajita pitas, and chicken strips are all high in protein ensuring you have enough protein to make it possible to gain muscle.

What Meal at Jack in the Box has the Most Protein?

The meal at Jack in the Box with the most protein is the ultimate cheeseburger with bacon nacho tacos. This meal has 1351 calories, 67g of protein, 66g of carbohydrates, and 91g of fat. 

Related Article: Are Nachos Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?

What Meal at Jack in the Box has the Most Calories?

The meal at Jack in the Box with the most calories is the ultimate cheeseburger with bacon cheddar potato wedges. This meal has 1499 calories, 64g of protein, 88g of carbohydrates and 99g of fat. 

Which Meal at Jack in the Box has the Least Calories

The meal at Jack in the Box that has the least calories is the chicken club salad with grilled chicken. This meal has 220 calories, 23g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates, and 9g 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.