Eating at Jimmy John’s When Bodybuilding (6 Meals)

Jimmy John’s is an easy on-the-go meal option but I often get questions about whether it has high protein options for bodybuilders. After looking at the menu, I’ve put together several high-protein meal options that can fit the nutritional needs of bodybuilders.

So what should you eat at Jimmy John’s when bulking? If you are looking for a bulking meal option under 1,000 calories at Jimmy John’s, a turkey or roast beef sandwich on sliced wheat is best. For a meal higher than 1,000 calories, increase the sandwich size to a 16-inch on french bread.

In this article, I will provide:

  • 6 meal options for what to eat at Jimmy John’s when bulking
  • My top 4 tips for eating at Jimmy John’s both before and after your workout

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What To Eat at Jimmy John’s If You’re A Bodybuilder: 6 Meal Options  

Six meal options to order at Jimmy John’s when bodybuilding are:

1. 500 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan 

500 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a Slim #1 (ham and cheese) on sliced wheat 
  • Order with light provolone cheese
  • Order a pickle as your side 

This meal has 501 calories, 36g protein (29%), 60g carbohydrates (48%) and 13g fat (23%).

Ham provides a lean protein option, meaning you will have a high protein meal option without adding too many calories from fat. While fat is important to include in your meal, it’s low in volume meaning it can quickly add hundreds of calories to your meal. Since this sandwich also contains fat from provolone, lean protein is the best option.

Sliced wheat bread not only adds fibre, helping to keep you full and satisfied for longer after you eat, but it also boosts the protein in your meal by 16g. 

Protein is critical when bodybuilding as your body needs protein to build and grow muscles. It is additionally beneficial for lower calorie meals as, similarly to fibre, it will keep you feeling full for longer after eating.

A pickle is the lowest calorie side and therefore the best option for a lower calorie meal. Adding a different side would increase the meal’s calories by 260 or 50%. These calories would be primarily carbs and fat and not provide enough protein for a balanced meal that will keep you satisfied. 

If you are looking for a low-calorie way to add more flavour to your sandwich feel free to add any combination of the following toppings: mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, onion, peppers or cucumber.

Customizations to Adjust Calories

  • Adjusting the provolone cheese will change the meal’s calories. To increase the calories, order with regular provolone (add 60 calories) or extra provolone (add 180 calories). To reduce the calories, order with no provolone to save 60 additional calories. 
  • Adding a sauce can be used to increase the meal’s calories. Adding a side of the kicking ranch will increase the meal’s calories by 160. Alternatively, you can order your sandwich without mayonnaise (reducing the meal by 160 calories) or with light mayonnaise (reducing calories by 50).

Options for Pre & Post Workout

This is a great meal option for eating both pre and post-workout. This meal is high in carbs and low in fat, providing you with the energy you need throughout your workout. Additionally, it will promote recovery after your workout. 

I also recommend skipping any additional sauces or cheese as both these customizations will increase the fat to an amount that is not optimal around a workout. 

2. 600 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan 

600 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a Turkey Tom on sliced wheat 
  • Order a pickle as your side 

This meal has 597 calories, 31g protein (21%), 62g carbohydrates (42%) and 25g fat (38%).

The Turkey Tom sandwich contains turkey which is a lean protein source. This sandwich is a great high protein meal option with over 30g. When bodybuilding, the additional protein is important to ensure your body is getting sufficient protein to repair and grow muscle after a workout. 

This sandwich also has mayonnaise which helps to boost the calories in the meal, particular from fat. Fat is important to include in meals when bodybuilding as it will keep you feeling full for longer after you eat. This will make sticking to your diet generally easier, especially over the longer term. 

Sliced wheat bread provides carbs to the meal keep you energized as well as some fibre. Fibre will have a similar effect as fat and keep you feeling full for longer after you eat and more satisfied, generally making it easier to stick to your diet daily. 

Customizations to Adjust Calories

  • Adjusting the sauces can be used to customize the meal’s calories. Adding a side of kicking ranch will increase the meal’s calories by 160. Alternatively, you can order your sandwich without mayonnaise (reducing the meal by 160 calories) or with light mayonnaise (reducing calories by 50). 
  • Switching your pickle for a higher calorie side will increase the meal’s calories. All sides at Jimmy John’s are high in carbs and fat but low in protein. To ensure your meal still has enough protein, I recommend sticking to thinny chips which will add 260 calories.

Options for Pre & Post Workout

This is a great meal option for eating both pre and post-workout as it is high carb and lower fat meal option. I recommend ordering it with light mayonnaise to reduce the fat in your meal, keeping you energized throughout your workout and promoting recovery after.

I also recommend skipping any additional sauces or substituting the pickle for a higher calories side. Both these customizations will increase the fat to an amount that will leave you feeling much less energized than you otherwise would. 

3. 700 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan

700 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a Bootlegger Club sandwich on sliced wheat 
  • Order a pickle as your side

This meal has 688 calories, 47g protein (27%), 62g carbohydrates (36%) and 28g fat (37%).

The Bootlegger club includes both turkey and roast beef, providing plenty of protein to your meal. Additionally, by selecting sliced wheat bread, it added 16g of protein to the sandwich. Keeping protein high is important when bodybuilding as your body requires sufficient protein throughout the day to grow muscle. 

The other important factor to consider when bodybuilding is ensuring each meal has fat and fibre to keep you feeling full for longer after you eat. By feeling more full and satisfied after you eat, sticking to your diet is generally much easier. After all, you usually crave less nutritious treats when you are hungry and unsatisfied. 

This sandwich meets both of these objectives as it provides fat from the mayonnaise and fibre from the sliced wheat bread. Roast beef and turkey are lean protein sources, meaning they are providing minimal additional fat. Keeping your meal to one primary fat source is helpful to keep the calories from getting too high. 

Customizations to Adjust Calories

  • Sauces can be used to customize the meal’s calories. Calories can be increased by adding a side kicking ranch (160 calories). Alternatively, to decrease your calories you can order your sandwich without mayonnaise (reducing the meal by 160 calories) or with light mayonnaise (reducing calories by 50). 
  • Switch up your sides for a higher calorie option. Sides at Jimmy John’s are high in carbs and fat but low in protein. To ensure your meal still has enough protein, thinny chips are your best option adding only 260 calories.

Options for Pre & Post Workout

This is a great high carb, low-fat meal option for eating both pre and post-workout. I recommend customizing your sandwich to include light mayonnaise to reduce the fat in your meal. This will ensure you’re energized throughout your workout and will promote recovery after.

Additionally, I recommend skipping any extra sauces or opting for a higher calories side. Both these customizations will increase the fat to where you will find yourself with less energy available for your workout.

4. 850 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan

850 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a Hunter’s Club on sliced wheat bread
  • Order a pickle as your side

This meal has 836 calories, 58g protein (28%), 61g carbohydrates (29%) and 40g fat (43%).

As you are increasing your meal’s calories, it is important to do so in a way that keeps the ratio of macros (protein, carbs and fat) relatively even to ensure you get the benefits each provides when bodybuilding. Protein will allow your body to build muscle, carbs will provide energy and fat will keep you feeling full and satiated for longer after eating. 

The increased calories in the hunter’s club come from a second serving of roast beef as well as provolone cheese. This means those extra calories are providing additional protein and fat. Sliced wheat provides a good-sized serving of carbs for an 850 calorie meal, meaning you are getting the desired even mix of macronutrients.    

Customizations to Adjust Calories

  • Customizing the sauces on your sandwich can increase or decrease the calories. Adding a side of kicking ranch or ordering extra mayonnaise will increase the calories by 160 or 120 respectively. Ordering with light or no mayonnaise will reduce the calories by 50 or 160.
  • Additional calories can be added by choosing a higher calorie side. The sides at Jimmy John’s are low in protein but high in carbs and fat. To ensure your meal has sufficient protein, thinny chips are your best option adding only 260 calories.

Options for Pre & Post Workout

This meal is higher in fat than I would recommend eating before a workout. A meal that is this high in fat will not provide you with the quick energy you need for a hard workout. 

This meal makes for a good post-workout option if ordered without mayonnaise. This will help reduce the fat, promoting fast recovery after your workout. If you’re in a pinch pre-workout, I would recommend these same customizations. 

5. 1,000 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan 

1000 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a 16 inch Big John on french bread 
  • Order a pickle as your side 

This meal has 962 calories, 52g protein (22%), 94g carbohydrates (39%) and 42g fat (39%).

The Big John sandwich does not come with cheese, meaning the only fat source is mayonnaise. This helps to keep the fat in the meal from getting too high. Fat leaves you feeling full for longer after you eat, something that’s great when eating fewer calories but can make eating a higher calorie diet more challenging. 

Instead, getting more of the additional calories from the french bread will mean more calories from carbs. Carbs are a quicker source of energy so they will not leave you as full for as long, something that’s helpful when eating more calories.

Since carbs are higher in volume, you may find yourself feeling more physically full. If this is the case, I suggest splitting this sandwich up into two smaller meals. You will likely find yourself hungry within 2 – 3 hours given the speed at which carbs digest. 

Customizations for Increased Calories

  • Customizing the sauce on your sandwich will allow you to adjust the calories. Ordering with no or light mayonnaise is the best way to reduce the calories (by 330 or 100 respectively). Adding extra mayonnaise or a side of kicking ranch sauce is the best way to increase the calories (by 230 or 160 respectively). 
  • Choosing a higher calorie side will increase the meal’s calories. Sides at Jimmy John’s are high in carbs and fat but low in protein. To ensure your meal still has enough protein, I recommend sticking to thinny chips which will add 260 calories.

Options for Pre & Post Workout

This meal is higher in calories than what I would recommend for both a pre and post-workout meal, I instead recommend sticking with a lower calorie meal plan. You are likely to find eating this many calories leads to a lethargic feeling and digestive discomfort that will not result in a strong workout. 

If you are in a pinch and eating this around a workout, opt for no mayonnaise on your sandwich to reduce the fat and calories. 

6. 1,300 Calorie Jimmy John’s Bodybuilding Meal Plan

1300 calorie bodybuilding jimmy john's meal plan
  • Order a 16 inch Bootlegger Club on french bread 
  • Order a pickle as your side

This meal has 1,325 calories, 88g protein (27%), 142g carbohydrates (43%) and 45g fat (31%).

The Bootlegger Club provides a sandwich option with a relatively even mix of protein, carbs and fat. The roast beef and turkey provide protein, the mayonnaise provides fat and the french bread adds carbs. This ratio is best when bodybuilding as you will get the benefits that each macronutrient provides. 

The french bread additionally provides 11g of fibre in this meal. While fibre does keep you full long after you eat which is not optimal with a meal this high in calories, the benefits of improved digestion generally outweigh this con. In particular, when eating high calories day to day, good digestion will make this process much more comfortable.

Customizations for Increased Calories

  • Adjusting the sauces on your sandwich will allow for further customization of the calories. Opting for no or light mayonnaise is the best way to reduce the calories (by 330 or 100 respectively). Adding extra mayonnaise or a side of kicking ranch sauce is the best way to increase the calories (by 230 or 160 respectively). 
  • Calories can be increased by choosing a higher calorie side. Sides at Jimmy John’s are high in carbs and fat but low in protein. To ensure your meal still has enough protein, I recommend sticking to thinny chips which will add 260 calories.

Options for Pre & Post Workout

If you are eating this meal before a workout, I recommend instead going with one of the lower-calorie meal plans. Consuming a meal this high in calories will leave you feeling lethargic, similar to that post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepy feeling.

Tips for Eating at Jimmy John’s Before a Workout

If you’ve ever struggled with having enough energy to make it through your workout, you know the importance of selecting an optimal pre-workout meal. A meal high in carbs and low in fat will ensure you have the energy you need to perform at your best throughout the workout.

Should you eat at Jimmy John’s before a workout? Yes, you should eat at Jimmy John’s before a workout. A ham or turkey sandwich on sliced wheat with no cheese and light mayonnaise provide a high carb, moderate protein and fat meal that is ideal pre-workout. 

4 Tips for How to Eat at Jimmy John’s Before a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Jimmy John’s before a workout are:

1. Order a Sandwich on Sliced Wheat

Before a workout, the primary focus is to consume a high carb meal that will provide your body with a quick energy source, keeping you feeling energized and able to perform your best throughout your workout. 

For this meal, I recommend consuming at least two servings of carbohydrates, with a serving being about the size of a closed fist. At Jimmy John’s, a sandwich on sliced wheat is the best option.

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

2. Opt for Ham or Turkey 

In addition to eating plenty of carbs before a workout, it is also important to limit the fat in this meal as well. 

Fat is slower for our body to digest, slowing down our entire digestive system in the process. Slower digestion will increase the time our body takes to break down and use the carbs we just ate, leaving us with less energy for our workout. 

At Jimmy John’s, ham and turkey are the lowest fat meat options and therefore the best to consume before a workout. 

3. Order a Sandwich Without Cheese

At Jimmy John’s, cheese is a common source of fat on sandwiches. 

Around our workout, we want to keep the fat low so that our body can focus on using the carbs we are eating as its primary energy source. To reduce the fat in this meal, ask for your sandwich to come with no cheese.

4. Opt for Light Mayonnaise 

Another common source of fat at Jimmy John’s is mayonnaise. 

We want to limit the fat we are eating in our pre-workout meal as the fat will inhibit our body’s ability to use the carbs in our meal as an energy source. 

Ordering your meal with light mayonnaise will reduce the fat helping you to feel energized and able to push through a hard workout.

Related Article: 8 Best Low Sodium Jimmy John’s Meals (What To Eat)

Tips for Eating at Jimmy John’s After a Workout

The post workout meal kick starts the process of repairing the muscle damaged during your workout allowing you to recover and build strength, continuing to progress each workout.

Should you eat at Jimmy John’s after a workout? Yes, you should eat at Jimmy John’s after a workout. A ham or turkey sandwich on sliced wheat with extra protein and light cheese and mayonnaise provides a high carbohydrate and protein and moderate fat meal that is ideal post-workout. 

4 Tips for How to Eat at Jimmy John’s After a Workout

My top 4 tips for how to eat at Jimmy John’s after a workout are:

1. Order a Sandwich on Sliced Wheat

Throughout your workout, your body will use the fuel it has stored as its energy source. By the end of your workout, you’ve likely depleted most of this stored fuel. By replenishing these stores by eating a high carb meal, you will kick start the process of repairing your muscles. 

The cycle of damaging muscles during a workout, then repairing them post-workout, is what will result in increased strength and muscle growth. Therefore we want to make it a priority for this recovery process to begin as soon as our workout is over.

A high carb meal that will kick-start this repair process, contains at least two servings of carbs, where a serving is the size of a closed fist. At Jimmy John’s, sliced wheat bread is the best option. 

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

2. Choose Ham or Turkey as Your Meat 

In addition to carbs, it is also important to consume protein after a workout. Protein is what our body will use to repair our muscles, leading to increased strength and muscle growth, which most of us are looking for.

For our body to use the carbs and protein we are eating, we also need to reduce the amount of fat during this meal. Fat will slow down digestion, delaying the start of the muscle repair process. 

At Jimmy John’s, ham and turkey are the leanest option and therefore recommended post-workout.

3. Add Extra Meat to Your Sandwich 

Our muscles can repair and grow after a workout, only if our body has the protein it needs to complete this process. If you aren’t consuming adequate protein, the process of our muscles breaking down that began during your workout will continue instead of the repair and growth that we are looking for.

At Jimmy John’s, ordering an extra serving of meat with our sandwich is the best way to boost the protein.

4. Order Light Cheese and Mayonnaise

To allow our body to quickly and efficiently use the carbs and protein we are eating, we also need to limit the fat we are eating during this meal. Fat slows down digestion, delaying the time until our body fully absorbs the protein and carbs consumed.

I like to think of it similarly to cars on a highway. Carbs and protein are driving at full speed towards their end destination of muscles. Fat is the drivers on the road going below the speed limit, slowing down the process of getting to their destination. 

At Jimmy John’s, the foods highest in fat are cheese and mayonnaise. Ordering these as a light option will help to reduce the fat in your meal and prioritize recovery. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions for eating at Jimmy John’s if you workout. 

Will Eating at Jimmy John’s Ruin My Gains?

No, eating at Jimmy John’s will not ruin your gains. To maintain the muscle, or gains, it’s most important to eat enough protein throughout your day. Jimmy John’s’s menu has lots of high protein options, such as The Hunters Club, Bootleggers Club and Billy Club sandwiches that make it possible to maintain your gains.

Can I Eat at Jimmy John’s and Still Gain Muscle?

Yes, you can eat at Jimmy John’s and still gain muscle. To gain muscle, you need to eat enough protein after your workout so your muscles can repair and grow. Jimmy John’s Hunters Club, Bootleggers Club and Billy Club sandwiches are all high in protein, ensuring you have enough to make it possible to gain muscle.

What Meal at Jimmy John’s has the Most Protein?

The meal at Jimmy John’s with the most protein is the J.J Gargantuan on 16 inch french bread. This meal has 2,160 calories, 156g of protein, 156g of carbohydrates and 99g of fat.  

What Meal at Jimmy John’s has the Most Calories?

The meal at Jimmy John’s with the most calories is the J.J Gargantuan on 16 inch french bread. This meal has 2,160 calories, 156g of protein, 156g of carbohydrates and 99g of fat. 

Which Meal at Jimmy John’s has the Least Calories?

The meal at Jimmy John’s that has the least calories is a Slim #2 ‘unwich’ lettuce wrap. This meal has 90 calories, 17g of protein, 1g of carbohydrates and 3g of fat.

Is Jimmy John’s Wheat Bread Healthy?

Yes, Jimmy John’s wheat bread is a healthy option as it has 16g of protein and 4g of fibre. Protein will help to build muscle while fibre will help with digestion regularly. While it’s high in carbs at 57g for two slices, this is a reasonable amount of carbs for someone who works out, especially before or after a workout. 

How Much Meat is on a Jimmy John’s Sandwich?

A regular serving of meat on a Jimmy John’s sandwich is 4oz for a 16-inch, 2oz for an 8-inch sandwich and 1oz for a Little John. A light serving is 2oz (16-inch), 1oz (8-inch) and 0.5 oz (Little John) while an extra serving is 8oz (16-inch), 4oz (8-inch) and 2oz (Little John).  

What is the Best Jimmy John’s Sandwich for Bodybuilding?

The Hunter’s Club sandwich is the best sandwich at Jimmy John’s for bodybuilding. This sandwich provides the highest amount of protein while still a moderate amount of fat. While higher protein sandwiches exist on the menu, the fat content creates an option that is too high in fat and calories.

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.