Eating At KFC When Bulking or Cutting (6 Meals)

KFC can be an easy and fast food option but it’s helpful to know what you should be eating that will help you reach your bulking or cutting goals, especially if you’re a bodybuilder.

So what should you eat at KFC if you work out? If you are losing weight, a grilled chicken meal with mashed potatoes will provide a low-calorie, high protein meal option. If you are bulking, a grilled chicken meal with baked beans and corn will provide a high protein/carb meal with moderate fat that won’t leave you feeling stuffed.

In this article, I will provide:

  • 3 meal options for what to eat at KFC when cutting
  • 3 meal options for what to eat at KFC when bulking 
  • My top 4 tips for eating at KFC 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 KFC When Cutting: 3 Meal Options

Three meal options to order at KFC to lose weight are:

1. 400 Calorie KFC Cutting Meal Plan

400 calorie weight loss kfc meal plan
  • Order a 2 piece grilled chicken combo (breast and wing) 
  • Order a side of mashed potatoes with gravy
  • No biscuit 

This meal has 406 calories with 49g of protein (48%), 20g of carbohydrates (20%) and 14.5g of fat (32%).

By not ordering a biscuit with your meal, you are saving yourself 180 calories, 22g of carbohydrates and 8g of fat. A biscuit is a low volume food, meaning you will find it does not physically fill you up much, combined with minimal protein, this is an easy way to reduce total calories without feeling hungry later or missing out on nutrients.

Grilled chicken is a high protein meal option with moderate fat. Protein and fat will provide a feeling of being full and satiated for a long period after eating. Including a source of each in your meal while losing weight will reduce hunger making it easier to stick to a lower-calorie diet for a longer-term.

While some fat in your meal is important to keep you feeling full, fat is very dense, making it easy to quickly overdo. Deep-fried chicken has 19g of fat more than grilled chicken, so by opting for the grilled option you are saving yourself 171 calories in your meal.

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

  • Order mashed potatoes without gravy as your side
  • Add a second side of sweet corn 

We want to keep the carbs high as your body will use them as a quick energy source, keeping you feeling energized during your workout. 

Fat will slow this process down however so we want to limit the fat consumed. Removing the gravy will reduce the fat and adding the sweet corn will boost the carbs.

2. 600 Calorie KFC Cutting Meal Plan

600 calorie weight loss kfc meal plan
  • Order a 3 piece grilled chicken combo – breast, thigh and wing
  • Order a side of mashed potatoes with gravy
  • No biscuit

This meal has 556 calories with 66g of protein (48%), 20g of carbohydrates (14%) and 23.5g of fat (38%).

Adding the chicken thigh boosts the protein by 17g and fat by 9g without adding any additional carbs. By increasing your calories solely from protein and fat, you will find yourself feeling much more satiated from these calories vs an item of the same calories that was primarily carbohydrates. 

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

  • Order mashed potatoes without gravy as your side
  • Add a second side of sweet corn 

Around your workout, the goal is to increase the carbs as your body will use them as a quick energy source. Higher carbs will keep you feeling full of energy during your workout. 

However, fat will slow this process down so reducing the fat is also important. Removing the gravy will decrease the fat and adding the sweet corn will increase the carbs.

3. 800 Calorie KFC Meal Cutting Plan

800 calorie weight loss kfc meal plan
  • Order a 3 piece original recipe combo – breast, thigh and wing
  • Order a side of mashed potato with no gravy
  • No biscuit 

This meal has 770 calories with 68g of protein (35%), 31g of carbohydrates (16%) and 41.5g of fat (49%).

By ordering the original recipe chicken instead of grilled, you are boosting the calories by 240 calories primarily from fat. Since the protein is already quite high in the meal, this extra fat will help to keep you feeling full and satisfied much longer after eating. This will make maintaining a lower calorie diet much more manageable in the long term.

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

  • Order a three-piece grilled chicken instead of the original recipe 
  • Add a second side of sweet corn 

Before and after a workout, you want your meal to be higher in carbs as your body will use them as a quick energy source keeping energized throughout your workout. 

Fat will slow this process therefore keeping the fat low is also important. Grilled chicken will reduce the fat while sweet corn will increase the carbs.

What to Eat at KFC When Bulking: 3 Meal Options For Bodybuilding

Three meal options to eat at KFC when bulking are:

1. 700 Calorie KFC Bulking Meal Plan

700 calorie bulking kfc meal plan
  • Order a 2 piece grilled chicken combo – breast and wing
  • Order a side of baked beans
  • Order a side of sweet corn
  • Include a biscuit 

This meal has 715 calories with 63g of protein (35%), 72g of carbohydrates (40%) and 19.5g of fat (25%).

Opting for grilled chicken instead of the original recipe chicken provides more protein and less fat in the meal. Getting sufficient protein when bulking is important so your muscles have the tools needed to recover post-workout and increase muscle mass and strength.

Consuming fat provides a more full and satisfying feeling for a longer period after eating compared to carbs. By eating high-fat meals when bulking, many find they are too full for too long after they eat, making eating the required calories in a day a challenge. Grilled chicken offers enough fat to boost the calories without too much that eating higher calories becomes difficult. 

Adding a side of baked beans helps to boost the carbs and protein in the meal, without adding a significant amount of fat. Additionally, beans are a great source of fibre. Fibre is important when bulking as high calories can result in uncomfortable digestion. Fibre can help to regulate digestion and reduce discomfort. 

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

  • Order a side of mashed potatoes with no gravy instead of baked beans 

While fibre is great for digestion, it slows down the body’s ability to quickly use carbs for energy. 

Around a workout, we want our body to be able to use carbs so that we have the most energy available so reducing fibre is important. 

Mashed potatoes are a much lower fibre option compared to beans and therefore better for pre or post-workout.

2. 900 Calorie KFC Bulking Meal Plan

900 calorie bulking kfc meal plan
  • Order a 3 piece grilled chicken combo – breast, thigh and wing 
  • Order a side of baked beans
  • Order a side of sweet corn
  • Include a biscuit

This meal has 864 calories with 80g of protein (41%), 72g of carbohydrates (33%) and 28.5g of fat (30%).

Adding a grilled chicken thigh increases the calories by 150, primarily from protein and fat. This extra protein is important when bulking since protein is what our muscles use to repair and grow our muscles after we workout. The moderate amount of fat will help to boost calories without adding any extra volume to the meal. 

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

  • Order a side of mashed potatoes with no gravy instead of baked beans 

Around our workouts, we want to limit the amount of fibre consumed. Fibre will make it more difficult for our body to use the other carbs in your meal for energy, which will mean you aren’t as energized for your gym session as you could be. Beans are high in fibre so mashed potatoes are a lower fibre option that is better pre or post-workout.

3. 1100 Calorie KFC Bulking Meal Plan

1100 calorie bulking kfc meal plan
  • Order a 3 piece original recipe chicken combo – breast, thigh and wing 
  • Order a side of baked beans
  • Order a side of sweet corn
  • Include a biscuit

This meal has 1104 calories with 83g of protein (30%), 86g of carbohydrates (31%) and 27.5g of fat (39%).

Ordering original recipe chicken instead of grilled chicken will increase the meal by 240 calories without increasing the volume of the food consumed. 

One of the biggest challenges of eating high calorie when bulking is feeling too physically full. Foods that are high calorie but low in volume can help reduce this feeling and make for a more comfortable experience. 

Customizations to eat this meal around a workout:

If you are eating this meal either before or after a workout, I recommend sticking to the 700 or 900 calorie meal options as this much food often leaves you feeling more lethargic and slow. Similar to that sleepy food coma feeling you would experience after a big Thanksgiving dinner.

Tips for Eating at KFC Before a Workout

For anyone looking to get the most out of their workouts so they can achieve the results desired, what you eat pre-workout is very important. If you can optimize your pre-workout meal, you will feel energized and able to push your performance during your training session.

Should you eat at KFC before a workout? Yes, you should eat at KFC before a workout. A two-piece grilled chicken meal with a side of sweet corn and mashed potatoes is a high carb, moderate protein and low-fat meal ideal pre-workout. Add an extra side of corn or mashed potatoes if you need a higher calorie option.

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

4 Tips for How to Eat at KFC Before a Workout

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

1. Order grilled chicken as your protein source

Before a workout, we want to limit the amount of fat we consume as it slows down our digestion and makes it harder for our body to get quick energy from the carbs we are consuming. If you eat a meal high in fat, you’ll likely find you are more sluggish and feel tired, a recipe for a terrible workout. 

Grilled chicken is the leanest protein source at KFC, making it the best option to eat pre-workout. A two-piece grilled chicken meal is the best serving size to consume pre-workout.

2. Order at least two sides

Pre-workout, consuming carbohydrates is important as it’s the best form of quick energy. A meal high in carbs will leave you feeling energized during your whole workout allowing you to push harder during your workout. 

At least two servings of carbs are needed before a workout with a serving size being about the size of a closed fist. At KFC, one side is about one serving meaning ordering at least two sides is recommended. Sweet corn and mashed potatoes are the options I recommend. 

Try to eat this meal 1 – 2 hours before your workout, this will allow your body enough time to digest but with the carbs still readily available in your system.

3. Do not order baked beans as your side

Before a workout, we want to limit the amount of fibre we are consuming as fibre slows down our digestion making it more difficult for our body to use the carbs we just consumed for energy. You’re likely to feel bloated and sluggish during your workout instead of the energized state needed to get through a big workout. 

At KFC, baked beans are high in fibre meaning it’s best to skip these for any pre-workout meal.

4. Skip the biscuit

Similar to fibre, we want to limit the fat we are consuming pre-workout as it leaves us less energized during our workout. While biscuits are a great source of carbs, something we want pre-workout, it also contains fat. Sides like mashed potatoes and sweet corn that are high in carbs but lower in fat are the recommended option pre-workout.

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

Tips for Eating at KFC After A Workout 

What you are eating post-workout, is just as important as pre-workout if you are looking to maximize your gym performance. Your post-workout meal is responsible for replenishing your body’s stored fuel and repairing your muscles, both of which are needed to improve strength and increase muscle mass. 

Should you eat at KFC after a workout? Yes, you should eat at KFC after a workout. A three-piece grilled chicken meal with a side of sweet corn and mashed potatoes is high carb and protein and a low-fat meal ideal for post-workout. Add an extra side of corn or mashed potatoes if you need a higher calorie option.

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 KFC After a Workout

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

1. Order grilled chicken as your protein source

Consuming protein post-workout is important as protein is what our body will use to repair the muscles damaged during our workout. This process of damaging muscles during our workout and repairing them post-workout is what leads to increased muscle mass and strength. 

To ensure you have adequate protein, I recommend a three-piece grilled chicken meal.

2. Order at least two sides

During your workout, you will burn through most of the fuel your body has stored. When we can replenish these immediately after a workout, it kick-starts the muscle repair process. The cycle of damaging our muscles during a workout and then repairing them post-workout is what results in muscular growth and increased strength. 

The most effective way to refill these stores, and begin the process of repairing our muscles, is by consuming a meal high in carbs post-workout. I recommend aiming to eat this meal within 1 – 1.5 hours after finishing a workout. The meal should include at least two servings of carbs that are about the size of a closed fist.

 At KFC, one side is about one serving meaning ordering at least two sides is recommended. Sweet corn and mashed potatoes are the options I recommend. 

3. Do not order baked beans as your side

To prioritize repairing our muscles post-workout, a meal high in carbs and protein is important. Since we want our body to break down and absorb these nutrients as soon as possible, we want to limit fibre as it slows down the digestive process. 

Beans are high in fibre therefore it is recommended to exclude these from your post-workout order. 

4. Skip the biscuit

Similar to fibre, fat also slows down the digestive process. Quick digestion of carbs and protein is what we are after post-workout meaning limiting the fat consumed in this meal is also important. While a biscuit contains plenty of carbs, it also contains fat. Sides lower in fat, like corn and mashed potatoes, are better post-workout options at KFC. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions for eating at KFC if you work out:

Can I Eat at KFC and Still Lose Weight?

Yes, you can eat at KFC and still lose weight. To lose weight you need to be eating fewer calories compared to what you are burning daily. KFC’s menu has low-calorie options, such as a grilled chicken with sweet corn or green beans as a side, that make it possible to maintain a caloric deficit.

Can I Eat at KFC and Gain Muscle?

Yes, you can eat at KFC and gain muscle. To gain muscle, you need to consume sufficient protein for your muscles to repair and adapt after working out. KFC’s menu allows you to order a three or four-piece chicken meal which will provide you with a sufficient amount of protein

What Meal at KFC Has the Most Protein?

The meal at KFC that has the most protein is a 4 piece meal of original recipe chicken with baked beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit. This meal has 1,160 calories with 84g of protein, 90g of carbohydrates and 51.5g of fat.

What Meal at KFC Has the Most Calories?

The meal at KFC that has the most calories is a crispy chicken sandwich box with a side of fries, potato salad and macaroni and cheese. This meal has 1,450 calories with 46g of protein, 126g of carbohydrates and 184g of fat.

Which Meal at KFC Has the Least Calories?

The meal at KFC that has the least calories is a two-piece grilled chicken meal with green beans as a side and no biscuit. This meal has 298 calories with 47g of protein, 5g of carbohydrates and 10g 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.