Calisthenics Diet: Best Meal Plans For A Lean Body

calisthenics diet meal plan plate

It’s easy to overlook your sports nutrition when beginning your calisthenics journey. The exercises themselves are so exciting and challenging that it’s tempting to focus solely on these. We feel it too! But, nutrition goes hand in hand with fitness for our health.

Our post on starting calisthenics speaks about exercises that help with muscle gain and calisthenics workouts for weight loss. Yet, it’s just as important to consider what you’re putting into your body through nutrition.

In this post, we will discuss the importance of a good calisthenics diet meal plan. We’ll give you some tips to help you secure the most essential nutrients for reaching and maintaining your lean calisthenics body goals!

What Is the Best Calisthenics Diet Plan for You?

couple with sports protein shake

The main goal of a diet for calisthenics is to complement your weekly calisthenics routine. It enables you to optimize your muscle gain and manage your body weight.

There are many benefits to calisthenics exercises, as we have discussed here. This fitness discipline saves you money (no more gym memberships) and has reduced injury risks.

You can also adopt better eating habits like some of the best calisthenics athletes and ensure your body uses your available energy effectively.

Fundamental principles of calisthenics diets

Some of the basic principles include eating more organic foods. We’d also recommend cutting down on your consumption of high-calorie foods such as excess carbohydrates and junk food. Junk and sugary options provide empty calories that will leave you feeling hungry again in no time at all.

Here are three general tips for your diet plan:

  • Add more vegetables to your diet (for fibre, fullness, and nutrients)
  • Up your protein (eggs, protein shakes, and chicken are great sources)
  • Reduce processed foods

Is diet important for a lean calisthenics body?

A balanced diet is essential for enhancing the positive gains from your weekly calisthenics routine. For many, this translates to goals such as calisthenics muscle gain and effective fat burning.

A proper diet is important for obtaining these goals because it allows your body to:

  • Speed up recovery time
  • Build muscles
  • Cut body fat, and
  • Keep hydrated

Your diet provides the necessary energy and fuel for you to complete your workouts. It also enables fat burning for that lean calisthenics body you desire. Plus, it’s easier to perform calisthenics exercises with a stronger physique.

To build muscle mass, you need to consume sufficient grams of protein to allow your muscles to grow and recover. This article can help you to determine how much protein you need for your body.

Whole foods and grains form an essential part of healthy food and nutritional intake that complement many bodyweight exercises. They can also help you lose body fat.

Is calisthenics good for weight loss and weight gain?

dieting and exercise apple and tape measure

The first step is to optimize your caloric intake. Then, your body can use the energy stores appropriately. This makes it easier for you to perform calisthenics workouts for weight loss and to enhance calisthenics muscle gain.

People start their calisthenics journey at different weights. Depending on where you start and what your goals are, a tailored approach will be required.

Before embarking on any diet changes or health journey, we suggest consulting a dietician and/or fitness professional. They can assist you to match your weight and fitness goals with your body’s requirements. Extreme changes usually don’t lead to sustainable weight loss.

Tracking progress for results

If your body requires more energy to perform exercises then you may want to increase your caloric intake. However, if you are performing calisthenics as part of a weight loss journey, then decreasing the amount of food consumed would be ideal for you.

It’s important to keep track of your weight from the start of your calisthenics journey. If you notice that after a week of dieting you’re gaining weight, you may need to cut calories to create a caloric deficit.

You may also want to look at your ratio of macronutrients. This refers to your ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in your diet.

To maintain and build muscle, you need to eat enough protein. So if fat loss is your goal, you can experiment with the carbs and fat within your diet to see what works for you.

Alternatively, if you notice that your weight, and energy, are far lower after a week of dieting then you may need to increase your calories. We do not suggest extreme weight loss or cuts.

For gaining weight, you can either increase the portion sizes of your carbohydrate or fat intake, or you can add something small to your diet.

The best step-by-step approach for your diet plan:

When it comes to making dietary adjustments, this will help you to keep track of your progress:

  1. Determine your average weight before you start the diet. Is your weight greater or less than what you would like it to be?
  2. Determine your average weight a week after you have started your diet. Has your weight increased, decreased, or remained the same?
  3. If your weight has remained the same or increased, determine if it is due to fat or muscle gain. You can do this by using a BIA scale, which will help you determine your body composition. If you have gained fat, adjust your diet plan by lowering calories. If it’s increased muscle mass and excess fat has lowered, great job. You’re on the right track.
  4. If your weight has decreased or remained the same then you may be running on a caloric deficit. If weight loss isn’t the goal, then increase your portion sizes.

It is important to remember that any changes made to your diet should be done gradually, regardless of whether your aim is gaining or losing weight. There are apps available, like MyFitnessPal, to assist you to count calories if fat loss is your main goal.

Create a Calisthenics Meal Plan to Meet Your Needs

vegetables meal plan for calisthenics diet

Now that you have an idea of your body goals, you can create a calisthenics diet meal plan to achieve them. Let’s take a look at how to optimize your calisthenics nutrition.

How can you optimize your nutritional intake for a calisthenics diet?

When you design your food plan, try to include mostly organic produce and whole foods. Prime examples are:

  • lean meats and proteins
  • fresh fruits and vegetables, and
  • whole grains.

Go for meal choices that have as few ingredients as possible. The more ingredients, the more processed a food is (usually).

Drink enough water throughout the day to ensure your body stays hydrated. Increase your water intake on days when you exercise.

Calisthenics Food Plan Example

Here is an example to help you to begin your calisthenics diet meal plan journey. Remember that including a variety of nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables will assist your immune system too.


Breakfast could include 4 hardboiled eggs or 2-whole egg omelets, and your choice of 100 grams of either turkey bacon or chicken breasts.

Additionally, you could include oats or a cereal option.

If you don’t have enough time in the morning to whip up a full breakfast, you can opt for a smoothie instead.

Ideal ingredients for a smoothie include whey protein powders, whole oats, peanut butter, bananas, and yogurt. Blend in milk and water so your smoothie obtains a drinkable consistency.

Post-workout snacks

A post-workout meal can help with muscle recovery and bulking with calisthenics. This is the ideal time to have a protein shake.

If you aim to gain weight and build muscle, have a full serving of protein powder. However, if you are aiming to cut down your weight then half your portion of protein powder.

There is also the option of a pre-workout snack if you require more energy.

This can include fresh fruits or veggies (blueberries are ideal), yogurt, and a chickpea dip (such as hummus).

Lunch and dinners

Lunch and dinner meals can include a variety of either chicken stirfry, a poke bowl of either salmon or tuna coupled with some low carb veggies, or a steak (ideally grass-fed beef) with sweet potato fries (sweet potato fries contain far more nutrients than normal fries).

Although meals you can eat at lunch and dinner times are often very similar, it is important to ensure you don’t skip either meal. It’s also good to remember that organic produce is far healthier than any processed meats.

Incorporating intermittent fasting

Some calisthenics athletes make use of intermittent fasting as part of their diet meal plan. This means deliberately shortening the hours when you can consume food (otherwise known as your eating window) in order to help control your appetite.

Intermittent fasting not only forces you to eat more nutrient-rich meals during your eating window, but it can also help you cut down on unnecessary snacking. If you go this route, ensure you are getting all the macronutrients and micronutrients you need from the meals you eat.

Supplements for Calisthenics

protein powder in scoops as part of calisthenics diet

Supplements can be a great way to ensure your body receives all the right nutrients, especially if you feel that you don’t get them from your current diet. Or, if you would like additional supplements and want to prioritize protein powders to fuel your workouts.

Enhance your meal plans

Multivitamins come in varieties for both men and women. These can give you all the nutrients you may be lacking in your diet.

Buying branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) supplements may help you to bulk up. These can also reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. BCAAs are also great for obtaining all the essential amino acids.

Creatine provides extra energy for your muscles during workouts. This supplement is ideal for increasing your performance overall.

Final Thoughts: Best Diets for Calisthenics

Adopting a diet and meal plan to complement your calisthenics workouts doesn’t have to involve tasteless meals and extreme calorie counting.

You can enjoy a good diet with healthy foods while also cutting out any junk or high-sugar foods and drinks, like fizzy drinks. As you’ve seen here, there are plenty of meal options that will help you obtain your desired calisthenics body in a sustainable way. A healthy meal plan will go a long way in helping you to achieve your physical and wellness goals. 

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