Meal Plan For Calisthenics


I’ve put together a 4 week meal plan for calisthenics which might interest you. It’s designed to improve your overall health and performance with the goal of losing fat while gaining muscle mass. You’re preparing for a tournament or just want to get really ripped for summer. In either case, follow this meal plan and you’ll be on the right path to achieve the results you desire.

The Calisthenics Diet Planning Guide: How To Achieve Your Dream Body

Calisthenics Meal Plan

Do you want to devise the perfect calisthenics meal plan so you can achieve your fitness goals and get the physique you’ve always dreamed of? If so, the first thing you need to understand is that consistency and determination is everything. Although it may be difficult to find a meal plan for your bodyweight fitness goals, a positive attitude will ultimately be essential in your success.

Excuses are lame. Regardless of what your reasons may be. Time, money, family, school, age, gender, height, upbringing, and whether you are fat or skinny. You need to recognize these excuses and face them. Nothing really restrains you from sticking to the calisthenics meal plan you want, other than yourself and your attitude. 

Take action every day, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. Your journey will build your character through adversity This is part of the process. But now you know that the power is in your own hands. Use it to take control of your health and body. Let’s go over the basics of a calisthenics diet so that you can create your bodyweight fitness diet plan and get in the best shape of your life! 

Dietary Basics – The Fundamentals

Before we dive into the diet plan, let us first understand the absolute basics of nutrition. This will be the bare minimum and it won’t be complicated. Keep reading on and don’t be discouraged if you are uncertain about some things. Be open-minded and remember that the journey is the reward. You will learn the fundamental diet terminologies and their roles in your health:

  • Calories
  • Macronutrients
  • Protein (amino acids)
  • Carbohydrates (sugar)
  • Fats (lipids)


A calorie is a unit that can be used to measure energy in the same way that a pound/kilo is a unit that is used to measure weight, just the same way that a centimeter, meter, or foot is used to measure length. To function as a human, your body requires energy, and that is why we eat food – To gain energy. Food is energy, however, some foods contain more energy in them than others. 

Macronutrients (Macros)

The body has to acquire calories in order to obtain energy, and there are three different kinds of nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates (our main source of energy)
  • Proteins (for growth, repair, and good health)
  • Fats (contains essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce. It protects our organs, support cell growth, and help body absorbs vital nutrients)

For example, sweet potato is mainly made up of carbohydrates, as well as being low in fat and protein, per 100 grams. Whereas an egg has a good amount of protein and fat, but has little or no carbohydrates, per 100 grams. Each food contains a different amount of calories in them, depending on the make-up of macro the food consist of. 

Build Muscle or Lose Fat

When it comes to muscle building or fat loss, you would consume a certain amount of each component of macronutrient to achieve your goals. For example, to build muscle, you must intake a high amount of protein because it contains amino acids, which are the building blocks used for muscle growth. 

If you consume only sweet potatoes (which are made up of carbohydrates) to cover all the calories needed, you won’t be able to build muscle because you are missing vital building blocks of protein to help repair and maintain muscle tissue. 

Conversely, if you intake foods that contain high levels of fat and carbohydrate, you could get fatter than needed, even if you meet the protein requirement. While, if your diet is high in protein and carbs, but low in fat, you could “deprive your body of what it needs most”, says Vasanti Malik, a research scientist at Havard. Lack of vital hormones could cause your health to suffer. 

As you can see, you will need to consume calories from macronutrients that will help you to achieve your goal (that isn’t fizzy drinks, sugary sweets, and candy bars).

Calisthenics Diet

Much like calisthenics exercises, a calisthenics diet is pretty straightforward. It is very flexible and can be easily modified based on fitness goals. There is no cheat code for this, but rather, some basic suggestions that you should follow. If you’re eating the correct stuff, there’s no need for you to weigh your food. Below are some diet recommendations to complement your calisthenics workouts:

Prioritize Protein Intake

When you practice calisthenics you will provide high levels of tension on your body for your body to overcome movements in training. For example, executing perfect reps when doing pull ups, dips, push ups, and squats (these are the calisthenics fundamentals). This means that you should consume whole foods like lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, beans and legumes, salmon, tofu, eggs, etc. 

Protein helps repair and build lean muscle after exercise. This will increase muscle mass and strength which is essential for progressing in calisthenics. The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests intaking a sufficient amount of protein provides your body with amino acids it requires to repair and reconstruct these proteins. A meta-analysis conducted in 2018 suggests that intaking approximately 0.73 to 1 gram per pound of body weight is optimal for muscle growth. 

Eliminate Junk Food

You should treat your body like a sports car and fuel it like one. When you go to pump your supercar at the gas station, you’d use the premium fuel to keep it in good condition for it to run optimally. Your body is like those supercars, it has the capability to do amazing things, and one of the biggest things that your body is missing is premium fuel for your engine

Eliminate junk, processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates (empty carbs). This includes candy bars, sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks, sweet juices, processed food as these can affect your exercise performance by exhausting your energy, undermining your metabolism, and inducing any unnecessary weight gain.

Fuel your body with rubbish, you are going to feel rubbish. Fuel your body with premium fuel, and you are going to feel like a million-dollar Lamborghini.

Stay Hydrated

According to the United States Geological Survey, around 60% of your body is made up of water and it plays a crucial role in your bodily function. Water is an essential substance to the life of every cell, it acts first as a building material. Your body can lose a lot of fluid when exercising through breathing and sweating.

If you don’t replenish this fluid back up, you can get dehydrated. This can affect your health and exercise performance. Going for a personal best record in diamond push ups? Well if you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel more tired quicker, and you won’t be able to manipulate your body temperature as well as normally. 

Supplements Can Be Useful 

Vitamins and minerals are crucial to helping your body advance and function as it should. While many people get all of what’s recommended (iron, calcium, vitamin D) by consuming healthy foods, others may need a little boost in nutrients and this is where supplements come in. 

Supplements can be useful in physical activities. These goods may increase your strength, enhance your performance, increase lean muscle mass, and decrease fatigue. You should be getting the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthful and strong. However, if you think that you could benefit from extra supplementation, here are some that you could include in your diet.

  • Creatine – Enhance exercise capacity and training adaptations. These adaptations enable individuals to increase training volume, which could lead to greater growth in lean mass and muscular strength and power. Intaking 2.5 to 5 grams per day can be effective.
  • BCCAs – Known as Branched-Chain Amino Acids. This is a key component for protein synthesis. This increases muscle growth and helps decrease muscle soreness after workouts. A dose of 5g at least an hour before exercise can be effective.
  • Multivitamins – These are supplements that contain a large range of vitamins and minerals. Our body needs 13 vitamins to maintain health and wellbeing. 

Calisthenics Nutrition

Meat, poultry, and fish  (beef, chicken, fish, pork)Quinoa, couscous, brown rice, oats, bread, pasta, lentilsNuts and seeds
Dairies such as milk and yogurtFruits and vegetablesFish such as salmon
Beans such as chickpeas, lentils Potatoes and sweet potatoesAvocados
NutsGrainsVegetable oils, olive oil, and olives
Soy and tofuCerealDark chocolate

Calisthenics Meal Plan 

If you were to follow the figures generated by your calculations using this guide, then you should have no problem with constructing the best diet for calisthenics. You will need to trust the process and be consistent. Also, you may need to make adjustments along the way. 

Changing your physical body is never linear without any adaptations. Therefore, as your body weight changes, you’ll still need to continue to modify your caloric intake to achieve your fitness goals. 

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you could increase your energy expenditure by training at a higher intensity or by decreasing your calories intake. Whereas if you want to build muscle and increase strength, you should prioritize protein intake and decrease fat and carbs in your macronutrients. Below are meal options that you can try for a protein-rich calisthenics diet.

Breakfast Snack 1LunchSnack 2Dinner
Overnight oats Bean saladCanned tuna with boiled eggs and saladProtein shake with a banana Grilled chicken with mixed vegetables 
3-4 egg omelets with spinach Hummus with vegetablesMixed beans goulash Cup of mixed nutsSalmon with mixed vegetables
3-4 poached eggs with smoked salmon and avocadosGreek yogurt with cinnamon and nutsChicken with mixed vegetables and quinoa 3-4 Hard-boiled eggsSpinach salad with quinoa 

To determine your progress effectively, you should weigh yourself every 1-2 weeks and take progress photos. Do not weigh yourself every day as this is not healthy for your mind – It will drive you crazy and causes you to lose motivation! Your weight can fluctuate highly due to fluid changes in your body. 

The Key Takeaways

  • It will be difficult for you to achieve your goals if you don’t fuel your body with the right food
  • Intake adequate protein to get the best possible results from your workouts
  • Prioritize sleep and recovery 
  • Stay hydrated

Hopefully, this blog has given you some insight on how to manage and optimize your diet when it comes to losing fat or building muscle. A crucial factor is to incorporate a diet that is ideal for your calisthenics goals. This way, you’ll be able to stick with it in the long term and see progress during your workouts.

For those who are looking for a comprehensive step-by-step program that demonstrates to you how to properly manage your diet and train weeks on end to transform your body and achieve your goals, then book a consultation with one of our calisthenics diet coaches today!

The best diet to support calisthenics workouts

In calisthenics, what you eat is just as important as exercise itself. So what is the best diet to support calisthenics?

With the 9-5 combined with sedentary lifestyles leftover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s daily exercise routine consists of moving from the desk to the sofa. While the call of exercise may be easy to ignore, the effect of not doing enough of it on health and longevity is less so. According to the WHO, a sedentary lifestyle doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity . This is where calisthenics comes in – a form of exercise that borrows from strength training, cardio and even acrobatics, to improve health and fitness, what you eat is just as important as exercise itself. So what is the best diet to support calisthenics?

What is calisthenics?

First developed by ancient Greek armies, calisthenics remains popular with modern-day soldiers for staying in peak physical condition. It combines different movements including pull-ups, push ups, squats, skipping and stretching. The main appeal of calisthenics is that you use your own body weight and minimal equipment, meaning you can perform it just about anywhere. Even better, calisthenics can be completed in as little as 20-minute sessions, so not having enough time or money to go to the gym no longer applies. It’s also beneficial to health and longevity; a study found that calisthenics improved strength, posture, cardiovascular health, and fat loss, even in beginners.

First developed by ancient Greek armies, calisthenics remains popular with modern-day soldiers for staying in peak physical condition

Best foods for calisthenic workouts

The purpose of calisthenics is to build muscle mass for strength and fitness purposes – as well as for aesthetic appreciation. To achieve this, you need to supply your body with the right fuel.

Protein is the building block that forms our bodies and is especially concentrated in muscles. During training, your muscles undergo eustress that forms tiny tears in their muscle fabric. During recovery, these are repaired by satellite cells that synthesise protein and build back your muscles stronger to anticipate further exercise.

It therefore makes sense that consuming more protein will build bigger muscles, and it’s an essential ingredient in a calisthenics diet. Luckily, high-quality protein sources are also great for health. Getting around 30% of your calories from protein, or roughly one gram of protein per pound of body weight is usually enough to promote muscle growth. Generally, guidelines suggest men should aim for 55g of protein per day, and women 45g . This provides your body with the natural fuel it needs to build muscles. The following sources all count:

  • Eggs. A breakfast staple, these contain around 7g of protein per egg.
  • Lean meat. A major source of protein. White meat, like chicken and turkey, is generally considered better than red meats.
  • Fish. One tin of tuna can contain up to 30g of protein!
  • Full fat Greek yogurt. Starting your day with 100g of yogurt for breakfast counts as around 6g of protein.
  • Soy protein or tofu. Contrary to opinion, vegetarian and vegan diets can provide plenty of protein. For example, 100g of tofu equals around 8g of protein.
  • Lentils, pulses and beans. 100g of boiled lentils contains around 9g of protein. Even a humble tin of baked beans counts but stick to low-sugar and salt varieties.
  • Nuts and seeds. A quick handful will boost energy and protein intake.

Try incorporating different sources of protein into every meal. Oven-roasting, pan-frying, or air-frying protein sources is a healthier option than deep-frying. Protein is particularly important post-workout to repair and build muscle. Specifically, a 20g protein portion within 30 minutes of exercise is recommended. Try drinking milk, eating yogurt topped with nuts and seeds, or tuna on toast.

Consuming carbohydrates, of the complex variety, is also a requirement in a calisthenics diet. Carbs are necessary fuel for your body, providing energy and replenishing depleted glycogen stores used up during exercise. However, not all carbs are created equal and are divided into complex or simple. The former is a ‘healthy’ source of carbohydrates that includes whole-grain cereals, bread and pasta, starchy vegetables, and legumes. These are also a good source of fibre.

On the other shoulder sits simple carbs like white bread, rice, pasta, cake and sweets, which, while tempting, offer little to no nutritional value. In fact, consuming too much can lead to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Complex carbs should therefore make up around 50% of your daily calorie intake, as they balance blood sugar levels, aid digestion and even speed up muscle recovery.

We all should be eating more fruit and veg, especially when following a calisthenics exercise programme. Fruit and veg live up to their super food title, as not only do they provide fibre, they also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can also improve muscle strength.

Despite this glowing report card, it is a surprise that only 10% of Americans eat enough fruit and veg! Fulfil your five-a-day by including raw and cooked fruit and veg in meals and as snacks throughout the day. Quick fixes include adding berries and chopped fruit to your breakfast cereal or yogurt in the morning, slurping vegetable soup at lunch, or serving salads and roasted veg with main meals. Having a fruit bowl close at hand keeps fruit readily available as well as acting as a visual reminder to eat!

Food to avoid on the calisthenics diet

  • Protein powders. Many gym-goers are turning to powdered forms of protein for an extra fix. However, as well as protein, many varieties also contain fillers, preservatives and thickeners. The bulk of your intake should instead come from natural, high-quality protein sources. Protein powders are best left within the toxically masculine realm of shakes and steroids.
  • Simple carbs like white bread, rice and pasta should be swapped for complex carbs. Try wholegrain versions, or healthy innovations like spiralised ‘courgetti’. Although sometimes slightly less appetising, they will provide more fuel for your calisthenics workout.
  • Calisthenic diets are also great for health and longevity, as they limit the consumption of highly processed food (HPF). Foods typically begin as whole foods, before being processed for consumption. As a general rule, the more processed food is, the fewer nutrients it contains. Avoid the usual suspects like processed meats, ready-meals, and noodle pots. Eating whole foods harvested from the ground, trees or animals goes back to the simple diet that humans have eaten for thousands of years. Stick to products with 5 ingredients or less as a guide.  

Calisthenics Diet Guide: Step by Step From Skinny To Shredded

If you are looking for a calisthenics diet that will help you build lean muscle mass, make you stronger, and speed up recovery, then you are in the right spot.

A good calisthenics diet consists of whole foods, lean meat, fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. Furthermore, cutting out on sugars and processed food will help you lean out without much effort. In this article you will learn how you can achieve all of this without becoming a slave of food.

Let’s look into the specifics and what you should start implementing in your lifestyle for optimal results.

The basic dietary terminology

Before presenting the diet plan for calisthenics, I will lay down the most fundamental information about nutrition. To keep it simple, I will only stick to the things you must know. If you want more information regarding this topic, I have written a more in-depth post about nutrition.

Below you will finally learn what the following are and what is their role:

  • Calories
  • Macronutrients & Micronutrients
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats


The calorie is a unit of energy. Everything we consume has a calorie count; a measure of how much energy the item stores. The calories we consume are spent in the following way:

  • 10% digestion
  • 20% physical activity
  • 70% the functions of our organs and tissues

However, not all the calories you ingest will be expended (used) by your body.

There is something called the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs to sustain the most basic functions for your survival.

To the BMR you add the number of calories expended during a workout and you have your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). So the TDEE is the total amount of calories your body expends in a day, including physical activity.

If you eat more calories than you burn, those calories will be stored as fat. You gain weight.

If you burn more calories than you eat, your fat reserves will be used for energy. You lose weight.

Macronutrients & Micronutrients

Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in large quantities in order to function properly. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals – nutrients your body needs to function properly, but in way smaller quantities.

There are four macronutrients, each having its own number of calories per gram:

  • Protein – 4 calories
  • Carbohydrates – 4 calories
  • Fats – 9 calories
  • Alcohol – 7 calories

For the purpose of this article, we will discuss below the function of each macronutrient (except for alcohol) in the context of working out.

As far as micronutrients are concerned, eat your fruits and vegetables, and go out in the sun (for vitamin D) and you are good. No need to overthink it.


Image of grilled chicken breast, one of the main sources of protein for calisthenics athletes

Protein is made up of organic compounds called amino acids. If you were to subtract the water in your body, 75% of what is left is made up of amino acids. This may help you understand why protein is so important.

Among the functions of protein a few notable roles are:

  • Growth and maintenance of tissues
  • Helps in digestion of food
  • Construct structures, like nails and hair

In the context of training, you need protein to build muscle mass.

Whenever you work out, your muscles experience microscopic damage. Think about little cuts in the muscle fiber. With the help of protein the muscle is repaired and made stronger and larger – thus leading to increases in strength and muscle mass.

The best sources of protein are:

  • Lean meat, eggs, milk, cheese, dairy, and other animal produce
  • Chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils (also rich in carbohydrates)
  • Nuts and seed (also rich in fats)


Oven baked potatoes, a good source of starchy carbohydrates

When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose – your body’s preferred source of fuel for cells. Once the cells are full of fuel, the remaining glucose is converted to glycogen which goes into your muscles and liver.

The glycogen in the muscles can only be used to fuel your muscles.

The glycogen in the liver is converted back to glucose to fuel the cells when needed.

My favorite carbohydrates are:

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa, oats, and other grains
  • Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread
  • Fruits and vegetables

Now let’s look at carbohydrates in the context of working out.

Some people prefer to stop eating carbohydrates altogether. The ketogenic diet. Their argument is that fats can be used as a source of fuel as well. Which is true. However, depending on your goals, this approach may or may not be beneficial for you.

Anaerobic exercises (i.e. high intensity like sprinting, strength training, HIIT, etc.) require glucose. So if you are doing very intense workouts, keto may not be your best option.

However, if you consider doing aerobic exercises (i.e. low intensity, more geared towards endurance) the lack of carbohydrates will most likely not harm your progress.


Image of almonds on a plate. Nuts are one of the best sources of fat for a calisthenics diet

As opposed to popular opinion, fats are not harmful – not all of them, at least. On the contrary, they are an essential part of your diet and should be consumed regularly for your body to function properly.

There are several functions fats have, the most notable being:

  • Insulation
  • Protection of your organs
  • Energy production (backup when carbohydrates are not available)
  • Vitamin absorption (vitamins A, E, D, and K can only be absorbed with the help of fat)

As you can see, fats are not the monstrous products that increase your weight and prevent you from getting thin. In moderation, they will keep you healthy, not get you fat.

Our favorite fat sources are:

  • Fatty fish, especially wild salmon
  • Olive oil, avocado, and olives
  • Nuts and seeds

The 5 dietary principles for an effective calisthenics diet

There are certain dietary principles that, if applied, will get you to your dream physique. This is true whether your goal is to gain weight, lose weight, put on muscle mass, or lean out.

These principles are:

  1. 1Eat mostly whole foods
  2. 2Cut out on junk food and sugary drinks
  3. 3Prioritise protein consumption
  4. 4Drink enough water
  5. 5Include something tasty with every meal

In the following lines we will discuss each principle in detail. If you can be consistent with these guidelines, you will be surprised at how much your body composition can change within a short period of time.

Eat mostly whole foods

The term whole foods refers to food that has been refined or processed as little as possible. Think about lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

With whole foods, what you see is what you get. Processed foods, on the other hand, have added ingredients and preservatives, and then are packaged so that they can sit on a shelf for a while. My favorite whole foods, sorted on a macronutrients basis are:

  • Fatty fish, especially wild salmon
  • Olive oil, avocado, and olives
  • Nuts and seeds

Cut out on junk food and sugary drinks

The fastest way to lean out and have a visible six-pack is to cut out on junk food, sugary drinks, sweets, and candy. Although this may seem difficult, you don’t have to stop eating these products for good. You just have to tone it down a little.

Unfortunately, all these tasty products have empty calories. These are calories derived from food that contains virtually no nutrients and do more harm than good.

Having said that, there are certain products that may be perceived as healthy but are not.

Therefore, we recommend you to avoid the following:

  • White rice, white flour products
  • Fruit juice

The issue with the “white” products is the fact that they are refined. Both white rice, as well as white flour, have the most nutritious parts of the grain – the bran and the germ – removed. This process removes most of the nutrients in the grains.

Fruit juice is certainly better than soda. However, when you are juicing a fruit, you are throwing away the fiber (pulp) and only consuming the sugar.

Prioritise protein consumption

In today’s day and age, it is very easy to (over)consume carbohydrates. All the tasty snacks, sweets, and most beverages are filled with carbohydrates. However, it is not as easy to consume protein so we have to make a conscious effort to include it in every meal we get.

Most protein sources are boring foods, in comparison to what I mentioned above.

As a recap, the main sources are:

  • Meat, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt (animal products)
  • Chickpeas, beans, lentils
  • Nuts and seeds

An actionable step that you could take into your life right now would be to prioritise the consumption of protein every day, then think about the other nutrients.

Start your day with a protein rich breakfast.

Plan your meals starting with the protein in mind.

Prepare protein snacks in advance so you will always have something nutritious to munch on. Don’t worry; unless you gulp down lots of protein shakes and bars during the day, you will not over consume protein.

Drink enough water

People underestimate how important proper hydration is for health and competitive success. Water is the single most critical nutrient in our body, and I am not even exaggerating.

Here are some interesting facts…

  • The brain is composed of 95% water
  • The lungs are composed of almost 90% water
  • The blood is composed of 82% water

But since this is an article regarding a calisthenics diet, we care about athletic performance.

So how does water, or better yet lack of it, affect your athletic performance?

A loss of 5% water of your body weight during physical activities can lead to a decrease in work capacity of up to 30% (study). That is a loss of 30% just because you didn’t hydrate properly.

Consuming liquids replenishes the ones lost during the workout. It is essential to restore the fluids to maintain normal muscle function, reduce the risk of heat stress, and prevent a decrease in performance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.