What Would A Personal Trainer Meal Plan Look Like?


personal trainer food

Ever wonder how your trainer eats? Here’s your peak behind the scenes at how the most fit eat on a daily basis.

Have you ever wondered what a personal trainer meal plan was like?

These men and women strive to help people every day and they do so by being proper role models. When it comes to nutrition and training they are the ones scrutinized the most. How could a personal trainer tell you to maintain a healthy diet when they do not even do that for their own body?

A great trainer usually follows some type of meal planning revolving around body maintenance, fat loss or muscle growth. Despite what some may believe, a personal trainer is human just like anybody else.

The Common Personal Trainer Food’s Are About Body Maintenance

This is the usual meal plan that a personal trainer would follow. They need to be healthy and energetic enough to train many clients each day. Body maintenance is based off of a strength-training program. Macronutrients, called protein, carbs and fats, are needed just enough to support energy production, recovery and overall health.

Body maintenance is what most people want because it simply means you just want to keep your body healthy, capable of doing daily physical tasks and possibly also to prevent medical issues. The meal plan a personal trainer uses for this would be one that is higher in protein and moderate in both carbs and fats.

Do not misunderstand. When we say higher in protein that does not mean the high protein diet. All it refers to is increasing the protein levels slightly higher than that of the carb and fat levels.

Here Is A Brief Breakdown On Why Macronutrients Are Good For You

Every gym-goer knows a thing or two about protein. It helps your skeletal muscle tissues repair, recover and grow to maintain strong and healthy muscles, bones, and basically all things within your body. This nutrient is essential for life to take place. In terms of fat loss, this nutrient helps you feel fuller to prevent overeating. You would have to consume a very high protein diet in order to cause kidney damage, so do not worry too much about this warning a lot of people talk about.

Carbs are sugars that get stored in areas such as your muscles, liver and fat cells. They are called upon for energy production through your metabolism. Eating too many of them can cause unwanted and potentially harmful situations such as fat gains, diabetes and even obesity. Eating too little of them may cause fatigue and lack of energy to focus. You need the right amount.

Dietary fats are also needed. In this case, it’s about getting the right types. The good fats for your body keep your organs and muscles healthy. Another thing to consider is that they assist with keeping your joints adequately lubed to do their proper range of motion. When you run out of carbs for energy, your body uses fats as the secondary energy source referred to as ketosis. But, you need to be careful when purposely causing this metabolic change.


You Need To Put It All Together

Keep the following simple, yet helpful information in mind throughout this discussion. A personal trainer is going to eat plenty of fruits and veggies because they provide a significant source of all micronutrients and fiber as well. They are the fuels for keeping your body alive and functioning properly that often get left out of conversations.

The next important foods are protein-based portions, usually three or four times a day. You know the drill. Breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack and dinner are generally the areas protein foods such as chicken, beef, fish, nuts and other sources get consumed. Sometimes a slow digestive food such as cottage cheese is consumed prior to rest.

Carbs are eaten throughout the morning and day, but during the evening they are usually only found in the veggies being consumed. It’s pretty unlikely for a person to gain fat by eating broccoli and carrots, which are non-starchy. Fats are usually going to come along for the ride with meats, poultry, fish, milk, etc. But, they are also used for the base to cook foods with such items as sunflower, olive oil and you can even use the benefits of coconut oil.

Basically, all of these are whole foods with little processing. However, trainers do consume unhealthy foods from time to time.


Simple, because a little bit of these foods is not going to hurt your body. The thing to keep in mind is willpower keeps a person from overeating.

Building Muscle

This Is What The Trainer Building Muscle Eats

You may encounter a trainer that has a meal plan focused on building muscle, or muscle hypertrophy for you anatomy lovers. The focus is eating foods high in calories. Most of the foods consumed would be nutritious, but you will see a fair amount of high-calorie snacks being eaten to help increase body weight.

This is called bulking. In other words, this is when we eat to purposely gain weight while following a moderate to heavy weight training program. After a few months of this, the extra weight is dropped and a few extra muscle pounds should take its place. The personal trainer meal plan for this would be high in all macronutrients.

You will especially notice that the amounts of food being eaten are carbs from starchy foods such as potatoes. They are a cheap source for calories and energy. Protein shakes may be seen consumed more during this cycle for extra calories as well. There are many other foods you will see for this meal planning. They include such things as steak, bacon, eggs and canned tuna. Of course, there’s also baked potatoes, rice, pasta, French fries, protein shakes, broccoli and a variety of beans.

These foods are eaten in higher amounts than the average trainer. With that said, seeing foods on this list that you were told are unhealthy and to stay away from does not mean it’s bad for others. You need to remember that every training program is different. That is why it is not always fair to judge a trainer on what they are eating before knowing their fitness goals.

This Is What The Fat Loss Trainer Eats

Usually trainers looking to lose fat are on a cutting cycle. But, it seems the newer trend is to be on a lifestyle diet plan. On this plan, almost all foods consumed are from whole food sources, low in calories, fats and carbs. In order to keep fat off your body, you have to consume fewer calories than what you use. It’s basic math.

A trainer like this sometimes gets a little obsessive. This can sometimes be a good thing for people looking to burn fat and keep the extra weight from coming back. Trainers following this meal plan are quite obvious because they have well-defined and slim body types. If this sounds appealing, there are a number of foods for you to consider. Of course, these include breast of chicken or turkey, fish, turkey burgers or bacon. You could also opt for non-starchy veggies, Greek yogurt, quinoa, low-sugar fruits, lettuce wraps, low-fat milk and cucumber salads.

All of these are as healthy as you can get it without giving you the feeling like you hate dieting. There are plenty of other choices to choose from, but basing your meals around these types of food is a good place to start.

A Personal Trainer Meal Plan Is Well Established

No matter what type of meal planning is being utilized, one thing is for certain: Every calorie and type of food being eaten will be accounted for. Trainers can’t tell you how to be precise about meal planning without doing the same thing for their own health. This mindset is what we should all strive to achieve. That includes you!

When you eat something high in calories such as a chili dog, do you feel it was the right choice? You should not have to second-guess what you consume. If you do, then you probably made a bad choice in your meal planning. You need to establish an effective routine that revolves around eating nutrients from healthy sources for the most part.

Meal planning also focuses on the times you eat food. The whole point of nutrient intake is to slowly drip the nutrients into your body throughout the day. Eating everything at once means a lot of nutrients are not going to be broken down for energy and other uses. Instead they just get sent out the other end. Gradually consuming foods in smaller portions is the correct path to take.

What does that mean in simple terms? The three big meal plans a day is not the best choice. Instead, you should have five to six smaller meals throughout the day. Of course, two of those meals are actually more like a snack. Here is a great example to consider.

6 am to 7 am breakfast

9 am after breakfast snack

11 am to 12 pm lunch

2 pm to 3 pm after lunch snack

5 to 6 pm dinner

8 to 9 pm late snack low in calories (Greek yogurt or cottage cheese)

As you can see, there is a lot of eating involved throughout the day, but, as mentioned, they are smaller meals not meant to make you feel bloated after each meal. This is why protein shakes were actually created. You get to conveniently get your macros while also minimizing the time needed to prep and consume food. Vitamins are similar to this as well, and actually work best in the morning on an empty stomach and you push breakfast back. Basically you are putting your body through a brief fast without knowing it.

You Might Not Ever See Your Trainer Eat

The reason for this is because they don’t want to make a client feel tempted to want food while dieting. Everyone has their own goals and most trainers are not trying to make a person on a diet crave foods that aren’t on the suggested meal plan.

If you truly want to know what their meal plan is like, you should simply ask. The best thing to do is always ask questions. After all, this is the reason you pay for a trainer in the first place. However, for those without a trainer, you can easily go into fitness forums and usually get free help from people with similar backgrounds and/or experience.

Will A Personal Trainer’s Meal Plan Work For You?

It depends. You need to be honest with yourself. What are your goals? People who are already in good shape and athletically fit should consider following meal plans of a trainer because they are technically more advanced. People looking to lose weight should instead focus on a meal plan properly assigned to them by a person certified in nutrition. Just always remember that a trainer’s meal plan is strict, effective and used for the purpose of creating a healthier body.



It’s true: Personal trainers are human. They crave many of the same foods you do. They eat many of the same foods you do. Like you, they have goals. But, everyone is different. Therefore, it stands to reason that their goals might be different than yours. They might want to maintain their body, build more muscle or shed a little fat. And, with all of the different goals comes a need for a different meal plan. That is why it’s important to know yourself and your needs. From there, it’s simply a matter of setting attainable goals and achieving them.

By Brian Pankau, CPT



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