I attribute a ton of my success in bodybuilding to McDonalds. I used to work there full-time and was able to take a lot of free food home every night.
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Still to this day a large part of my diet consists of McDonalds. And people say I look buff- and I’m far from ‘obese’ or anything like that.
The truth is- McDonalds is like a secret weapon for bodybuilding. It provides great nutrition, cheap food, and tasty food.
Here’s how to use mcdonalds for bodybuilding- including the best items to purchase.
Why is McDonalds Good For Bodybuilding?
McDonalds is good for bodybuilding for many reasons.
Firstly, it’s cheap. Something many people overlook when starting bodybuilding is the cost of food.
I myself have been victim of being forced to ‘cut’ or ‘lose weight’ because I cannot actually afford enough food to eat. It’s a tough life.
Regardless, mcdonalds offers really cheap options to keep gaining weight- and therefore putting on muscle.
Secondly, McDonalds is PERFECT for bodybuilding food. They have a ton of options with high protein and great overall nutritional density.
So, they give great tasting food that’s cheap. What more is there to say?
McDonalds and Bodybuilding on a Bulk
When you’re bulking, McDonalds is the sweet spot. An easy amount of calories for a cheap amount of money.
If you’ve read my post all about why dirty bulking is the secret to getting big- you may already know some options. But here are the best things to get at McDonalds on a bulk.
#1 – Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese [BEST]
The double quarter pounder with cheese is a MUST-HAVE for those that want to use mcdonalds for bodybuilding.
First of all- this thing is tasty. And probably some of the healthiest things you can get on the menu. They cook this 1/2 lb of meat fresh everytime its’ ordered. And as far as I know, there’s not a lot ‘bad’ about it.
When I cooked off that meet, it looked like real meat. And it tastes real too.
The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese will set you off with this nutrition for the day:
- Calories: 720 calories
- Protein: 49g
- Fat: 40g
- Carbs: 43g
I mean- for most bodybuilders, we generally aim for 130-150g of protein a day. This sandwich will easily put you 1/3rd of the way there already.
And like I said, this sandwich tastes really good.
#2 – Two McChickens [CHEAPEST]
Look, not all of us are carrying fat money bags, especially if we’re ordering from McDonald’s.
I know this all too well. McDonald’s sells the McChicken 2 for $2. So if you buy 1 McChicken it’s something like $1.50, and if you buy two mcchickens it’s $2.
This means you can get 2 mcchickens for $2.
These things are INCREDIBLY filling. And they taste REALLY good. Plus the nutrition isn’t bad at all.
- Calories: 800 calories
- Protein: 28g
- Fat: 42g
- Carbs: 78g
While the Tommy 2 McChicken special doesn’t give a billion grams of protein or anything- it’s really good and cheap.
When I only have like $10 in my bank account and can barely afford food, the 2 mcchickens are sure to keep my bulk going. It’s some of the cheapest food you can buy!
#3 – The 2 Sausage McMuffin with Egg Tommy Combo
The sausage mcmuffin with egg is a KINGPIN of McDonalds.
First of all, who doesn’t love the sausage mcmuffin with egg? It’s soooo delicious. But do you know how good the nutrition is on two of them?
- Calories: 960
- Protein: 42g
- Fat: 60g
- Carbs: 60g
That’s not bad. I always buy two, as they usually do like a 2 sausage mcmuffins for $4 deal.
These things are fricken DELICIOUS. There is no doubt about that. There is a good reason they are one of the most ordered items on McDonalds menu.
With the recent addition of all-day breakfast, these things are obtainable every hour of every day. (But if you’re ordering it late at night I recommend asking for it to be Cooked to Order…)
The protein isn’t insane. But for $4, these things will fill you up, and get a ton of food in you.
#4 – The Reese’s/Oreo/M&M McFlurry
When it comes to McDonalds and bodybuilding, the mcflurry is the secret weapon.
Delicious, easy to devour, and packed with calories and protein- the mcflurry is a favorite of anybody trying to gain weight.
Here’s the nutrition on it:
- Calories: 640 calories
- Carbs: 96g
- Fats: 21g
- Proteins: 13g
Let me say this- I don’t know what McDonald’s puts in their ice-cream. But it’s so addicting and I can’t stop eating.
This helps the dilemma of a bodybuilder, who is trying to eat as much as possible for cheap as possible. Not bad- plus it’s got some decent protein in it.
McDonalds and Bodybuilding on a Cut
Alright, so you’ve done your bulk and now you need to actually lose the weight.
What are some of the best budget options? Tastier options? Or even healthy options?
Let’s take a look at my favorite foods for cutting down weight.
#1 – The McDouble
The McDouble is really a double-edged sword. It sits at a clean 390 calories, but can make or break you depending on who you are.
If you’re able to stop in, order a mcdouble and feel full after eating it- this is a godsend.
I added this because I know many people think the mcdouble is incredibly filling and order it as a normal meal sandwich. However, I personally don’t feel full after eating it.
So I use this by ordering it at times where I can’t eat more. I’ll order a McDouble before heading to school because I can’t eat during class. That way my appetite will go away during class and it will stop me from constantly eating in the meantime.
Now if you aren’t smart- you can go to McDonald’s and get sucked into buying a fry with the McDouble- and now your diet is going out the drain.
Just stick with the sandwich, it has great nutrition, it’s fairly cheap, but make sure it’s just the sandwich.
- Calories: 390 calories
- Fat: 18g
- Carbs: 33g
- Protein: 22g
#2 – The Grilled Chicken Salad with No Sauce (INCREDIBLY FILLING AND TASTY – 200 CALORIES!)
Look- I’ve never been some ‘salad’ freak. Sure, I’ll eat it- but it’s not my choice of food.
But when I worked those grueling 8-hour shifts at McDonald’s and needed to lose weight, this was my savior.
Right now due to COVID-19, it looks like they aren’t offering this. But when McDonald’s stops pretending that they can’t get ahold of salad because of the pandemic, it will be back.
This thing will only set you back around 200 calories, but it is incredibly filling.
All you have to do is order like a southwest salad with grilled chicken and nothing else on it. Just the lettuce and grilled chicken.
I’m not sure how McDonald’s does it- but their grilled chicken is nothing short of incredible.
Ultimately, you get a lot of vegetables and protein. McDonald’s took down the nutrition on this- but if my memory serves me right you get around 25g of protein for 200 calories.
Plus, you’ll feel full after. Good stuff!
#3 – The Big Mac (What??)
I put the big mac on this list for a good reason.
It’s INCREDIBLY filling, and only 550 calories. There’s something many people don’t like to talk about when losing weight: how full you are.
Let me tell you something: if you feel full- it’s way harder to eat. If you feel full 24 hours a day, it’s going to be basically impossible to lose weight.
The Big Mac has a ‘third’ bun- that’s more stuff to fill up your stomach and make you feel fuller. Plus, this sandwich gets lettuce, which is more vegetables to fill you up.
One of the golden rules of bodybuilding and in general nutrition is: the more protein, the more it will fill you up.
The Big Mac comes with 25g of protein and has a decent amount of meat on it, the same amount as the McDouble actually.
This is a BIG sandwich that is going to fill you up. Plus, it’s incredibly tasty. I mean, there’s a reason it’s the #1 item on the McDonalds menu.
In terms of McDonalds and bodybuilding, the big mac is actually a very secret item for cutting. I buy it all the time. At only 550 calories, this will barely knock out 1/3rd of someone’s TDEE while cutting.
And it won’t make you hate yourself.
#4 – Buttermilk Crispy Chicken/Grilled Chicken
You may be confused why I put on the buttermilk crispy chicken on this list- but hear me out.
You can also choose to get grilled chicken on this sandwich instead of a crispy chicken.
The grilled chicken sandwich will save you roughly 200-300 calories, but that’s not the point.
When it comes to losing weight, you need to have fun with it and be happy. I love fried chicken as much as the next guy! Having a crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich from McDonalds is INCREDIBLY filling and tastes really good.
There’s a lot in the sandwich, plus it’s nutrition is REALLY good. I mean honestly, you can’t go wrong by getting it.
It sits at around 600 calories, on a cut- that’s around 1/3rd of your total TDEE. But the sandwich is really good and will make you happy- that’s the important thing.
I’m sick of seeing these posts telling people to only eat salad for 3 months. The truth is- that’s not how any of this works. If you only have to eat salad for 3 months, you’re just going to hate yourself and not want to lose weight anymore.
Having some fried chicken and actually feeling full after a meal is what’s important. It keeps you happy and keeps you going on your goals to lose weight.
Plus honestly- it’s not even that bad of a choice nutritionally. You’ll likely still have 1300 calories left over for the day.
The truth is in- McDonalds and bodybuilding is awesome, and incredibly doable.
If I’ve been able to get such a good physique and that’s been most of my diet- they’re doing something right.
Tell me in the comments what your favorite item from McDonalds is for bodybuilding. Mine was the bacon mcdouble before they got rid of it…