Meal Plan for a Coeliac Bodybuilder

Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease where antibodies attack the lining of the small intestine. For more detailed information of Coeliac disease and for a standard meal plan please see Meal Plan for Coeliac Disease. Coeliacs need to follow a gluten-free diet; gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Coeliacs (and people with dermatitis herpetiformis – a skin condition also caused by gluten intolerance, who should follow a similar diet) need to completely exclude gluten from their diet; even minute amounts can case symptoms. Specially produced gluten-free bread, flour, biscuits and pasta are available.

Bodybuilders aim is to gain muscle and strength without additional bodyfat. The key to quality muscle gain is to eat good amounts of food during the course of a day with six or seven smaller meals / snacks, rather than three big meals. Bodybuilders will need to include plenty of high protein food choices like lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and milk; low glycaemic carbs; fruit and vegetables (don't forget nuts and pulses are also good sources of protein); as well as sources of essential fats. See our Glycaemic Index Tables for GI values of foods.

It's not uncommon for newly diagnosed Coeliacs who have lost a lot of weight prior to diagnosis to take up weight training to build their physiques back up now they can eat without any discomfort and absorb their nutrition properly.

The bodybuilder Coeliac needs to be particularly careful with carbohydrate food sources as all wheat, rye, barley and oat products will need to be eliminated entirely. Basmati rice, new potatoes and sweet potatoes are great choices; otherwise use the specially formulated gluten-free products.

Timing of meals is important for maximum gains and efficient energy levels, so spread meals regularly through the day and try to stick to a schedule. It's especially important is to eat good amounts of protein and carbs after training.

In respect of nutritional and bodybuilding supplements look at the label to makes sure the products are gluten-free; if in doubt contact the manufacturer. Be particularly cautious with maltodextrin and other carbohydrate powders, weight gain formulas and MRPs as they may contain carbohydrate sources based on wheat, rye, barley or oats. Whey protein can be a useful aid to making gains, but the quality of product varies hugely from brand to brand. Check all protein powders: is the source of protein based on wheat, rye, barley or oats? Remember supplements are there to supplement and are not meant to replace good wholesome food.

The following meal plan is an example plan of a healthy diet which is suitable for a Coeliac or any bodybuilder looking to follow a gluten-free diet when trying to gain muscle size and strength. Use this to give you an idea of what are healthy nutritious foods to include, but don't forget to vary your food choices and to drink plenty of water through the day. Remember to check with your doctor or gastro-enterologist before following this plan. The plan includes options for specially produced gluten-free items.

1 scoop whey protein in water
Large bowl of gluten-free breakfast cereal e.g. cornflakes / buckwheat flakes + 250ml skimmed milk + 1 tsp sugar
and/or 2-3 slices gluten-free bread with olive oil-based spread* and natural peanut butter*
2 whole eggs (quality variety)
200ml fruit juice
Mug tea/coffee
100g chicken breast or mackerel fillet
4-5 rice cakes + natural peanut butter*
Item fruit
Mug tea/coffee
Sandwiches: 4 slices gluten-free bread + olive oil-based spread* + off-bone chicken/ham or tuna mixed with low fat natural yoghurt* or smoked salmon
or tuna or chopped chicken with basmati rice
Large mixed salad
Low fat / low sugar yoghurt*
Drink water
Mid afternoon
4-5 rice cakes
250g cottage cheese or quark
Item fruit
Mug tea/coffee
45 mins pre-workout
80g chicken breast
Large handful mixed nuts

TRAIN – 45-60 minutes

Immediately post workout
40g whey protein + 20g dextrose in water
Evening Meal
180g chicken breast or white fish or lean meat
Large serving basmati rice or gluten-free pasta or 6-7 boiled small new potatoes or large sweet potato
and loads of veg or large salad
Drink water
3-4 gluten-free biscuits
200g low fat natural yoghurt* + fruit
Drink water
1 scoop whey protein in 150ml skimmed milk

* Check The Food List

As with all the meal plans on The Meal Plan Site, use this as a guide and do not stick to it too rigidly! Eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs and adjust portions and food choices according to progress and performance.

Weight training should be intense sessions three or four times per week for 45-60 minutes maximum. Try to incorporate 45 minutes low intensity steady cardiovascular training twice per week to help with heart health and to help keep body fat levels down.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.