Can you eat junk food when bulking?

In this article we are going to answer whether you can eat junk food when bulking, what is junk food, what is bulking, what is the difference between dirty and clean bulking, and how does junk food affect your body when bulking, and what is the best food for bulking. 

Can you eat junk food when bulking?

Yes, you can eat junk food when bulking but it is not the ideal way to get to your target weight. You need to monitor your essential protein, carbohydrates, and fats needs. 

Junk food should never be the main source of your diet bulk even if the food fits your calories and macro needs. You may gain too much fat instead of gaining muscle too and it can have negative effects on your health. 

What is junk food?

Junk food, according to the oxford languages, is food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little or no preparation. Is food that lacks nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and has high calorie, salt, sugar, and fat content. 

  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Fast food (burgers, pizza, hot dogs)
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Processed meats such as bacon
  • Snacks such as chips
  • Sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks
  • Alcoholic drink 

It is called junk food because it is not part of healthy eating, especially if eaten in excess. It can have serious consequences on the health of whoever eats too much junk food. 

Junk food can lead you to short and long-term complications such as fat weight gain, diabetes, and heart problems. 

What is bulking?

Bulking is a phase of bodybuilding where the main goal is muscle gaining. You are meant to consume more calories than your body needs for a certain period of about 4 to 6 months. These extra calories provide the necessary fuel to your body to gain muscle size while weight training. 

Because of the excess calories you intake while bulking, the fat tends to accumulate. After building, comes the phase of cutting which is a gradual decrease in calorie intake accompanied by aerobic training to reduce body fat and increased muscle definition. 

During the bulking phase, the average intake of calories can go up to 3,800 calories for men and 3200 for women. 

What is the difference between clean and dirty bulk?

Dirty bulking usually includes eating those extra calories from high-calorie foods, including junk foods to promote a rapid weight gain. Clean bulk gets all those extra calories from healthy and nutrient foods. 

Dirty bulking helps you to gain muscle and weight faster when adequate protein intake is included. If you decide to do it with dirty bulking, it needs some nutritional intervention such as a calorie or systematized diet. It can be hard for you to achieve a fast loss in the next phase. 

According to some studies, achieving your goal through clean bulking will likely result in more muscle mass and less body fat than a dirty bulk diet. 

Untrained/newbieRate of weight gainLess potential fat gainNutrition
Clean BulkNot BeneficialBeneficialBeneficial
Dirty BulkBeneficialBeneficialNot Beneficial
Clean BulkNot BeneficialBeneficialBeneficial
Dirty BulkBeneficialNot BeneficialNot Beneficial

How does junk food affect your body when bulking?

If you choose dirty bulking it can have some negative effects on your health. It has been proven that it promotes unwanted fat gain, it can affect blood vessels because of the excess of processed carbs and saturated fat is high and it may make you feel sluggish. 

Dirty bulking can lead to water retention and fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Also, dirty bulking is not a diet to follow long term. It can compromise your overall health 

What is the best food for bulking?

The best food for bulking is a nutrient-dense food that will ensure your overall health with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and quality proteins. Remembering is not only about bulking but also about your health in the long run. Junk food can mess with your health. 

Some foods that you can add when you are bulking are

  • Fruits: apples, avocado, berries, grapes, kiwi, oranges, bananas, pineapple, and pears.
  • Vegetables: you can eat all vegetables like beets, broccoli, carrots, collards, kale, mushrooms, peppers, and cucumber. 
  • Starchy vegetables: peas, jicama, potatoes, yam, and arrowroot.
  • Grains: Choose whole grains options like bread, cereals, corn, oatmeal, quinoa, and rice.
  • Seafood: cod, crab, lobster, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, and tuna.
  • Dairy: you can eat full-fat options of butter, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.
  • Meats, poultry, and eggs: ground beef, steak, pork, chicken, turkey breast, and whole eggs.
  • Legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, and pinto beans.
  • Nuts and seeds: all nuts and seeds can be included.
  • Oils and nut butter: try to choose healthy vegetable oils like almond, peanut butter, olive oil, avocado oil, and grapeseed oil.
  • Beverages: choose water, coffee, diet soda, and tea. 

Want some recipes for you to follow when cleaning bulking, follow this link


This article answered whether you can eat junk food when bulking, what is junk food, what is bulking, what is the difference between, how does junk food affect your body, and what is the best food for bulking. 


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!