Is baby food good for bodybuilding

6 Diets From The Edge

The quest to lose or gain weight can take people above and beyond the realm of normalcy. These six diets will make your low-carb Paleo diet look like kid’s stuff.

We live in a fast-paced world. Everybody is looking for the quickest fix, the fastest information, and the speediest way to shed pounds. Although we know that balanced nutrition and exercise is probably the best way to go about losing weight, there are some who take dieting to extreme levels. Some are successful—for his latest role, Matthew McConaughey lost like 30 pounds in three hours. Others fail, relapse, or start over.

The list of insane diets is long and chock-full of weird. But even amid the muck of unsafe, unnatural ideas sit gems of applicability. Here are the best tips from the worst diets.

Who doesn't know somebody who has tried this diet/cleanse? It's found a popular place in celeb news and YouTube diet reviews. The rules are pretty simple. No solid foods or supplements. All you get to ingest is a magic elixir.

  • Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice

    2 tbsp

  • Grade-B Organic Maple Syrup

    2 tbsp

  • Cayenne Pepper

    1/10 tsp

  • Filtered Water

    10 oz

The diet lasts 4-14 days. Afterward, slowly ease back into eating solid foods.

What's Wrong ///

Cleanses aren't scientifically proven to do anything1,2. Most research shows that the body is perfectly capable of ridding waste on its own. Furthermore, research suggests that cleanses upset the natural chemical and hormonal balance of the body.

Concerning weight loss, docs speculate that detox diets aren't really necessary, and that whatever weight is lost from an all-liquid diet will tend to come back.

What's Useful ///

The reasoning behind "detoxing" is to get rid of the waste, chemicals, and unnatural products that end up in our bodies because of food. If you're concerned about pesticides and lab-grown DNA in your food, try eating organic.

As far as weight loss goes, if you're not getting the results you want from six small meals per day, try the other end of the frequency pendulum—intermittent fasting. Here, you strategically eat once per day, or within one daily window.

Yep, it's exactly what it sounds. Your food is delivered through a feeding tube instead of through the actual actions of chewing and swallowing3,4. The feeding tube, which is connected to a bag of fluids, goes in the nose, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The bag of fluids contains the selected amount of calories you'd need to lose weight (500-800 calories).

The fluid bag is filled with a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb mixture, sending your body into ketosis. It's advertised that through this diet, you can lose 20 pounds in 10 days.

What's Wrong ///

This diet isn't meant as a long-term lifestyle fix. It's a crash diet. And it's an expensive crash diet.

There are also a few nasty side effects that can occur from having tubes shoved down your throat for so long, including halitosis, nasal drip, cough, and infection.

What's Useful ///

Try a more traditional ketogenic diet. The low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet replaces glucose with ketone bodies as an energy source. Combining a ketogenic diet with exercise is probably a much smarter long-term plan than having a doctor shove a plastic tube down your nose.

The basic plan calls for eating baby food. All day. Fourteen jars of delicious, liquidy peas. Mmmmmm.

The theory is that bland, mushy baby food in portion-controlled jars will prevent you from overeating, or from really enjoying your food for that matter.

Fourteen servings of baby food equals out to approximately 1,000 calories. With that much of a calorie deficit, you'll probably lose some excess weight.

What's Wrong ///

Adults' dietary needs are much different than those of babies. Sure, most baby food is low in fat and sugar, but it also lacks fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.

Mashed-up food might also play some tricks on your, uh, digestive system. Nutritionists say that it's just another gimmick. If you're smart about your portions, there's no reason you need to spend extra money on baby food7.

What's Useful ///

Baby food has been used in the pre-contest bodybuilding community for years. It's also used in healthy cooking techniques because it's generally nutrient-rich and made without additives and preservatives6.

If you don't want to go on the whole-hog, baby-food-only diet, try to swap high-calorie, high-sugar snacks for jars of baby food.

This strategy goes something like this:

  • Don't eat breakfast.
  • Take five bites of lunch.
  • Take five bites of dinner.
  • Take a multi-vitamin.
  • Don't drink any calories.
  • Make sure you get some protein.

You can eat anything you want on this diet, but the idea is to severely limit yourself. Want a cheeseburger? Sure! But you can only have five bites. The point of this diet—much like the point of all other diets—is to limit your calorie intake.

While this diet can certainly help you if you have "portion distortion," don't treat it as a long-term solution.

What's Wrong ///

Once you hit your goal weight, you can go back to your normal Big-Gulps-and-nachos eating habits. Can you say yo-yo diet? Furthermore, the diet actually calls for a multi-vitamin to make up for the essential nutrients you'll be missing.

The purpose of a vitamin is to fill in occasional gaps, hence the word supplement8. If you're relying on a vitamin to make your body work correctly, you're asking for trouble.

What's Useful ///

Portion control, baby! Much of our wonderful country's weight problem has to do with the sheer volume of food we shove in our mouths.

Although this diet takes portion control to giddy heights, we can use the idea to make smarter decisions about how much food we eat. No, you do not need four sweet potatoes—one, or even half of one, will do.

To gain weight, you gotta eat. For some people, eating enough food to get huge is really difficult. Enter, the "Gallon Of Milk A Day" plan. On this diet, you'll get a gallon of whole milk—good for 2,400 calories, 200 grams of carbs, 120 grams of fat, and 120 grams of protein—on top of the four whole-food meals you'll be eating9. If you're consistent, you can most likely expect to gain the weight within 1-2 months. Say "sayonara" to skinny!

What's Wrong ///

Even if you're on an insane training program, a lot of the weight you'll gain will be fat10. Expect to gain 2-3 percent fat mass per month. You should also expect to feel really full all the time.

Another downside is boredom. It's difficult to drink a gallon of water per day, so imagine chugging down an entire gallon of milk! You may also want to pay attention to how your body reacts to dairy. If you're intolerant, or don't digest it well, you're not going to feel very good.

What's Useful ///

People have had success on this diet; it's really difficult not to gain weight when you're consuming so many calories. It's particularly beneficial for hardgainers like high-school guys who want to bulk up before football season.

It's also fairly inexpensive for the amount of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals you'll be getting. Even better: according to one study, ingesting milk can increase protein synthesis—hooray for muscle building11!

Ah, the French. Instead of actually chewing and swallowing crepes, croissants, and beef bourguignon, the new diet fad is to pretend to eat.

It was inspired by a Dolce & Gabbana campaign that featured pictures of Madonna holding food to her mouth, but not actually eating12.

Enjoy your cup of steaming chicken noodle soup: smell it, feel the warmth, pretend to put it to your lips, just don't actually eat it. Instead of food, you get to have water and a salt-soup concoction—delicious.

What's Wrong ///

Once again, this isn't a long-term plan, but rather a super-low-calorie crash diet meant to shed poundage quickly13.

There's no exercise plan attached to this diet, nor is there any other nutrition other than water and salt. All in all, this diet is bad news.

What's Useful ///

Although it's difficult to come up with anything positive about this diet, one can take from it the idea that food is an experience. Of course, at its most basic level, food is fuel. But, instead of pouring it into a bowl and going at it like a dog that hasn't eaten in days, your body actually benefits from slower eating habits.

Smelling, tasting, and chewing slowly can activate hormones that signal satiety and pleasure more quickly than when you fit an entire ham sandwich in your mouth14.


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Do Bodybuilders REALLY Eat Baby Food? 4 Reasons Explained

People on a weight loss journey have tried several ways to make their “ideal weight. “ Using extreme diets, some bodybuilders have begun eating baby foods as meal replacements for weight loss. 

Do bodybuilders really eat baby food? Although it’s not common, some bodybuilders use baby food as meal replacements in a cutting phase. This is a dangerous practice since consuming a low-calorie diet (<1,200 cal) lacks essential nutrients. Other reasons to add baby food are having fewer stomach issues, adding extra calories, and eating between workouts. 

In this article, I will explore everything related to this practice, including the reasons why bodybuilders might use baby food and ways to include it without affecting your health and performance. 

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Baby Food? 4 Reasons

While most competitive bodybuilders will NOT eat baby food, here are the most common reasons why bodybuilders would start eating it:

Weight Loss

One of the main reasons why bodybuilders use baby food is as a meal replacement for weight loss. Some of them find it easier to shed pounds if they replace their meals with baby food. 

Although it is not a very common practice, this dangerous approach to weight loss can have repercussions on your health. 

While BMR depends on weight, height, and age, on average, a male’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) (the calories needed to provide the basic survival functions like sleeping, breathing, and chemical reactions) is around 2000 kcal, while a woman’s is around 1200 kcal.

  • If you are curious to know your BMR, use our BMR calculator.

Eating a low (<1,200 kcal) or a very low-calorie diet (<800 kcal), can severely impact your health in several aspects. Often, bodybuilders that start using baby food for weight loss, could be eating around 1,200 kcal on average per day. Thus, being considered a low-calorie diet. 

So, what are the repercussions of having a low-calorie diet?

  • Decreased metabolic rate. This means that you can make your metabolism less efficient, i. e. how your body burns calories. In this study, people that were on the Biggest Loser after 6 years of the intervention, had metabolic problems. They saw that on average, people’s BMR was 500 kcal lower when compared to other people in the same conditions that didn’t follow a restricted diet. This means that your body burns less calories to perform normal bodily functions, making it harder in the future to lose weight.  
  • Muscle loss. Low-calorie diets can cause hormonal imbalances and it can affect your muscle mass. Without adequate energy, the body turns to muscle mass in order to provide for the necessary energy for the body’s primary function. Thus, this often leads to people losing muscle mass, not fat mass.
  • Nutrient deficiency. Restricting your calories and natural foods can cause nutrient deficiency. One of the main nutrients that it can lack is iron, which leads to anemia. This leads to people feeling more fatigued and reducing their immune function.  

Fewer Stomach Problems 

Baby food is simple and easy to digest. Since babies’ digestive tract is still in development when baby food is included (normally after 4-6 months of only using breast milk), the formula needs to be according to their needs. 

This makes it an ideal food to include for those with digestive issues. Bodybuilders who often have trouble digesting food, have been preaching the wonderful benefits of using baby food to add to their meals without having any digestive problems. 

Adding Extra Calories 

Some bodybuilders use baby food to add more calories to their diets. Although I previously said that they use it to reduce their calories, that is only if they are using it as a meal replacement. In this situation, they include baby food in addition to their regular diet to increase their caloric intake. 

For you to gain weight you need to eat more calories than your body needs (caloric surplus). Reaching this amount of calories can be a very challenging task for certain people.

Thanks to baby food being low in fiber and easy to digest, it can be processed quickly which helps you keep on adding calories without feeling too full during the day. 

Note: In my professional opinion though, there are much better (and cheaper) alternatives than baby food if your goal is to supplement your meals with additional calories.

During Workouts 

Active people that have an intense workout lasting more than 90 minutes, need to have an intra-workout meal in order to keep on supplying energy for the body. 

Bodybuilders who often run for long distances, use baby food since it provides the necessary carbs to sustain your energy – notwithstanding it’s easy to digest. Thus, avoiding digestive issues that could affect overall performance. 

Maggie Morgan, nutrition coach from Married To My Macros says:

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“Baby food is a fast-acting, simple carbohydrate source that will provide your muscles with energy in the form of glucose. Glucose is the first thing that your body will look for to use as fuel during high-intensity training. Baby food is also very easy to digest, and without any fiber or fat, the glucose will be able to fuel your muscles quickly. Athletes should eat baby food 30 minutes prior to or during a high-intensity workout”

Is Baby Food Good For Bulking?

Only consuming baby food might not be the best option when you are trying to bulk. You would have to eat several jars of baby food to reach the necessary calories for bulking. 

The caloric content of baby food could vary from 50-150 kcal, depending on the brand and the type of baby food.  

On average, a male bodybuilder in a bulking phase could need 3,000-3,500 calories, while women might need 2,500-2,800 kcal. 

This means that you would have to consume 20 jars of baby food per day for a male bodybuilder and 17 jars for a female bodybuilder. Reaching this amount could be very expensive and wasteful. 

Additionally, even if it is made from natural ingredients, it is not the same as eating from fresh food. You might lack essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. 

However, if you eat baby food to add extra calories to your meals (i.e. you eat your normal meal and then just have a jar of baby food on the side) it can help you with bulking. If you are having a difficult time adding calories, baby food can help you add those calories without making your stomach feel full. Related Articles: Do Bodybuilders Eat Soy? (What NOT To Do) and Do Bodybuilders Eat Bread? (A Bodybuilder’s Guide To Bread)

Is Baby Food Good For Cutting?

If you are thinking about having only baby food for weight loss, please don’t. Using baby food as a meal replacement can be a very dangerous practice. 

A very low-calorie diet (below 1,200 calories) is way below a woman’s and a man’s metabolic rate. This can lead to alterations in your metabolisms and could create severe health damages in the long run. 

Additionally, baby food might not be filling enough because of the low fiber. One of the benefits of fiber is that since it cannot be digested, it stays longer in your stomach, making you feel fuller. Since baby food is low in fiber, you won’t get this satiating effect, which results in you feeling hungry during the day.

How To Use Baby Food Appropriately 

If you are thinking about using baby food, here are my recommendations to avoid having any health problems in the long run. 

Don’t Substitute Your Food 

Never substitute your regular food (chicken, veggies, oatmeal, avocado, etc.) for baby food. If you only have baby food, you run the risk of nutritional deficiency. 

If you are going to add baby food to your diet, think of it as a compliment or as an addition. It is not meant to be considered a meal replacement. 

Sweet Treat 

For those looking for a sweet treat, having some baby food can help you satisfy that craving without assuming too many calories. 

You can have some apple puree with a little bit of cinnamon to have a low-calorie apple pie replacement. 

Before, During, or After Workouts 

Before and during exercise, you need easily digestible carbs to provide the necessary energy for your training session. 

You can have some baby food before your workout to provide that energy. 

Additionally, for those bodybuilders that have a training session longer than 90 minutes, I always recommend adding a carb in the middle of the workout. Baby food is often a choice I provide them since it has carbs and it’s easy to digest. Opt for those fruit-based baby food. 

After a workout, you need carbs to replenish the energy (glycogen) lost during the workout. Adding baby food can help you replenish that energy lost. 

Remember that you also need a protein source. Thus, you can have some protein (like chicken or a protein shake) along with a couple of jars of baby food. 

Use It In Baking 

Another way of using baby food is to reduce the butter content in some baking goods. You can substitute butter for applesauce to make them lower in saturated fats (which are unhealthy for your heart). 

Replace the exact amount of butter with applesauce, or here is a recipe from Oatmeal With A Fork to help you out in the process. 

Use It As A Sauce 

Finally, for those that want to add some variety to their foods, you can add baby food as a sauce option. If you don’t have a lot of time for cooking but don’t want to have sauces that are high in calories you can use baby food. 

It can save you time in cooking and can make a dey chicken breast, into something juicier and tastier.  

Final Recommendation: Should You Eat Baby Food Too?

If you are thinking of replacing your meals with baby food to shed those extra pounds, adding baby food is not a healthy choice. 

You can severely restrict yourself both in calories and micronutrient content. This can result in weight loss but not the kind that you want. Those pounds that you lose are mainly muscle and water loss. 

The lack of micronutrients can have an impact on your health. Making you weaker, sicker, and reducing your overall performance. 

Baby food as an addition to your balanced healthy diet can be a practical and good option. For those bulking, adding baby food can help you reach those extra calories that you need. 

About The Author

Brenda Peralta

Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist.  In addition to being an author for, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.

Baby food in bodybuilding: how to take it correctly, reviews

Bodybuilders involved in strength training not at a professional, but at an amateur level, want to be not just well pumped up, but also have a beautiful relief and proportionally developed body. To achieve these results, athletes often experiment with different techniques and nutritional supplements. Many bodybuilders are interested in how effective baby food "Baby" really is for training. Some decide to test it personally, while others, on the contrary, first look for information on the advisability of including such an additive in their diet on the Internet. nine0003

Composition and features of baby food

There are many varieties of food for the little ones on the shelves of stores. The composition and features largely depend on the brand. Almost every manufacturer has its own set of ingredients that distinguishes its products from other analogues. Baby food, contrary to popular belief, does not have a rich protein composition. It contains only 10 to 20 percent protein. Most of the product is made up of fats and carbohydrates. This means that the comparison of baby food with a protein complex is wrong. The product is more like a gainer. nine0003

This composition makes baby food suitable exclusively for ectomorphs - people with a naturally thin physique who have a high need for carbohydrates to gain mass. Athletes who tend to be overweight should refrain from eating baby food, as it can provoke an increase in subcutaneous fat.

Thus, this product has two significant disadvantages:

  1. a low percentage of protein, which is necessary for athletes for the qualitative growth of muscle mass; nine0018
  2. high ratio of carbohydrates and fats, which are deposited in the fatty layer under the skin.

In addition, the high cost of the product must also be taken into account. Comparing the cost of baby food with protein complexes from well-known world manufacturers, you can see that buying the latter is much more profitable. The product also has its advantages. Infant formulas are enriched with vitamins and minerals, which sports complexes cannot boast of, but their dosage is noticeable only for the body of a small child, but not for an adult who also actively trains. In other words, the benefits of such nutrition are only for a certain limited number of athletes, and not for everyone. nine0003

How to take infant formula

Bodybuilders who conscientiously decide to use infant formula should carefully read the manufacturer's instructions. The vast majority of such products are diluted with either water or milk.

Bodybuilders usually opt for milk to increase their protein intake. Today, few athletes resort to the use of baby food, but there was a time when it was really in great demand. In the nineties of the last century, bodybuilders did not even dilute the product, but ate dry powder mixtures, since there were no protein complexes on sale then. nine0003

From baby food pret MASS

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Reviews of baby food in bodybuilding

A huge number of topics and discussions on thematic sites and forums are devoted to baby food in bodybuilding. The reviews that athletes leave about this product as a muscle building supplement are mostly negative. This is facilitated by the composition of the mixtures. They contain little protein, but a lot of simple (fast) carbohydrates, as well as fats, which provoke excess weight. The high price of food for babies is also a big minus. For a similar amount, you can purchase a high-quality protein complex from leading manufacturers, getting a significant portion of protein and a minimum of harmful fats with carbohydrates. Not everyone likes the taste of infant formula. Both gainers and proteins are much more pleasant to drink, so training athletes who want to have impressive muscles and relief prefer this particular sports drink. nine0003

baby food for gaining muscle mass

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Baby food for gaining muscle mass

At the end of the 80s of the last century, a "boom" in bodybuilding began in the USSR. Then the shelves lacked elementary products, and sports nutritional supplements did not exist at all.

Therefore, baby food has become a kind of way out of the situation for gaining muscle mass.

And today we will talk about whether this product is so effective, and whether it is worth using it in our time. nine0003

Baby Nutrition in Bodybuilding

With no other options, bodybuilders across the Union were thriving in terms of protein products and sports supplements.

The presence of baby food in the kitchen of each jock has become an obligatory attribute of training. A sort of Soviet analogue of foreign protein.

“Baby”, “Baby”, “Kolobok” are the names of the most common mixtures of those times. They are familiar to everyone who worked in the basement rocking chair at that time.

The composition of these products served as an affordable additional source of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Since the mid-1990s, Western manufacturers of sports supplements began to penetrate the post-Soviet space, and by the early 2000s, the sports nutrition market was developing by leaps and bounds and today it is more diverse than ever.

It would seem that you can forget about baby food in bodybuilding as a relic of the past, but no! Questions about whether you can use baby food instead of protein pop up on the Internet regularly. nine0003

Let's find out why he is still remembered and talked about.

Advantages and disadvantages

At first glance, the composition of infant formula looks like a protein or gainer.

All the same proteins, carbohydrates, fats, many vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics for better digestion.

But if you study the composition in more detail and compare these additives, it becomes clear that these are completely different products.

Compare infant formula and protein

The average composition of the protein powder in one serving contains 23-25 ​​g of protein, 2-3 g of fat and 3-6 g of carbohydrates. The volume of one serving (1 scoop) is 30-35 g.

The legendary (among bodybuilders of the USSR) mix “Kid” consists of 13-15 g of protein, 23-25 ​​g of fat and 55 g of carbohydrates. And this is per 100 grams of dry product!

If we translate this into a serving of 30 grams of protein, then all the numbers in “Baby” must be reduced by exactly 3 times.

That is, a portion of “Baby”, equivalent to protein in terms of volume, will contain: