The Best Bulking and Cutting Meals at McDonald’s Explained

Eating out can be a problem for lifters.

Whether you’re on a bulking or a cutting cycle, finding a place that offers the foods that will keep you on track to either getting ripped or huge can be as hard as looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack. 

But it doesn’t have to be.

The most famous and commonplace restaurant on the planet offers some great options for bulking and cutting bodybuilding cycles. 

Yep, we’re talking McDonalds.

But what are the best cutting and bulking meals to order at McDonald’s?

The best cutting meals to order at McDonald’s are usually grilled chicken based salads (when and where available). You can also order 1 or 2 chicken snack wraps for a high protein, low calorie snack or meal.

For a bulking meal at McDonald’s, you should still try to avoid overly greasy or fried choices — go for a grilled chicken sandwich or wrap and double up if you need more calories.

Let’s take a closer look at some McDonald’s orders with perfect bulking or cutting macros.

Best Cutting Meal at McDonalds: 1-2 Chipotle BBQ Snack Wraps

Admittedly, walking into McDonald’s when you’re trying to get shredded is fraught with danger.

After all, you’re walking into a place that is filled with sugar laden, carbohydrate drenched treats.

That means that you will need to bring your A game in terms of discipline.

With that being said, there are some excellent lower calorie items you can order while cutting at McDonald’s

Because these are hardly the money makers for McDonalds, you will have to look hard to find them, however.

Here are a half a dozen items that you can combine into a guilt free meal that will actually complement your cutting diet.

Grilled Chicken

A lot of people don’t realize that you can get more than the classic burger or fried chicken sandwich at McDonalds.

In fact, for a couple of dollars, you can order stand alone grilled chicken to have by itself or with a salad.

You can order 3 or 4 chicken breasts for less than 10 bucks. When you do so, just tell the checkout person that you want ‘meat only.’


McDonalds offers some pretty decent salads.

I recommend the Southwestern Chicken Salad with an extra chicken breast.

Tell the checkout person that you don’t want any added cheese and request the low-calorie vinaigrette dressing. 

Watch out for the other dressings — they can be major calorie bombs!

(You may not be able to get salads at McDonald’s depending on when you’re reading this, but they should be back on the menu soon.)


Yes, McDonalds sells oatmeal.

Be sure to ask for the plain version with no syrup or sugar.

The quality of oatmeal at McDonalds is generally pretty high.

However, they use local suppliers for their oats so the taste may differ slightly from place to place. 

Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap

All varieties of grilled chicken wraps at McDonald’s are good for cutting. Photo by theimpulsivebuy/Flickr

The Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap is a delicious protein high meal that is relatively low in fats and carbs.

It adds 250 calories of solid fuel to your body, along with 16 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat. 

1 or 2 of these snacks wraps make for an awesome and easy cutting meal at McDonald’s.

Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

Yes, you can have a dessert at McDonalds when you’re on a cutting diet.

You wouldn’t want to do this every day but once in a while won’t ruin your fat and weight loss.

The fruit and yogurt parfait will satisfy your sweet tooth for less than 300 calories.

(You could do FAR worse when it comes to fast food dessert.)

Use the McDonald’s online nutrition calculator to build your perfect cutting or weight loss meal.

Best Bulking Meal at McDonalds: Premium McWrap with Sweet Chili Sauce

Every decent bodybuilder knows that bulking up isn’t just about getting heavier.

It’s about adding lean muscle mass to your body.

That means you can’t just eat whatever you want at McDonalds.

Your goal when you roll up to the Golden Arches when you’re on a bulking cycle should be to get as much quality protein as you can without going overboard on calories, sugar, and saturated fats.

That requires a strategy.

Your McDonalds bulking strategy should be to order a salad with grilled chicken first.

Double up on the meat or treat yourself to a small fry if you want to fill out your calories a little more.

A small or medium fry is a good way to boost calories of your McDonald’s bulking meal. Photo by Daniel Foster/Flickr

As a second choice, go with a grilled chicken sandwich — it’s high in protein, offers some carbo-fuel, and will really satisfy your appetite.

However, one of the overall best and easiest bulking orders at McDonald’s is the Premium McWrap with Sweet Chili Sauce, which will provide you with 26 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and 43 grams of carbs.

… all for just 360 calories.

If you’re looking for a bigger meal, put two of these together for a really solid serving that won’t put you into “dirty bulk” territory.

When you’re bulking, you have a lot of freedom on the McDonald’s menu — just watch out for menu items and orders that get most of their calories from fried fats and sugar.

Yes, extra calories are good, but you won’t be happy with your lifting results if all your bulking calories are from junk.

Wrapping Up

You can eat at McDonald’s on a cut or bulk effectively, but moderation is the key.

Don’t rely on fast food, otherwise your cut is sure to stall or your bulk will come with a lot of unwanted fat and sluggishness.

However, it’s helpful to know what to order when you’re on the go and want to stay disciplined.

Either way, avoid too much greasy or fried food at McDonald’s (huge servings of fries, double cheeseburgers, etc.) and opt for lean protein drive menu items.

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Hope this helps!