T Nation

Cafeteria Bulking Diet


So I am stuck in Afghanistan for the next 10 months and set a goal to stun the wife when I come home. I am 6'0 and started out at a scrawny 165 currently up to 183 and want to get to 200. I'm required to keep my body fat below 20% as well so have to stay fairly lean, I am currently at 13% so an additional 5% should be fine. My problem is trying to eat a good high protein diet from the dining facility. Purchasing food is not an option at my location so I have to eat what is available. Food is similar to what you find at a typical collage cafeteria. Breakfast is fairly simple since there's almost always hard boiled eggs, turkey bacon/sausage, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit and soy milk. Lunch and Dinner are more difficult.

There is a Main Line, Fast Food/Junk Food line and a Fruit/Salad Bar. The Main Line usually has one main meal choice (Steak, Pork loin, Chicken Breast, Spaghetti, Fish, Lasagna, Mexican or Stir Fry) and then all the corresponding sides. The Junk Food line I stay away for but it has hamburgers, French Fries and other quick to food cooked on a flat top. The Fruit/Salad bar has a variety of salads (macaroni, potato, cucumber, three bean) and then fresh lettuce/veggies to make your own there are usually apples and one other type of fresh fruit available as well.

I'm sure you get the point that there is a very limited selection and getting protein without a ton of Carbs is difficult. Most of the Carbs are of the white variety as well. Fruits and Veggies are pretty easy to get enough and I usually have 2 8.oz Soy Milk cartons with each meal. Any help is appreciated.

Semper Fi


You could squirrel away some of those hard-boiled eggs at breakfast and bring them back in to eat at lunch and dinner.


DAMN modok! liking the old-school pic. /nut hugging

just try to get whatver protein sources you can. take the burgers and throw the buns out. take eggs with you. maybe try to find some tupper ware and when you have a good meal stock up (mini firdge?)


Could u get extra servings/helping at the cafeteria? If so, maybe u can grab more of the lean protein for lunch and dinner?


If you're trying to gain muscle why are you avoiding carbs?


He had said that most of the carbs are not from good sources like whole grains, but are coming from white flour products and white rice. He didn't imply that carbs weren't an option in his diet, but he wanted better ones.

Also, if I were you, I'd avoid the soy milk if possible. If that's all you can get or if you're lactose intolerant, sure, have it since it's another protein source. But soy promotes estrogen production, as I'm sure you know since you're on this site, and that will make you gain more fat than you would have otherwise added. If you can get your hands on cow or even goat milk, I'd drink that instead. Just my $0.02


Where's the problem?

And I agree, don't be afraid of carbs. They aren't as evil as some try to make them sound.


Just eat the main dishes. Steak, chicken breast, fish and lasagna (with beef) sound good to me.

If the dish of the day is shit, go get a few hamburgers from the junk line. At your bodyweight, you NEED a hamburger!

Alternatively, muscle up your salad from the salad bar!
The last "salad" I had from an airport salad bar was about a pound of tuna, feta cheese cubes, more cheese cubes, some olives, dressing, hot sauce and a piece of a salad leaf.


Have you got a buddy somewhere with a PX who can put a box of protein bars at rtd's on a jet to your location?

I know in KAF they're cheap as hell