T Nation

Calorie Dense Food


After my first semester away at college I have lost about 17 pounds along with strength and mass due to my lack of eating once I came up here... Well I regret these past few months but now I am ready to get my calories no excuses! I miss people telling me I am getting bigger.. so with that being said..

I have searched and searched, and every thread about food and recipes and snacks seem to be about fuc*ing losing weight.... "low carb bars" and "low calorie snacks" and other crap that does not apply to a skinny kid like me...
So what kind of foods do you guys recommend to a skinny college kid? I am going to publix tomorrow so tell me what I should get! (not literally... I am not asking you to spoon feed me recipes, just give me some general ideas for simple high calorie food)
Also, I obviously have to cook my meals, but prefer not to stand over the stove for two hours a day, so how the heck do all you big guys get your cals?? (aka simple, not complicated meals/snacks for a busy skinny college kid)


There is an excellent Bulking for Newbies thread in the Beginners Forum. You should start there and read other stickied threads.

I don't agree that every thread in S&N is about losing weight.


In my experience for calorie dense proteins fatty chuck roast, as much whole milk spread throughout the day as you can tolerate(I find I can tolerate more milk if its organic, others just buy the lactose free varieties or put lactase pills in their milk), rib eyes, t-bones, roast chicken, king salmon. Fats for me are butter, olive oil and other high fat cheeses. I don't enjoy carbs as much as bricknyce but I like jasmine and basmati rice, some varieties of squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes. I even used ice cream and cheese cake to break the 200 lb barrier, I don't like eating wheat products too frequently but see for yourself if you if eating wheat products frequently works for you.

If you just happened to stop working out while at college you don't have to eat so hard to get back to your weight and you'll be back there leaner than you were before if you just resume working out and eating moderately.


The most calorie dense macronutrient is fat. So any food item with fat in it or fat added to it can be made calorically dense.

First you have to educate yourself on applied nutrition (more info than you need on this site and the net and in books). If you were thoroughly educated on the topic, you wouldn't be confused at all.

Second, you need to use your creativity with that knowledge. It's very easy to make or buy a 1,000 calorie meal.

Actually, you might not even need to be creative. THINK of 800 to 1000 calorie meals you or we eat out in restaurants. Either keep eating those, or learn how to prepare them yourself. There's your answer!

Mashed potatoes (which a shitload of different, calorie dense ingredients can be added to) goes down very easy. You can easily make a god-knows-how-many-calorie meal with a half-pound bacon cheeseburger with mayonnaise and mashed potato concoction made of potatoes; milk, cream, or half-and-half; butter; bacon; and fried onions.

Any meal can be made high calorie with high fat condiments like salad dressing, any oil, and nut butters.

Dried fruits, especially raisins, are very calorie dense and go down VERY easily. A measly quarter cup of raisins contains 130 calories and 31 grams of carbs.

With this said, I still doubt you need so much damn food to make gains in performance and mass. You say you're skinny and I believe you're not highly experienced. So why would you need so much beyond 3,000 calories and really the amount most start out on (which isn't a lot)?

And people keep talking about barriers (which is fine). However, anyone with enough will power and love of food can break through a reasonable barrier. I weigh 200. I can weigh 220 by next month AT WILL, but also look like a lop of shit.


Nuts, Jerky, whole wheat bagels and PB,... MEAT, WHOLE EGGS, CHEESE.... not really too complicated, but food will certainly trump any 'low carb' supplements you're going to find unhelpful.




fat, protein, carb blend is quite good imo lol


Ok thanks everyone. And when I was bulking in the past I had to have around 4000 cals a day to gain about one to two pounds a week. The shakes I have been making have really helped;

1 cup of oats
scoop of whey or weight gainer
at least two servings of natural peanut butter

...blend it all up and its about 900 cals.


I'm all about the pizza too ^^

Right now I'm on a milk and tuna + pasta bender. I'm telling you I hit that shit 3x a day! then I have my pizzas, protein shakes, oatmeal, fish oils and whatever else I can get my hands on.

Like bricknyce said, it's really easy to get high calorie meals... I don't count what percentage of protein or carbs or fat I'm getting or even the grams... I have a rough idea though. Carbs are king for growing... I don't care what people say about protein. Carbs are king.


Eyegain: You're welcome. If you really need 4,000 to progress, then have at it. However, I still think a gain of more than a pound a week is too much - meaning an undesirable amount of fat will be gained (some fat gain is unavoidable when "going anabolic" or "getting jacked" or whatever corny terms we prefer).

Another ungodly calorically dense conconction is a potato salad that contains potatoes, mayonnaise, ham or bacon, peas, and hardboiled eggs.


Yeah. We all know what protein does. But I don't understand the whole low carb thing across the boards.


after publix, got back and made a bunch of chili.
chili and shakes should be the key....
I also got a bunch of frozen chicken tenderloins and some buffalo wing sauce marinade so I will probably bake some of that tomorrow with some pasta.
Also I got some raisins and prunes and almonds to take with me when I go to class and stuff. Not that you guys care haha

This should be good until I get sick of chili

Weighed myself this morning I am 195 down from 215 last semester wow time to get some weight on


Oatmeal! sometimes i get down over 7 cups in a day


Peanut butter for sure, and beef.


If your looking for healthy Kcal dense foods ill give you a list, I had to learn about these cause I cant get away with eating em.

Protein: Beef of any kind, Lamb Liver, Whole Chicken i.e Dark meat, Whole Eggs, Full Milk, Pork, Salmon, Ham, Brisket, Meat Balls.

Fats: Olive oil, Nuts of any kind, Coconut oil, Coconut meat, avocado, natural PB, Fish oil, Flax oil.

Carbs: Potatos, Wild Rice, Brown Rice, Whole Grain pasta, Whole grain bread/wraps, Yams, Oatmeal, Fruits, Vegetables.

Heres a really simple recipe that you can use at collage that have loads of good Kcals and loads of healthy fats/carbs plus a good dose of protein:)

1) Easy protein bars.

1 cup oatmeal
6 scoops whey
2 eggs
1/2 cup almonds/cashews/ hazelnuts etc
1/2 cup natural PB

Step one: Add all ingredients into a bowel.
Step two: Mix until the whole thing turns into a paste like material(if its too hard just add more PB)
Step 3: Make into little hot dog shaped bars.
Step 4: Put in fridge for 3 hours and your done

*If you want to have even more protein in it just add 1/2 cottage cheese or just add more whey, realistically you can play around with this recipe as much as you need until it fits your goals.

It doesn't get any simpler than this tbh and its customizable to the end:)