T Nation

Cheap Ways to Add Calories?


#1

I'm looking for inexpensive ways to add calories to my diet, so if you have any recommendations, please post them. Anything, "healthy" or not.

I play basketball, practice is 4 to 5 times a week, 90 minutes at a time, I lift 3 times a week, and we got 1 or 2 games a week.

I've noticed that what I eat doesn't have much effect on my body comp, though I like to eat clean.
The thing is, It's hard to maintain/add muscle during the season, and I don't have a lot of money, that's why I'm asking this question.

Like I said, I can basically get away with anything, because of my high metabolism and high energy expenditure.

Any stats you need, I'm willing to provide. I'm about 6'4", 202 pounds, 20 years old.


#2

Weight gain powders are usually fairly cheap. Consider mostly junk, they have some protein, a few nutrients, and a lot of sugar and filler. Still, if you are concerned about quantity over quality, look at some of these.
Whole milk is dense in calories. Powdered milk is cheap, high in protien, and can be added to milk. Peanut butter is high in fat and protien, and you can get a bucket for about $5. Hell, eat it with a spoon.
And here are some can't go wrong bulking snacks:
Peanutbutter sandwich, banana, glass of milk
Oatmeal made with milk (whole milk if you'd like), peanut butter, protien powder or powdered milk, brown sugar and cinnamon.


#3

Guys, thanks for the replies, This is what I eat now, mostly:

post-workout drink:
whey protein
maltodextrose
creatine

other:
-oatmeal
-eggs
-bread w/ margarin, ham/turkey slice, cheese (guess you could call it a sandwich
-rice
-mashed potatoes
-spaghetti
-grits
-dr. John's chili
-white beans
-peanut butter gravy/sauce
-skim milk
-tuna w/ crushed tomatoes
-olive oil
-chicken
-pork
-m?sli w/ yoghurt
-apples

That's about all I can remember now.

Not to turn this into a my diet thread, just to help you help me.


#4

I drink chocolate milk from a local dairy, I'm sure there are some in your area. Whole milk I believe and it tastes great. Sometimes if I don't want the full calories I will mix it with skim or 2% milk. And its cheap too.


#5

Walnuts are cheap, good for you and are have a lot of calories.


#6

I definitely second the olive oil..... mix it in your shakes. Start with 1 tablespoon (120 calories)work your way up to 3. Make sure to work your way up, otherwise you wont be feeling too good. You can get a lot of quality, clean calories this way. Otherwise just get some bulk oatmeal and bulk protein powder.


#7

I mix 2-3 table spoons of olive oil, some parmesean cheese and then eat dribble that over some 100% whole wheat bread that has been toasted. Always seems to work with me. I guess it goes agaisnt the P+C and F+P meal ideals though but whatever works.


#8

L-Dizzle.. That name throws me, It's my nickname around work!

A couple of cheap ways to add cals have already been stated, here are the big 5 in my book

1 - Whole Milk
2 - Olive Oil
3 - Walnuts, Cashjews, Peanuts
4 - Juices
5 - Protein Powders (I've heard stories of people filling up a milk jug with milk/protein and drinking that throughout the day. It equals about 2000 cals for under 5 or 6 bucks)


#9

A ($ 2.99)16 oz jar of unsalted peanuts contains 2720 calories. Put a jar next to your computer and grab a handful once in a while.


#10

Haagen Daas ice cream. Lots of calories, but a shitty macronutrient ratio.


#11

guiness lol

Fats will be the easiest Good source above. Walnuts, avacado, olive oil, etc.


#12

Cheap calories: peanut butter, whole milk, assorted nuts, your favorite cheeses, fruits, lean ground beef.


#13

Some more to add to the list:

-canned salmon/tuna: excellent quality protein, very cheap. I would eat it 7 times a day if not for the mercury scare.

-corn bread: not the highest quality carbs, but I make mine from scratch with wheat flour and corn meal, so it is not terrible. It is really easy to eat a whole lot of this stuff too, which is a plus.

-Potatoes: I eat a couple of them post workout. Aboslutely dirt cheap calories.

-Corn: Another dirt cheap grain

-Eggs: Another source of cheap protein


#14

the mixed nut idea is solid, i always have a tin of walnut/almond/peanut/etc goodness right by my desk, and grab handfuls often...take a look at the calorie count on a serving of something like that, you can easily add the equivalent of another meal (5-600 calories) by grabbing a random handful here and there throughout a day, and never even notice it...


#15

Get a blender and make a big shake to drink between meals, you can made in on 500ml to 1 litres of milk, add olive oil, skim milk powder, fruit (particularly bananas) and anything you fancy. You can also add a little pack of gelatine to thicken it up. Done well it tastes great and really can help with bulking or what have you.


#16

Is this stuff cheap where you are, Its like 4 quid for a titchy tub over here, which is about 7 dollars 40 cents in US money.


#17

mexican food has the most calories , eat a burrito


#18

Ramen noodles. Right under 400cals per package. I make what I call "jailhouse chanko." One can tuna, one pack ramen and 1/2 can mixed veggies. Around 650 cals with 42g total pro [32 from tuna]75-80g carbs and 15g fat. When I'm on a budget [which is gonna be the next 4yrs with school]I'll eat this at least once a day when bulking. Tastier than it probably sounds.


#19

Eggs eggs eggs eggs! Man there cheap!

Rolled oats. And olive oil. Grow! as well! Just use one scoop if your that cash strapped, and thow in some olive oil in it.


#20

I'd watch out for sodium in them ramen noodles......Its a salt fest :slightly_smiling:

Dump that mix seasoning they give you-its pure salt. Instead, try your own mix. Use some garlic, oregano, black pepper, etc.