T Nation

College Food


Im going away to college this September. Ill be taking firefighting. Anyways, i just want some good easy CHEAP recipes that you T-men might have so i can avoid the frosh 15 or w/e u want to call it and so that i can still diet half decent as i will still be hitting the gym all the time and still trying to get bigger and leaner.

Anyways just label the meal either breakfast lunch or dinner (mostly looking for lunch/dinner types) cooking instructions and approx price? trying to budget and eat right! thanks!


Theres a book I lived on...

The healthy college cookbook. Quick Cheap, Easy. Swore by it in SHU.


1)Article Library

2) Author Search

3) Steve Berardi

4) School days 1&2 all about lifting and nutrition while going to college

Hope that helps,


Good info that everyone's given. I think the freshman 15 is more about too much beer and bad late-night eating than anything else. So just be aware on that front.


I'm a college student myself, and all I can say is that you need to watch the drinking. Really watch it. I keep detailed records of all the food/drink I intake, and a night of heavy drinking will add an extra 2000 calories and you won't even really notice until there's a big spare tire hanging off your gut. I kept it off my first year by not drinking at all, but my second and third years weren't too kind to me. I've always ate very well, but I'm just now regulating my alcohol intake and getting into the shape I ought to be in. If you need to be drinking, either find someone that's 21 and stick to the straight liquor or mix stuff with Diet Coke, or get yourself an ID and drink Long Island Ice Teas, cause those are pretty much all spirit.

On a further note, when everyone else goes and orders pizza or whatever other terribel greasy food they get . . . don't eat, or find yourself some tuna. Your body can't handle carbs late in the day/evening.

Lastly, if somehow you're not in a dorm and on a meal plan, find a Costco or Sam's Club, and stock up on chicken and stick with eating that. Making it through college without getting fat is all about willpower unless you're one of those genetically gifted types. Try not to let the hangovers get in the way of your workouts, cause it's way too easy to get off track.

If you're good, you'll listen, but it's hard. So good luck.


... is an oxymoron.


Long island iced tea is worse than beer because its sugar and hard liquor. Personally I drink a couple nights per week and limit myself to that.

The rest of the week I dont eat carbs after 12pm. If you want to drink, choose light or low carb beers and dont drink too many. Or try having a glass of water after every drink it might fill you up a little. Or maybe have a diet beverage in between alcohol, as carbonated beverages speeds up the alcohol in your blood, so it might help you get drunker off fewer drinks.


Most people that gain the freshman fifteen (in my experience) are people who simply quit exercising. They were athletes in high school, but they don't do anything once at college.

As long as you keep at it in the gym and don't eat too much junk you should be okay.


What are your stats and what are you looking to accomplish? Are you living in dorms or apartments? What cooking appliances do you have access to?


Whooaaaa, I gotta totally disagree with that. Most people that go away to college werent athletes in HS, or were but not serious high level athletes. What everyone is saying here is true. Most people go away to college and become full blown binge drinkers, or close to it, and eat heaps of garbage food, most of it past 6pm.

There metabolism and test levels probably crash during freshman year. Throw in the stress of moving away from home for the first time, and there ya go. I know cause I've been there. Fresh 15? It was 30 for me :(. It happens.


I always say, even with college, if you look hard enough you can find good things to eat. I agree with anyone that says 90% of supermarket food is junk. I believe the same must be with college food. The dorms can be a place where you pack on the frosh 15 or 30 even.

1 rule is to only eat as much as you need. I really cant believe the things I ate while I was at school. I'd walk away with a tray full of food and munch it all down. Way too much fuel for my body.

2 you can usually find something good to eat. Even if that means getting that chicken sandwich in the dining hall, striping the bun and mayo off it, and just eating the chicken. Vegetables usually can be found in one form or another. Sometimes there aren't a lot of choices so that means just eating more of whats available. Even cheap applesauce with too much sugar is between than that greasy cheeseburger staring you in the eye.



I just finished my freshman year, so I'm just basing my comments off of my own experience. Personally, I lost 15 lbs. during my first semester (and I know some people that have done the same).

Yes, I agree that people who go drinking 3 or more nights a week will put on some weight. However, if somebody eats fairly clean and drinks maybe once a week, he'll be a lot better off than the typical freshman.


I was fortunate that I never experienced the freshman 15. The previous posts hit on some good points about late-night meals and binge drinking contributing to the weight gain. I also believe that the all-you-can-eat desserts in the dining halls are a major contributor. My friends and I used to always stock up on cookies, cakes and pies with our meal plans my first two years of college.

If your dining halls have chef's stations, hit that hard for grilled meats and definitely get accqainted with your salad bar. Avoid the food court type dining halls as much as possible, since it's all usually fast food. The Costco/Sam's Club advice is right on too. If you go that route, be sure to have a George Forman grill and mini fridge in your dorm room. Those will be your best friends - especially near the end of the semester when your meal plan usually starts running low.


Soak black (turtle) beans over night, dump the water, add fresh water and boil them until they are soft. Add potatoes, sliced sausage, and anything else you like (carrots or whatever, doesn't really matter). The most important thing is to add salt, or it will taste like ass. Add salt, and it's delicious. Anyway, boil that for a while, until the potatoes are soft. Serve it over brown rice, and you've got yourself a high protein, high fiber low GI meal for less than the price of a can of coke. Throw in a sliced banana on the side of your plate, and you can pretend you're Cuban.


Tip-make friends with some hot, older sorority girls. Get yourself invited to the house for dinner and some 'fun'. A lot of these sorority houses have private chefs. Since half the girls are anorexic, the food is very healthy. Lots of chicken and veggies. Other lean proteins. Stir frys made with olive oil. Salads, hard-boiled eggs. After dinner, you can burn the calories off with the best exercise known to man! Damn I miss college!!


im 6'1 210 athletic/muscular build, football for 6 years (all canadian RB) and working out seriously for 2. Im living in residence and have access to most appliances. Just need some quick easy and CHEAP healthy dinners :slight_smile:


yes i have a mini fridge and george foreman grill


oh and im under 10% fat, havent done calipers, but im very lean and have a 6 pack so im assuming about 8 thanks again


Oh I wholeheartedly agree. I think if one, if he/she ate clean and trained 3 days a week they could easily have a couple drinks a night several times a week and still be fine. Its the binge drinkers, guys that drown down 6 or more drinks, copious amounts of 2am grease food that have the problem. Im definitely not advocated someone to never have a few drinks at a party in college. have your fun. Just eat clean,train hard and limit yourself to 2 drinks during the week and maybe a 3rd on the weekend.


Most people I know drink less at Uni, I suppose its because they have so little money. I do live in Ireland though were in the summer you drink 5 nights a week, during school time even when underage at least 2 nights. In America you are blessed as an athlete that drink is illegal until 21 and it becomes so much easier to fall into a trap and start getting full all the time. SO many sportsman are lost to drink here, its sad :(.


ok good stories, now how about some recipes :stuck_out_tongue: