College Student Looking to Gain Weight

I’m currently a college student and a pretty skinny guy (5’11 and 140 pounds). My main concern is that I need to greatly increase my daily calorie intake, but being a poor college student I’m hoping there’s a good way to increase calorie consumption; and at the same time hoping to not leave a huge dent in my wallet.

I plan on buying some whey protein, but other than that, what would be the best types of food that would give the best “bang for their buck” in terms of calories and price wise, if there’s such a thing. Any other suggestions will be appreciated as well.


Depends on how much you’re eating at the moment. Log your intake for the next day or two (log it precisely), then post it here and calculate the calories.

Yes, you need to dramatically increase your food intake, but you need to do it in a semi-gradual manner to avoid shocking your metabolism too much. It’s easier to ramp it up 300-400 calories each week to your target than it is to just suddenly force feed yourself your goal calories. It also may help control fat gain in the initial stages. Of course, you’ll have to accept some fat gain as a necessary side effect during gaining. But it’s best to control it when you can.

If you stay on campus, then use the cafeteria to your advantage. Nalgene bottles + whole milk = lots of calories. Also, grab seconds/thirds, wrap them up and take them back to your fridge.

Other than that, pecans/walnuts/mixed nuts are really good for fast calories. Peanut butter is too. Unfortunately, there is a limit on how much you can save when eating healthy, since ironically the healthiest whole foods are often more expensive than crappy foods. Still doable though, no matter what you think. As long as you don’t spend all your money on alcohol… :slight_smile:

Squash, pumpkin, sweet potato and oatmeal are all high calorie and low cost. Depending on what’s locally available and in season, look for brocoli, tomatoes, peppers, onions, spinich, etc. If you can get extra quantities cheap, clean it, bag it and freeze it.

For nuts, the ones Aragorn listed are great but expensive. Peanuts are cheaper. The ones in the shell are best and good value.

Whey is probably your ceapest protein.

Where are you located? There may be local options. For example, Olive Oil is on sale this week here for 5.99/litre.

check out the meats you have, and check their protein/fat per 100 grams and their cost. since you dont need to lose weight you dont really care for how high or how low the fat will be in them… though its generally good to keep it kinda on the low end than on the high end.

if you get around 150 grams of protein a day from meat you should be fine so from there you can figure out how much a day will cost

or you can go with whey but its not really “food”

Do you or your parents have a Costco, Sams Club, etc. membership?

I buy my stuff in bulk (like almonds, oatmeal, etc.). Helps save a tremendous bit on the stuff that keeps for awhile.

You can usually find chicken on sale for fairly cheap at the grocery too…

[quote]Evolv wrote:

I buy my stuff in bulk (like almonds, oatmeal, etc.). Helps save a tremendous bit on the stuff that keeps for awhile.


You can also get frozen chicken breasts for about $13 for a 6lb bag as sam’s club (helluva a lot cheaper than a grocery store). They also have bulk beef for sale. Most of all, check adds.

The grocery I work at has a special on eye of round steaks this week. 10 for $10. Each cut is about 3-4oz. so this is a pretty sweet deal. When you make a menu each week (and you will have to make a menu), check ads, and see what’s going for cheap.

I also buy stuff like almonds, chicken, and beef in bulk when I can. Just package it as needed and pop it into the freezer. You should be going through the stuff quick enough to not have to worry about freezer burn.

Some good stuff so far, the one poster was right on with the calculations. Figure out say 10 protein sources, be it chicken eggs tuna protein powder beef etc and figure out how many protein grams you can get per dollar. Protein powder comes out WAY ahead of regular food but you usually have to add to it to make a real meal out of it. It’s time to be a coupon clipping(or printing) machine. Depending on where you are located hopefully you have a variety of grocery stores you can have access to.

Someone, somewhere is having a sale on some meat and you need to scrounge up some cash and buy it up. If tuna goes on sale for 30 cents a can then go buy 50 cans, if beef drops to 1.50 for 85% lean then buy as much as you can etc. The website is a great resource to find out who’s having sales in your area.

Carb sources are basically pennies per serving. White rice, oats, potatoes you can buy large quantities for relatively cheap. Hell I have a 50 lb bag of rice that cost me 13 dollars. I never have to buy rice again haha. Fat sources can come from your proteins, or if you have money left over you should invest in a big jug of olive oil and or some form of nuts that you like. If you budget is so tight that you have to live off store brand tuna and rice, well that’s just how it has to be done. I went from thinkign I was never going to be able to grow to eating steak 2-3 times a day simply based on smarter shopping.

Some more things, do you live in a dorm or do you have an apt/house? What do you have to cook with and what is your storing food capacity? What is your weekly budget? Do you have a job, do friends have a job(where you can get food)?

If you need some more help PM me your email because this is a topic(as a fellow student) that I’ve put a lot of time into to figure out ways to save money. Hope his helps.

If you like (or can stand)the taste, liver is usually very cheap and very high in protein and other nutrients.