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Diet for a College Student


hey im a student on my own in a dorm, cant cook. and obviously im dirt poor so i have to deal with dining hall food. i cant make my own meals so all i can do is rely on eating a shitton of pancakes and eggs for breakfast and chicken/ fries and pasta for lunch and dinner basically every day.

yea theres the occasional meal with a different kind of meat, and i know the foods i mentioned are good for max calorie intake but theres no way this is the optimal way to help me build up.

the only benefit to this is the fact that i can eat eat at the dining hall 10 times a day if i wanted. its the quality of the intake im more concerned with, not the quantity.

is there anything i can do to aid this matter of having not much choice on what i can eat



Don't eat the shit. If you can eat there 10 times a day, then only eat the healthy stuff (ditch the fries, pancakes etc). You have milk I assume, and I'm sure they have one of those salad bar/veggie bar things, so make use of that. It shouldn't be that hard to do if you can eat unlimited amounts or go back for 2nds or whatever, especially if you can visit more than 3 times a day. My dorm didn't have that, so I basically stashed milk in a nalgene bottle for use later that evening, and I would go back two or three times and get more turkey sandwiches to save in my fridge for later use. If the cafeteria has a deli sandwich line then you can use that too. Get a small fridge and stock it up with your extras.


I'm in the same position as you are, except I choose not to eat the crap. Your cafeteria has to have SOME healthy choices. Salad, beans sandwiches (you can ditch the bread). Milk etc. If you're determined enough you'll managed.


I steal milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and sliced meats from the dining hall.

Mixed nuts are great for snacks. Even if you don't have a job, you can get a big tub of nuts to snack on (hah) for about 10 dollars.

Sometimes I make shakes out of 4 cups of skim milk, 2 cups of plain low-fat kefir, a banana, a packet of instant oatmeal, and two scoops of protein powder. It's gross, but its around 750 calories, with about 70g of protein, and takes 5 minutes and a blender to make.

You can use cottage cheese and peanut butter instead of kefir and oatmeal if you want less carbs and more fat.

Also oatmeal cooked in a microwave mixed with chocolate protein powder and peanut butter.

You can get most of the ingredients for these from your dining hall I think. The protein powder is obviously more expensive, but, as a complete bum, I've started a protein fund: I collect beer cans and water bottles and turn them in at the grocery store for store credit. There are usually garbage cans full of beer most Sundays.

I have no dignity.


what im saying is that even if i eat the chicken and salads and pasta which are good for building, which i do (i eat fries mostly just to get some energy right before the workout), it cant be best if i eat these same things 3 times a day, every day. it seems im just gonna have to deal with lack of variety, whatever...


Why can't it be best? I'm going to assume that there are other things available though.


Well, ideally you would rotate protein sources, since different types of meat have different amino acid profiles :P. However, given his options, sticking with the same thing day after day sounds like the best plan.


Haha, I just figured he had more important things to worry about than amino acid profiles at this point.


Well yeah, its a really minor point. I don't think anyone in the beginner's forum really needs to worry about it, but who knows, it might help him once he gets to a point where he can cook for himself.


True, although when he can cook for himself I'm hoping he'll have the sense to buy things other than chicken for every meal.



I ate 1-2 of these a day my fresh. year. The sub was about 6" tall with 4 of so going to the turkey.

Breakfast: Tons of bacon/ham/eggs/milk and maybe cereal.

See if you can find some ways to steal shit and bring it to class/home with you too.


If anything, every dining hall has some burgers. Just grab 2 or 3 burger patties and go to town.

Get a membership to sam's club and buy huge bags of almonds (3lbs for for under $15) to snack on. Protein powder is relatively cheap considering. Biotest Grow! is not the most fancy protein, but it works and is sub $40 delivered to your door.

I did the oatmeal and protein powder thing every day for breakfast for an entire school year. works well.

you have to be a bit weird about it. I would go the sub line and just ask for a huge pile of lunch meat. Be nice to the cooks, they can hook you up. I worked in the dining services for a year, and got stir fries of whatever I wanted because of that.


I ate turkey/chicken sandwiches 4 times a day, 5 days a week, for 4 years while in the dorms. You'll manage. The other two days were out w/friends or variety in the cafeteria meals, or whatever.

There were many, MANY weeks I ate the same damn sandwiches 7 days a week. Variety isn't necessary, just nice. It's a bonus. Food is fuel, nothing more. As long as you get your veggies/fruit/vitamins, and don't develop some sort of allergy to your protein source (HIGHLY unlikely) it's perfectly fine. Go build some muscle now.


every college dining hall offers salad. i assume they got some grilled chicken to go along with it. sometimes they even have cottage cheese. olives. tomatoes. and shit like that. find the biggest fuckin bowl there. top that shit off with the greenest of the green, the darkest of veggies. get a pound of grilled whatever meat. drizzle some olive oil over that salad n dig in bitch.
are you lookin for sauteed shrimp with some roasted italian tomatoes with a loaf of whole wheat 79 grain bread? gtfo.
they most definitely have some fruit in that bitch too. grab some, throw it in your back pack, and munch on them shits in your dorm.


That time of the month, Zeus?


settle down. im asking for expert advice on a simple matter concerning the importance of variety in my diet.


Okay. I'd seriously consider getting a part-time job. Just work on weekends in a supermarket or something like that. Spend the earnings on buying some good nutrition.

Depending on your situation you might even be able to hide a George Foreman grill in your room and cook yourself something which would cut down on costs.


OP I've been eating in the dining hall for 2 years now and have put on about 30-35 lbs eating the "shit". Sure I get a lot more carbs then I'd like, but you do what you have to do.

This is one of those times in your life where you just say, fuck it, I'm bulking, and get big.

There is always:
1) Peanut Butter
2) tuna salad/chicken salad
3) lunch meat
4) salad bar
5) Unlimited milk
6) Unlimited food

You should be pleased with your predicament, even though at times I know the food gets old.