T Nation

Good Snack Foods?


I'm in a really bad situation for someone trying to gain weight (and I am very, very underweight, even for someone who doesn't lift.)

I'm currently living in a college dorm. This means I have no access to a toaster, an oven, or a stove. There is only one sink on the floor we can really use for "cooking" but I don't really have the space in my room or in the lounge for something even as basic as cutting vegetables (not to mention clean enough.)

There are some places to eat off campus, a subway, a dominoes, a chipotle, etc., but it's a bit of a ride and during the rain and snow and such, so it's not always practical, not to mention they're not always open- and definitely not healthy. I mention this because every place on campus is closed by seven pm. Seven. I find this incredibly retarded. Combined with school itself, I'm typically restricted to only two meals during the day. I can usually cram in about 1700-2200 calories from that during the day, and then try to get in another thousand or so through snacks and such, but it's hard to really keep my protein levels high doing this. I can get it up through, say, peanuts, but not only am I colossally sick of peanuts, but I'm sure they're actively trying to choke me to death at this point and it's hard to measure how many servings I've had when I'm eating out of a large tub.

Sometimes I can't get to the gym until past seven, and I'm rarely asleep before midnight, so my post-gym meal is rarely more than protein shake, and I don't have many good options for keeping my calorie count high when the day is done.

Does anyone know of any good snack foods or even microwavable meals out there? They don't have to be the healthiest things available, but higher in protein, or at least calories. Healthier is preferred, but I simply need something that could calorically substitute for a meal. A lot of my favorite snack foods before I started weight lifting (Wheat Thins, Chewy bars, etc.,) are really light in this department. I've looked around Safeway a bunch (done several run downs of the one downtown) but the one I typically go to is small and has a limited variety. I'm going to try going to someplace bigger this weekend, but I want to know what to look for.

One more detail, I don't have a car. This means I can't make super frequent shopping trips- once or twice a week, and it also means I can't carry a whole lot back with me. Whatever I can stick on the handlebars of my bike and into my backpack. I can't get like, a gallon of milk a day because I'm not going to be able to carry seven gallons of milk back, along with all the other food I want to eat, and my bike.


Peanut butter and more peanut butter

Also, you can make macaroni and cheese in the microwave. And yes, I mean the actual boxes, not just the miniscule easymacs.


Looks like Mac and Cheese and Peanut Butter are about to become my best friends.


Possibly in combination.


blender? You can easily throw a thousand calories into one of those. In fact, i did it twice today.

2cups of cottage cheese and a handful of nuts/doritos are pretty much a daily staple for me as well.

can opener? canned salmon (don't mind the bones and the skin. good calcium. good fat!) with some canned beans and sour cream. Another daily staple of mine, except i use sweet potatoes instead of beans.

I am probably not helping.


Canned tuna+Cottage cheese


How are your expenses? Could always start taking in a whole lot of whey protein.



BTW, I did this all last summer. Bulking in a dorm room is possible.


When I lived in the dorms, I would boil massive quantities of eggs. Go to the grocery and buy a bunch of eggs for the week. Boil them all Sunday evening and keep them in the mini fridge all week. Now you have the perfect snack that can last you through the week.

If you dont know how to boil eggs:
1 Put eggs in a pot and cover about an inch with cool water
2 Place and stove, turn to high, and wait for it to boil
3 Once boiling (rigorously), remove from stove, cover, and let rest for 15-20 minutes
4 After resting remove eggs to ice bath (makes them easier to peel) and let rest in ice for ~5 min


When I was in a dorm I had a blender and mixed up oats, pb and whey for ~1000 calorie shakes twice a day. With cinnamon and a banana it tastes pretty good


You can probably get by with two meals easy to make in your dorm:

1- Mac n Cheese with can of tuna thrown in (I lived on this in college)
2- Oatmeal with Protein powder and Peanut Butter thrown in (I could live on this now)



Find a girl with an eating disorder, use her for her meal plan.


Don't have a blender but I could get my hands on one. I DO have a can opener though. I'll look into the canned salmon, beans, and sour cream idea. That actually sounds pretty good.

My family has made the agreement that I can spend however much I want to if it's food related. I didn't start taking Whey Protein until yesterday though, when I found out my gym stocked it. It's definitely going to be a help with getting in my standard protein needs. I wont be able to depend on it if I start putting on a lot of size, but hopefully I'll have moved into an apartment or figured out proper nutrition by the time that happens.

I will try cookings eggs with a microwave (we have an odd microwave so it'll be a hazardous process.) I love eggs, but the lack of stove really hit my hard in this department.

I'll go shopping when the weather clears up a bit and try to get my hand on some oats, eggs, various fish, and a blender (I already haev a bunch of peanut butter so I'm okay in this department.) Thanks for the help. :slight_smile:

Also, I do in fact know a girl who has way too much cash on her meal plan and doesn't eat all that much (she also leaves to see her boyfriend on the weekends a lot so she doesn't have to eat here all the time), so I can, in fact, attempt the "eating disorder meal plan milking" approach.


Transfer schools



You can buy frozen meat that is fully cooked. Tyson has a few varieties of beef and chicken that are microwavable.

Are you allowed to keep a hot plate in your room?


chances are if you are buying protein from your gym you are EXTREMELY over paying

you can order like a 25 pound bag online for 100 bucks - PM me if you want the website

but anyway anything canned is gonna have to work for you...

canned chicken, canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chili (should be a bit higher in protein than a lot of other "snacks" you could find)


I knew I probably would be when I bought it, it's more of a "trial run" for me now, mostly to get in the habit and such. I will need to start ordering them online soon, so that website would be greatly appreciated.

My dorm is anal about heating devices. No hot plates, no toasters, no fucking electric blankets. I didn't even know those existed. Nobody has ever died in a fire here, probably because the school shits itself if anything exceeds room temperature. Definitely trying to rent my own place out next year.


I just made a thread like this too. I eat peanut butter a lot ,but need more variation so I'm switching things up. First, I try to go to the cafe at least twice a day, sometimes 3 times a day. When I'm at the cafe I also have milk with all my meals to bump up the calories. When it's late and you have no food for long periods of time I am going to focus on having these :

Canned Chicken Breast
Peanut Butter
Milk (sometimes hard to get, but if I have a chance I'll run to 711 to get it)
Protein shakes
Canned Chickpeas

I already have most of these except the chicken and chickpeas. Next time I go home in a few weeks I'm going to Costco and bulking up on Canned chicken breast and chickpeas and it should help a LOT. I also might get some natural oatmeal that I can make in the microwave easily to get some extra carbs in.

Also,the reason I like those foods above are because they are all easy to store and eat, except milk obviously. Eggs are a pain in the ass to keep making and my freezer is small so no frozen foods.


Why do you have to cook the eggs?

No reason for all that hassle all the time. Get some eggs, and egg whites, mix them with nesquick or orange juice....

I usually do something like
1/2 cup egg whites
3-5 whole eggs
some PB
Nesquick- to taste
cup whole milk
1/2 cup oatmeal

BAM done... 5 minutes to make it, 1 minute to drink it, you just had a meal

Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, ect is good. If you have a way to make rice, make a bunch and reheat it to eat with your canned whatever.


i'm going through a similar thing at school. i've invested in optimum oats and whey which i have every morning and sometimes later in the day. if you have a fridge then always keep a gallon of milk, peanut butter, and yogurt (preferably greek) in there. also, you may want to invest in some waxy maize starch to mix in with your whey protein. it's about 120 calories per 30 grams, 2 scoops with a scoop or 2 of whey gives you a shake with at least 500 cals. string cheese is also great


Ever heard of a brand of frozen meals called "YRU Cooking"? I'm a friend of the owner and it's quality stuff compared to the other microwaveables available.


Rey.... cans of chicken, fish +oil, lot's of ramen and easy on the PB. I got a pretty bad peanut intolerance from the big tubs of it every week, so if you smell like death, drop the PB for a bit haha.
Also, I had a trial w/ GOMAD then. Buy as much milk as you can fit in your fridge, then one more. Drink that one before the day ends. that's 2400 cal right there, and if you can drink a gal. of water, you got this.

Also, I work at my gym in college. They have a lot of promotional stuff here, so we give out things like clif bars, etc. See if you can get your hands on free shit like that. There's a ton of free food in college, you just need to know where to look (like ethnic club promotions)