T Nation

In-Season Nutrition Staples

I play college football and am currently engulfed in spring practices. I never usually have this problem, but recently having changed to a much healthier diet I am having an awful time keeping weight on. I started out 2 weeks ago (when practices began) at a strong and lean 233 pounds. As of this morning, I am 225 pounds. This is disturbing as I am fighting for a spot on the depth chart as an inside LB.

My question for you guys is what foods/supplements in my diet could I put emphasis on or add that may help stave off this rapid breakdown of what I spent the last 2 months building up…

Our team lifts 3 days/wk total body workouts. I receive 1 training table meal per day from the team, but this unfortunately is served buffet style and includes nothing but glorified cafeteria food. We practice 3 days/wk on the days we do not lift and get sundays off.

I have no car, and can get to a grocery store MAYBE every 2 weeks (we’re in a somewhat remote location). My class schedule destroys any semblance of free time that could be used for cooking (I am a biology major and have class from 8am-8pm with breaks for practices, meetings, lifts, and cafeteria meals).

What foods could I stock up on that would help me maintain (and possibly gain back) my weight? They need to be nutrient dense (obviously), easily stored (fridge or shelved, my freezer is ridiculously tiny), relatively non-perishable, and require little/no prep time.

Please help, I cannot spend another year as a special teams backup!

Beef jerkey is awesome for protein, and assorted nuts pack a buttload of calories into a snack.

I was having an issue like that my freshman year. The First thing I did was go out and buy a little cooler. I would fill it with 2 protein shakes in water bottles, a bag of beef jerkey, I would make oatmeal and mix protein into that, and then to top it off a bag of greens (Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) and that was good for snacking all day.

get yourself a crock pot and a crock pot cook book. you can cook all kinds of stuff. start it in the morning and it’ll be ready for supper. you’ll also have left overs to munch on for day.

try eggs, mixed nuts, assloads of tuna and the canned/packaged chicken… it’s not that hard. just look around your local grocery store.

lancer55, it may not be as bad as you think; i.e., you may not be losing muscle. If you’ve been eating more bread and candy and Cokes (with sugar) and candy bars and chips and then switch over to eating more fibrous green veggies, fruit and beans, you’re probably taking in a lesser number of carbs and losing some water weight. Glycogen (carbs stored in the muscles) is stored with water in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. Taking in a lesser number of carbs results in muscle glycogen being depleted somewhat and the loss of water stored with it.

If you are trying to make the transition to eating more healthfully, I’d recommend first that you cut out the stuff you know is bad for you – fried food, fast food, sugar, candy, bakery items, anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. From there try to make sure you’re eating either a fruit or vegetable or beans with every meal or snack and that you are getting your GOOD fats (olive oil and flaxseed oil) on a daily basis. Fish oil (like in Flameout) would be an excellent supp to add to your regimen. It’s a supp that can improve performance. Read the chapter about athletes in Barry Sears’ book, “The Omega Rx Zone.” There’s some stuff in that chapter that’s specific/pertinent to football players.

But there’s still the issue of how to maintain or even increase weight while eating more healthfully. Eat more starchy carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, barley.

And finally, drink some chocolate milk following your workouts and drink more milk in general. You could mix it with Metabolic Drive and fruit and give it a ride in the blender.

If you have any other questions or need some help with your diet, don’t hesitate to ask!