T Nation

Need A Healthy Snack


The food with the most sugar in my daily meal is my morning oatmeal, and that's whatever quaker puts in my apples and cinnamon. So my guess is that I'm not getting enough sugar, which would explain my EXTREMELY fast fatigue, which has been increasing since I left home for college. What my roommate and I tried to do was go all "no snacks in the fridge, no way to over-eat, right?"

Yes, there's a question in this, this isn't a narration.

What is a healthy snack that is (relatively) high in sugars, but not (again, relatively) high in "bad" fat or "bad" calories?


banana or 4



first off, ditch the flavored oatmeals and buy one of the big things of just straight oatmeal. secondly, the sugar youre getting from your instant oatmeal isnt the kind you want. Try fruits for a healthy source of a lot of "sugar."


can't "buy one of the big things of just straight oatmeal," I'm in college still. I don't own a microwave. What I can do is use the little piece-of-crap packets that they have for me in the cafeteria. I mix 3 "original" with one flavored. I need some flavor in my breakfast otherwise I'd end up ditching the diet.

And I eat all kinds of fruit all day (bananas, apples, plums) but I since I stopped eating from the dessert table (about 2 weeks ago) I haven't been able to lift as long as I used to (before the more strict diet). I looked up some possible reasons as to why, and low blood sugar comes up a lot. I also know that diabetics have a really hard time getting too much sugar from eating fruits, so I'm guessing fruits aren't too high in sugar.

Any other snacks on mind? I'm not too sure about energy bars, do they work for hours?

And protein bars I'm ok with if they have the sugar I need, becuase (duh) I'm lifting and protein's good.

I just want to be able to lift like I used to without eating crap like I used to, so I figured I'd consult the great mind of T-Nation.


So you can make a good suggestion, my diet is this:

Breakfast: oatmeal, apple, milk

Lunch: 2x tuna on wheat with banana peppers and tomatoes, salad with italian dressing, apple, milk

Dinner: same as Lunch, maybe a cup of the "soup of the day"

Daily Snacks: whatever fruit I nab from the cafeteria and store in my fridge

so as you can see, I don't get a lot of sugars.

I'm 18, 6'0", 188, and roughly 10% body fat.


Guess what? The "real" oatmeal is usually $1.99 if you buy the generic brand of "instant oats" that they sell at most local grocery stores. That's for a fairly large container with more than 30 servings. You could spend about a dollar more and get the Quaker Oats brand as well.

I guarantee that the cost of the plain, instant oats is cheaper than those stupid sugar-laden flavored packets you're buying. And 30 1/2 cup servings will last longer and be cheaper than what you're currently doing.

You don't necessarily need a microwave if you boil some hot water and add it to the oats. However, I don't see how you don't have access or the ability to buy a small microwave, even if you are a poor college student.

Don't waste your money on fast food, soda, pot, cigarettes, alcohol or going out to clubs, and I'm sure you'll find a way to afford such things like real oatmeal and a microwave. Jeez man, you can buy a microwave for $30 these days. Stop making excuses.

By the way, you're getting "sugars" from fruit, bread, oatmeal and most other carb sources. Some are simple sugars. The only time you really "need" sugar is right after your workout. And for that, drink some freakin' chocolate milk! It works almost as good as a properly-formulate post-workout shake like Surge. And it's cheap!


By the way, the reason you are most likely "crashing" is because you're not eating enough food.


Why would I buy oatmeal if they provide exactly what you're suggesting for me? And how is what you're suggesting less expensive than FREE?

I don't spend ANY money on anything except supplements and milk, and I still have loads of cash left over. I don't need a microwave because the food is provided for me. And how the hell can I boil the water if I don't own anything that can heat it? haha If I had some way to heat my water, don't you think I would have used it to heat my oatmeal?

The only advice that is actually helpful was the last comment regarding not eating enough. The only problem is with the college that I'm at, you have to choose between pure fatty shit food, or over the top healthy. I wish there was an in between, but there isn't. It's either deep fried greasey fatty food, or a salad and a tuna sandwich.

And no offense intended, but did you go to college recently? Not because you sound stupid, you don't, your advice is good, but because the meal plan is this: you can eat whenever you want to, as long as it's in the 2-3 hour window they allow. It's a cafeteria. Not a drive through. They serve dinner till 7, so from then till I eat breakfast I have no food. That's why I need a HEALTHY snack for that 12 hours.


And for future commenters, stop saying things about the diet and such, trust me, I'm doing all I can to eat right in this place, but it's more of a hell hole for food than you know.

Given, it could be worse, but it's literally a salad, tuna and fruit or nothing when it comes to healthy food, and that's what I'm doing. There's no chicken, no beef, no pork, no lamb. It's greasey beef, deep fried chicken, and such. Sucks.


It sucks that you are confined to cafeteria food but there was some good advise that you can incorporate. Fruit is a great source of energy.

The fructose is lower GI than other sugars so lasts longer. In your oatmeal, try raisins or bananas for sweetness instead of sugar. You can never go wrong with berries. Eat them whenever they are offered or buy a bag of frozen berries and snack on them in the evening.

You can boil water in a kettle. You can probably get one for under $10.

You said you are buying milk and supplements, I assume you mean whey. Protein and milk are usually enough to get you through the night. If not a bowl of real oatmeal with raisons will do it.

Buy some almonds or walnuts and snack on them between meals. Buy the ones in the baking section of the grocery store. A small handfull will take the edge of the hunger and provide good fats that you need.



So you need something at nighttime? What time do you go to bed?

If you have extra cash, then buy a couple of tubs of Metabolic Drive complete off of here. The casein protein will be good before bed too.

As far as eating more, Im sure instead of just eating one tuna sandwich, you could eat two right? Just because they only have super clean foods in the caf doesnt mean you cant eat twice as much of those super clean foods.

I agree with the above poster, trail mix and the like are great, easy, and cheap ways to add calories to your diet.


My bad, I didn't realize you were getting this food from your school's cafeteria/meal plan. Since it's being provided to you for free (not really, but I'm sure it's included in your tuition), I guess you have to make the best choices you can.

There is nothing wrong with the tuna sandwiches, fruit and some of the other stuff you listed. Eat them up! And take advantage of those "feeding opportunities" when they are available.

However, you stated that you have money, so why not buy your own food? This way, you don't have to eat what they provide?

Yes, I went to college. But guess what? I didn't eat school food. I made my own food. For every meal of the day. I bought it, cooked it, packed it, etc. You know why? Because it was important to me to eat the right foods and not make bad choices. :wink:

As for snacks, pick up some almonds or walnuts (raw). Cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, cheese can be stored in your fridge. Pick up some protein powder too! Those types of things will hold you over between meals.


Thanks for the advice. again, I don't have a way to heat the kettle. I only have a fridge in my room. that is my only appliance. no oven. no stove. no microwave.

But thanks for the rest of the advice, I'll try to remember it on a daily basis. The only problem I have with nuts is I know I'll endulge too much with them cuz I love the taste of almonds. But if I can control myself, I'm sure it will help a lot.

I'll try eating an apple or banana before I lift next time. See what works.

Does anyone know of an energy bar that works for hours? One meant for lifters? Just in case I get sick of apples and bananas.


the problem I see is that you are probably not getting enough calories. Start a food diary for a couple days to see how much your getting. when you eat healthy you can get full on less food. its tough eating healthy while on a food plan. I did that last year so I know what youre going through, thankfully i now have my own kitchen.

Last year i had a fridge, microwave, quesadilla maker, and thing that would boil water(meant for tea and such). YOu don't have access to the microwave but im sure you could get some type of hot plate(like the quesadilla maker) and use it to cook stuff, i cooked eggs a lot on it, and get one of those water pots if you need boiling water.

If you want to use the meal plan to its fullest youre probably not going to be able to eat completely clean and you need to be okay with that. Your other option is to spend a little outside money on your "healthy snacks."  eggs, nuts, fruit, vegetables, cottage cheese, oatmeal and cereals would all be pretty good and easy to do in a dorm.


My size right now is one which I am comfortable with, but since it I'm a first year, I'm just looking to not get out of shape. I also want to progress.

Obviously I don't want to stall during my first year because I'm focussing on staying in shape, but to progress I need energy. Apples and bananas sound like a solid plan, but does anyone reccomend an energy bar I could switch to if I get sick of or run out of apples/bananas?

Oh, and I found out a way to heat my water, so I may buy some oatmeal now.


You may be pre-diabetic. What you are experiencing is probably the result of removing junk food from your diet, and it may level off, but I recommend you get tested, if your low energy levels persist over the long-term.

Habitually ingesting simple sugars will spike blood glucose, and, consequently, insulin levels, which can be followed by a crash, or steep drop in blood glucose (hypoglycemia), and low energy levels...contributing factors to insulin resistance, the condition where more and more insulin is needed to produce the same effect.

The ideal, for the most part, is to keep your blood glucose levels stable, and to NOT spike them with sugary (high GI) snacks, which is probably what led to your current state.

CARBOHYDRATES ARE SUGARS. If you are eating right, you should have more than enough energy for working out.



try a peach or the above yellow fruit.


I'm about to kick someone in the nuts. Some of you people are reading into this WAY too much. My diet is fine. I'm not "spiking" my blood glucose levels, I'm not starving myself, I'm not overeating, I'm not freakin diabetic.

What I am, however, is pissed off. I'm getting sick of this, I just want a recommended energy bar or energy drink to replace my fruits when I get sick of them, which I think I will if I have to eat 4/5 a day.


Something that doesn't make me cringe when I take it, but isn't horrible for my body, and isn't loaded with just caffeine, like Mt Dew. I want it to have protein, but the main idea is energy.

So stop anazlyzing this, and just READ WHAT I'M SAYING. I know that by now I sound like a cranky old man, but this shouldn't be taking as much time as it is.


Go see what's at your local grocery store and try them out. If you don't like them, don't buy them anymore. In general they are just candy bars with protein anyway.


Why can't you just eat plain oatmeal and have more fruit?