T Nation

Trouble Having Time for Food


I'm a fulltime student and I work fulltime in order to make enough money for school. I didn't used to have this load and need to budget time. I am having a hard time getting in all the Calories, protein, vitamins, ect... from the quick meals I can get in between class, my workouts, and work.

I'm at work for a solid 8 hours with not much chance to go grab anything, but we do have a microwave and fridge... I'm trying to maximize my gains while working with this busy schedule.

I try to get in a protein bar or two if I have a break, but I need more to sustain myself AND get the gains I want! Does anyone have any advice on quick and easy meals I can eat/bring to work? Or how I can get in the nutrients/calories I need throughout the day.



Just eat 2-3 meals a day. Ive read studies about this, and there is no scientific proof of 5-8 meals a day raising metabolism, or any of that.

Gain = More calories to be eaten.
Loose= Less calories to eat.

Easting couple meals a day just doesnt let you binge, or want to eat out, thats about it.


Similar situation to you, I go to school for 15 hours a week and work 30 hours so I have experience in this. For me it's all about prepping food in advance for work. I would get a bunch of those disposable tupperware containers to store food in, shaker cups for protein drinks.

Cooking all your meals for the day(at the minimum) the night before at the same time saves you so much time because you wouldn't believe. I like to bake a few lbs of chicken breasts at a time and a lb or two of ground beef and store them in tupperware or ziploc bags for the next day or days. I also keep a big tub of almonds around my apartment so if I'm in a rush I can just grab a tupperware with some chicken dump some almonds in there and carry it with me.

An easy one for me is soup with added (pre cooked) beef to it since it's pretty darn easy to microwave some soup and slurp it down in just a few minutes. Protein shakes are pretty self explanatory, I like to add olive oil to mine for added calories and to slow down digestion. Maybe oats grinded up would be an option for those that prefer higher carbs. If you eat right before work, take a meal break, and slam down a shake sometime later you will be fine till you get home.


I try not to let science get in the way of my results.


Eating only a couple meals a day would seem to me to increase the liklihood that food is going to be less completely digested, and decrease the ammount of nutrients being absorbed. There is only so much room for absorbtion and having a whole lot fighting for uptake at one time is not a good situation.

Plus I hate that bloated, stuffed feeling after a huge meal.


I think getting the meal replacement shakes would be a good idea. prepping meals beforehand is also a good thing to do but it does take a lot of time the night before. again...meal replacement from Biotest seems like a safe bet if you're really crunched for time.


Go for some higher calorie snacks such as almonds, walnuts, cashews. Have some back up protein such as a shake or a bar in case you don't get a chance to get a proper meal.


Eat a good breakfast and a good meal post workout. If you do that its fine to graze throughout the day, just make sure you keep hydrated and have a small high protein/high good fat snack before sleeping. If you can afford it buy some good protein bars or just carry round a bag of almonds/walnuts and have a handful every couple of hours.



More meals per day IS better because it reduces your insulin response (which tends to cause fat storage). There is a diminishing returns effect though, so you need to decide how important it is to take every possible advantage. Personally I'd say if you're not getting at least four meals a day you're seriously sabotaging your progress.