As I was reading some bodybuilding
news online, I came across an interesting article from Ka Leo O Hawai'i
, the campus newspaper of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, that reminded me of my days back in engineering school when I learned to be really creative in regards to keeping my bodybuilding diet
According to staff writer Andy Taylor in his article "Surviving Sodexho; Student Bodybuilders Struggle To Get Proper Nutrition", it turns out that in the University of Hawai'i, if you live in the college facilities you need to buy a meal plan. Problem is that if you are a bodybuilder, the menu does not really follow your nutritional requirements.
This is not an unusual situation to be in. Hopefully one day all places will have both bad food choices and bodybuilding friendly ones so that everyone is taken care of. In the meantime, you have to get creative and in keeping with the mindset of a successful bodybuilder
, you need to look for solutions rather than excuses. A few pieces of advice that I can offer are the following:
What To Do If You Had To Purchase The School Meal Plan
If you are in a situation like the one described on the article mentioned above where you had to purchase the meal plan and do not want to lose your money, try to see if the cafeteria has some sort of lean proteins such as chicken or turkey breasts. These are the protein choices that you need to look for. Since it is all you can eat, see about maybe packing some extra food to take with you for later meals (though some schools do not allow for this).
After you select your protein source, look for the cleanest complex carbohydrates that they may have, such as baked potatoes, and see if you can get some sort of green vegetables as well, if available.
Obviously, college campus' meal plans will not feed you 6 times a day, as they feed you 2 times at the most, so you will need to get yourself some protein powder
, and some old fashioned oats (which are easy to cook in the microwave) for breakfast. For in between meals, you can either use Meal Replacement Powders (MRP)
, a super convenient Ready-To-Drink (RTD)
Shake, such as Labrada's Lean Body
, or a high quality protein bar
to cover your nutritional requirements. If the MRPs, RTD's or protein bars
do not fit your budget, then powdered skim milk (1/2 cup to 1 cup as I used to do in college) mixed with with 1 scoop of whey protein
and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter will have to do for in between meals.
How To Carry Your Meals With You
The best investment you can make while on school is on a cooler so that you can carry your food, protein drinks and water with you for the rest of the day. That way you do not have to worry about being stuck without food for more than 3 hours. To this day I still use the cooler that I purchased for use during College.
How To Ensure That You Can Be Prepared Everyday
Wake up early! When in college, preparation is key. Make sure that you prepare your meals (the non cafeteria ones) well in advance or the night before so that when the day starts you can just pack things with you and go.
I also suggest you go to the gym at this time as well and get done with your bodybuilding workout
so that the reminder of the day all you have to worry about is studying and eating. If you are really pressed for time, take a look at my Workout for Busy Bodybuilders
, which has you in and out of the gym in about 30 minutes.
As the author of the article mentioned above said: "For bodybuilders, eating choices can be a troublesome hindrance at times, but as long as the athletes are dedicated to their sport, there is always a way to work around it".
I could not agree more with that statement.
About The AuthorHugo Rivera
, About.com's Bodybuilding Guide and ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, is a nationally-known best-selling author of over 8 books on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness, including "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men", "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women", "The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook", and his successful, self published e-book, "Body Re-Engineering". Hugo is also a national level NPC natural bodybuilding champion. Click here for more information on Hugo Rivera