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Big Man On Campus: Nutrition

Proper nutrition is a crucial component of building muscle. Pack on size like a pro with the Big Man nutrition plan!

Eating clean can be tough for college students, but remember: You're in control. No one can force you to eat junk food. Keep your goals in mind—more muscle, more strength, better test scores, a healthier life—and you will navigate college nutrition with ease. High marks in Nutrition 101 lead to even greater athletic and aesthetic success.

Big Man On Campus: Nutrition Overview

Watch The Video - 09:56




In college, you're young, still growing, and your metabolism is fast. Unless you're competing, I don't think you should stress about each and every meal. Even so, good nutrition is good nutrition.

Your diet has a huge impact on your results, as well as your mood and overall health. You need to eat for physical and mental performance. Keep your brain fueled and your muscles fed.

Nutrition Basics ///

Good nutrition sets the foundation for great results. The basics of nutrition start with the macronutrients. There are three macronutrients that make up whole foods: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Each nutrient plays a variety of roles.

  • Protein is responsible for tissue growth and repair. It's essential for building muscle.
  • Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source.
  • Dietary fat is required to digest fat-soluble vitamins; it also plays a role in healthy skin and hair, organ protection, cell function, and more.

Your diet should be comprised primarily of:

  1. Quality proteins, like lean meats, eggs, poultry, fish, and whey
  2. Complex carbs, like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and some fruits
  3. Healthy fats, like fish and olive oil
Nutrition By The Numbers ///

College is fast-paced and hectic. It can be tough to count calories and track how much food you eat each and every day. I suggest eating at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. If you weigh 200 pounds, you'd eat at least 200 g of protein-from a combination of food and supplement sources-for muscle growth. If you really want to pack on more size in a short amount of time, don't be afraid to eat 1.5-to-2 g of protein per pound, per day.

The protein target is a great starting point for most people. However, if you like to be as detailed as possible, take your weight and multiply it by 17.5. The resulting number is how many calories you should be eating per day. A 200-pound male would eat 3,500 calories daily, roughly split between: 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat.

Big Man Mass Calculator

Enter Your Body Weight:
Calories Needed:
Protein:
Carbs:
Fats:

It might look like a lot of calories, but remember: You can't build muscle and add mass without a caloric excess. You need to eat more than you're burning for your body to grow. Also, your total daily calories will be spread across multiple meals.

Eat every few hours to fuel your body with enough nutrients to build and repair muscle throughout the day. Eating small, frequent meals can also help you manage hunger and curb cravings. I like to eat 6-or-7 relatively small meals throughout the day. It might sound crazy, but snacks, protein supplements, and meal preparation make frequent eating easy.

College Cafeterias

Eating On Campus ///

Even though there's a lot of peer pressure and social activity in college, it's fairly easy to eat clean. Most college cafeterias offer numerous healthful options. Even campus cafes typically offer lighter fare and low-carb choices. When you're at parties, you can always modify food to make it better for your goals. I would pass on pizza and doughnuts, but I'd grab a burger, ditch the bun, and eat the patty.

Meal preparation is critical to beating bad nutrition and achieving your muscle-building goals. Keep a stash of pre-made, ready-to-eat, muscle-building meals or snacks readily available. Stockpile protein bars, low-sodium jerky, Greek yogurt, veggies, fruits, and almonds in your dorm room. With healthful food at hand, you won't spring for nutritionally bankrupt junk.

Avoid candy bars and sugar-loaded energy drinks. They're addicting, packed with fast carbs, will make your energy crash, and won't do anything to help your muscle-building goals.

Food is fuel; eat like you're a Ferrari, not a minivan. If you haven't already, watch my video on Time Management, where I cover easy ways to tackle meal prep and planning.

Budget Muscle-Building ///

To build muscle, you need nutrient-dense food. There's a myth that healthful food is expensive, but you can definitely eat clean on the cheap. Bulk brown rice is a perfect, inexpensive, complex carbohydrate.

Eggs, canned tuna, and chicken are cheap, lean protein sources. As long as you have some salt-free spice blends and a George Foreman grill, you can prepare any lean meat.

Follow these additional tips to build your body without breaking the bank:

  • Buy in bulk
  • Watch for sales
  • Shop with coupons
  • Ask about student discounts

Even if you're forced to grab cheap fast food, you can still make a muscle-building meal. Order off the dollar menu and skip the condiments. Drop the white-bread bun. Get a grilled chicken sandwich from McDonald's and ask them to wrap it in lettuce. Believe me, it works. It's not ideal, but you have to get the most from what you have available.

Social Snacking ///

When you go to restaurants, don't be afraid to make special requests. Most places are willing to swap fries with a vegetable, withhold fatty condiments, or make other adjustments.

If you've already eaten, just grab a cup of coffee or green tea. Don't turn down something fun because of your fitness goals. Instead, make the fun fit your goals.

Sample Meal Plan

Total Daily Calories
  • Calories: 3,430
  • Carbs: 311.165 g
  • Fat: 101.222 g
  • Protein: 321.33 g
Meal 1

    Omelet and Oats

  • eggs

    Whole Eggs

    2
    Calories: 111 | Fats: 8 g | Protein: 8 g | Carbs: 685 mg

  • eggs

    Egg Whites

    6
    Calories: 69 | Fats: 224 mg | Protein: 14 g | Carbs: 1 g

  • green pepper

    Veggies of choice (Bell Pepper)


    Calories: 24 | Fats: 202 mg | Protein: 1 g | Carbs: 6 g

  • oats

    Oats

    3/4 cup
    Calories: 157 | Fats: 3 g | Protein: 6 g | Carbs: 28 g

  • blueberries

    Blueberries (Frozen)


    Calories: 42 | Fats: 244 mg | Protein: 548 mg | Carbs: 11 g

Breakfast Alternative
Meal 2
  • protein shake

    Protein Shake (ON Whey)

    1
    Calories: 120 | Fats: 1 g | Protein: 24 g | Carbs: 4 g

  • apple

    Apple

    1
    Calories: 91 | Fats: 273 mg | Protein: 482 mg | Carbs: 24 g

  • almonds

    Almonds

    15
    Calories: 112 | Fats: 10 g | Protein: 4 g | Carbs: 4 g

Meal 3

    Sandwich and Fruit

  • bread

    Ezekiel Bread (or Whole Wheat Bread)

    2 slices
    Calories: 160 | Fats: 1 g | Protein: 8 g | Carbs: 28 g

  • turkey

    Roasted Turkey

    4oz
    Calories: 192 | Fats: 5.5 g | Protein: 33 g | Carbs: 0 g

  • cheese

    Low-fat American Cheese

    2 slices
    Calories: 76 | Fats: 3 g | Protein: 10.3 g | Carbs: 1.48 g

  • banana

    Piece of Fruit (Banana)

    1
    Calories: 105 | Fats: 389 mg | Protein: 1 g | Carbs: 27 g

Meal 4: Pre-Workout
  • chicken breast

    Chicken Breast

    8oz
    Calories: 409 | Fats: 19 g | Protein: 56 g | Carbs: 0 g

  • salad

    Mixed Salad

    10oz
    Calories: 15 | Fats: 0 g | Protein: 2 g | Carbs: 3 g

  • sweet potato

    Sweet Potato

    1
    Calories: 128 | Fats: 571 mg | Protein: 2 g | Carbs: 29 g

Pre-Workout Alternative
Meal 5: Post-Workout
Meal 6: 1 Hour After Workout
  • steak

    Steak (or any lean protein source)

    8oz
    Calories: 473 | Fats: 25 g | Protein: 58 g | Carbs: 0 g

  • broccoli

    Broccoli

    1 cup
    Calories: 27 | Fats: 319 mg | Protein: 3 g | Carbs: 5 g

  • brown rice

    Brown Rice

    1 cup
    Calories: 217 | Fats: 2 g | Protein: 5 g | Carbs: 45 g

Meal 7
  • yogurt

    Greek Yogurt

    6oz
    Calories: 130 | Fats: 3.5 g | Protein: 17 g | Carbs: 7 g

  • almonds

    Almonds

    15
    Calories: 112 | Fats: 10 g | Protein: 4 g | Carbs: 4 g

  • granola

    Granola

    1 cup
    Calories: 400 | Fats: 6 g | Protein: 12 g | Carbs: 78 g

Meal 8


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republicofcody

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republicofcody

Can't wait to start this one in September

May 29, 2013 8:36pm | report
Jones2015

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Jones2015

How long can I follow this sample meal plan? Do I have to find a diet plan that will be customed to my body?

Jul 19, 2013 3:19am | report
Funkyhairdave

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Funkyhairdave

Just about to start this! boom time! anyone got gains from this? how did you find the meal planner?

Oct 15, 2013 6:40am | report
letoir

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letoir

Can i use mutant mass?

Apr 13, 2014 7:00pm | report
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 Comments

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