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The Finals Week Diet: 10 Meals That Ensure 100s on All Your Exams

Introducing Her Campus’s Finals Week Diet! Designed to increase your sugar rushes steadily throughout the day while lowering your stress with comfort food*, this regimen is perfect for your busy exam schedule. With a total of 10 suggested meals, this plan will keep your energy up during early mornings and all-nighters. If you’re prone to panic attacks, endless hours in the library and late-night cramming sessions, this is the diet for you!

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day to jump-start your studying

  • One cinnamon raisin bagel with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese (or more if you want; you do you)
  • 20 ounces of coffee with half-and-half and sugar (Make sure to add at least two packets of sugar to kick off your daylong sugar rush. Consistency is key.)
  • Side of bacon, at least three pieces (Protein = brainpower)

Midmorning Snack: Beating the 11 a.m. slump


  • One 12-ounce can of Diet Coke (Make sure it’s caffeinated. Constant caffeine is key.)
  • Full bag of Skittles minus the green ones (proven to increase focus)
  • If you’re still feeling sluggish, add a bag of Swedish Fish or Sour Patch Kids

Lunch: aka a well-timed procrastination break


  • Two to three slices of pizza (with toppings of your choice, but pepperoni is recommended)
  • French fries (regular or sweet potato, side of ketchup)
  • Small side of frozen yogurt, minimum three toppings; one has to be hot fudge (chocolate is proven to be a comfort food, so it’s critical for your progress)

Midafternoon Snack: Time to get energized and lower stress with sugar

  • 12-ounce latte, skim milk, either vanilla or caramel flavoring
  • 18 M&M’S (1 ounce by weight, 1/4 cup by volume or small handful… or, if you want to eat the entire bag, that’s okay, too)

Before-Dinner Snack: Optional, but you’ll probably want it

  • Two big chocolate-chip cookies; can be substituted with half a sleeve of Oreos
  • Recommended: glass of milk for dunking

Dinner: Getting fueled for the long night ahead

  • Crispy chicken fingers (Hint: Dip in a side of honey mustard for extra stress-fighting benefits)
  • 1 cup (or more) plain potato chips
  • Side: spicy salsa (to dip your chips in; spicy foods said to lower blood pressure/stress)
  • Another 12 ounces of Pepsi (Or any soda, really. Whatever you want.)

Post-Dinner Snack: Because the library is getting boring without food, and you’re getting hangry

  • 8 ounces of green tea (to lower your stress yet keep caffeine levels up)
  • Your choice of either seven Hershey’s Kisses, 12 gummy bears or one Snickers bar. Pick your favorite from the given choices to maximize your sugar rush.

Midnight Meal: You’re tired of studying and you deserve a treat

  • Optional: 12 ounces of coffee, black (for those staying up for two to four more hours)
  • Anything from the vending machine. Recommendations: Doritos (Cool Ranch flavor), popcorn or Cheetos

Late-Late-Night Snack: For you night owls who just won’t quit

  • The perfect time for takeout. Order one large Domino’s pizza to share with two to four close friends.
  • Cheesy bread (strongly) encouraged, but not required
  • Coffee, coffee, coffee – the biggest size you can get

Early-Morning Treat: You’re not sure what day it is anymore

  • One blueberry muffin, microwaved; 1 tablespoon of spreadable butter
  • 12 ounces of coffee or Diet Coke; anything to make it through your exam in a few hours/prevent your breakdown

Studies have shown that those who follow this diet as closely as possible not only have decreased stress levels but also ace all of their exams. Happy dieting, collegiettes!

*Disclaimer: This diet is has not been proven to be healthy or effective in any way.

Kasia (pronounced "Kasha") recently graduated from Villanova University where she studied Communication. She's a self-proclaimed Pinterest enthusiast, aspiring writer, avid reader, and constant smiler. Besides writing for HC, you can find her practicing yoga or curling up with a book at a coffee shop. She plans to pursue a career in public relations or journalism, where she can live in a city and decorate her own apartment. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog!
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