Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Paleo in College?

By Diana Hsieh

Recently, I received the following e-mail from Nick, a college student considering going paleo. I'm hoping that some college students can offer him some advice on sticking to the diet in college in the comments.

I'm nearing completion of a summer internship in Africa since late May, and have noticed that the change in diet (in living with a host family in a rural town) has also dropped my weight and I have lost fat. As a college student who has been putting on the pounds with an unhealthy diet, this is awesome news! I largely attribute it to the fact that the food I'm now eating here is ACTUALLY food, not processed (although the diet in Uganda is extremely high-carb). As an Objectivist and follower of your blog, I knew of your connection to paleo and wanted to explore it more. What I'm afraid of is going back to the States and falling into the unhealthy diet I was in before - with fake, processed foods all around and putting back on weight.

So I'm starting to consider paleo. Unfortunately, I am a big carb-lover (pastas, bread, pizza, etc) and meats. The only food I am usually not a fan of is vegetables (bummer since that seems to be what paleo is big on). I'm encouraged by reading some of your blog posts about how you were also into carbs but your tastes changed as your body adjusted to the paleo diet, so I am willing to take that plunge.

My real question is: do you know any other college students (especially ones who might have a blog or other resources) who have made the switch to the paleo diet? For me, I think that will be the biggest obstacle. It's not so much the budget, but more the fact that my friends and I go out on weekends to grab something to eat at a restaurant, and I don't want to give up on that social element and start being "that guy" who is picky over where we go to eat. This might sound stupid but it is a big concern for me.

Do you have any advice or direction to point me to? Thanks in advance, I appreciate your help already just from the Modern Paleo website.
When I asked Nick whether I could post his question, he replied with:
Since my email to you, I've done more research and think I am indeed going to jump in and try it when I return, but I'm still very curious about how others in college have managed. I'm going to do what you've suggested in Rationally Selfish podcasts and give it a 30-day try. Do you think that is sufficient time for my body to adjust (and perhaps even tastes) or does it deserve a bit longer of a trial period?
Thirty days will be an adequate trial, I think, to see whether you get any notable benefit from the diet. After that, if all goes well, you'll want to experiment and tweak to optimize. The first 30 days should give you a basic thumbs-up or thumbs-down, but even in that first trial, you might want to experiment with more or less carbs, for example.

In any case: What advice do college students have about eating paleo?

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