Paleo college student in need of help.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 24, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Hello everybody, I just wanted to start off by saying that I'm a young college student who has been following a paleo/low-carb diet on a budget (meaning I'm unable to afford grassfed, cage free, and organic food) for the last 7 months. I started eating paleo at 17 years of age, 5'11", and 235lbs, and am now 18 years of age, 6'2", and 168lbs. I don't answer questions on here much (I have maybe once or twice), but I do lurk on the site very often and have found some great answers to some questions without even having to ask a question, but right now I am at a loss at what to do. I really want to lose about 5 more pounds of fat and gain some muscle, the problem is that I feel hungry about 45min-1hr after each meal, I also feel tired throughout the afternoon, and I have no knowledge of how to do resistance training or strength training. A normal day's calorie breakdown is roughly 60-65% fat, about 20-25% carbs, and about 20% protein (some days I'll go lower carbs and up the protein to help balance everything out). I do drink on average 2 cups of coffee a day (only in the morning or at noon). So a normal day for me would look like this:

6:30 AM - Coffee with Coconut oil

7:00 AM - 2 extra large eggs cooked in butter or leftover bacon grease, 2 strips of bacon (or a medium sized pork sausage patty). I then put about a 1/2 TBSP of butter on each egg.

8:30 AM - I start to feel hungry again so I grab another cup of coffee.

9:30 AM - I usually snack on raw carrots and dip them in butter, but sometimes I cook them and put lots of butter in them.

12:00 PM - Big bowl of a medley of Chicken and vegetables cooked in coconut oil and then mix butter in it.

2:00 PM - Piece of fruit, or a cooked vegetable with butter

4:00 PM - Fried egg cooked in butter, and topped with butter.

6:00 PM - Pork chop with some kind of fat on it, Broccoli with butter, Salad containing cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, and sometimes tomato with an olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

8:00 PM - I really crave something to eat around this time, and I usually ignore it and try to go to bed not on a full stomach.

At around 10:00-10:30 I go to bed, so I get approximately 8 hours of sleep each night.

If somebody could please help me by providing answers or possible solutions it would be greatly appreciated, I'm willing to do just about anything (except going vegetarian/vegan ;))



on February 12, 2013
at 12:33 AM

...you need a minimum of 300g of sugar?!? How exactly will that help?

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on January 25, 2013
at 02:03 AM

That's a lot of butter.



on January 25, 2013
at 01:57 AM

Either one, really. I eat potatoes or sweet potatoes post workout.



on January 25, 2013
at 01:19 AM

it doesn't matter, really. I eat both.



on January 25, 2013
at 12:20 AM

I forgot to mention that I've been experimenting with potatoes instead of fruit during the day, but which are better, sweet or white?



on January 25, 2013
at 12:02 AM

I agree that an increase in starch could help. Maybe throw some potatoes or squash in there. I need about 100g of carbs a day at least to feel full.



on January 24, 2013
at 11:29 PM

fat is not satiating. Neither is fruit. Eat meat, vegetables, and starch and you won't be hungry.

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on January 25, 2013
at 01:53 AM

I have to agree with other posts on fats not holding you over. I feel like you are putting a lot of butter in your diet where there should be MEAT (nomnomnom). I really think you need up your protein intake more than anything - why don't you try upping the protein for the next week and see how you feel? Whole chickens are very reasonably price. If that doesn't hold you over then add some sweet potatoes. I personally don't eat starches but again every body is unique. Remember that the human body is a fine machine of evolution and some tinkering around to find your optimal mode will be necessary. Now, onto strength training. Your college should offer some free classes at your gym (which may or may not include strength training but they will have some activities that get you up and moving). There may be even a weight lifting club that you could join. Also, just go to the gym and ask another student to show you the ropes. I've met some really incredible people at my gym just by approaching them and asking for help. By the way, I was a HUGE fan of Capture the Flag Club in college - running, jumping, climbing and racing one another - it is primal play at its finest. Check and see if there's one at your school! If none of that sounds appealing try your basics: Pushups Crunches Bird-dogs Bicycle crunches Mountain climbs Burpees Arm dips All that good stuff! Youtube videos in this case can be pretty helpful...Also your school library or public library might also have some great resources for books on strength-training. There is so much information out there if you seek it. Good luck!



on January 25, 2013
at 01:13 AM

I'm a small girl at 5'3" and 115lbs, and I would NEVER feel satisfied eating only 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon for breakfast. I usually eat at least 4 eggs and 4 strips of bacon, which keeps me full until late afternoon when I can start dinner. If I get hungry for lunch (which is rarely), I make sure it's protein rich (chicken on a salad, for example) and then have dinner later.

Perhaps you're just not eating enough at each meal. Instead of eating a bunch of small meals, just make your main meals larger.

But I do agree that you should add in more veggies. Never hurts!


on January 24, 2013
at 11:30 PM

In the evenings, I make a big pot of tea and drink that in addition to dinner. It quells hunger pangs if you can deal with getting up a few times later on in the night to relieve yourself (ahem)



on January 25, 2013
at 03:02 AM

If you're hungry, EAT. Eat good, nutrient dense clean paleo foods. Your body is telling you something, so listen to it.

Incidentally, not everyone agrees that fat is not satiating and more starch will help. Many of us think fat is very satiating, and upping the percentage may help with your appetite control. Many of us find that adding starch makes us MORE hungry because it causes insulin to increase and then blood sugar to drop. Not everyone has this reaction, but if you are at all insulin resistant you may. Your macro percentages show that you have already had good success with weightloss eating plenty of fat and not too many carbs, so you may not be a person who would tolerate adding starch under the circumstances.



on February 11, 2013
at 11:12 PM

yep more starches would help, could try bigger less frequent meals e.g. 3 large meals a day

DON'T just ask someone in the gym how to train, they will most likely give you terrible advice, even if they themselves are in shape. Get the book called beyond brawn by stuart mcrobert, it is a great training guide and will tell you everything you need to know, filtering out a lot of the crap in the strength world.

He also has a book on how to perform the exercises which is also great. However, it is hard to learn form as a beginner from a book thus, you will need someone to show you the general idea first, then you can fine tune it with tips from the book. Youtube helps here.

General rules 1. intense, short, infrequent workouts, e.g. 2 per week, 45mins 2. focus on big compound movements 3. focus on progressive overload (adding a little weight each workout) 4. proper rest and nutrition to recover


on January 26, 2013
at 08:23 PM

you NEED to add dairy into your diet...it's a complete source of macronutrients...its convenient and is probably the best source of protein there is....great source of calcium (ironic how robb wolfe says no dairy but take my calcium supplements) probably the most pro-metabolic food there is besides thyroid itself....don't listen to the dogma that says dairy is bad, people are just angry that they can't tolerate it....you also need a minimum of 300g sugar



on February 12, 2013
at 12:33 AM

...you need a minimum of 300g of sugar?!? How exactly will that help?



on January 26, 2013
at 04:24 PM

Sounds like you are at a very normal weight. Why do you want to go lower?


on January 25, 2013
at 11:52 PM

How much water are you drinking each day? Often our bodies can mistake thirst for hunger. I find it hard to drink enough water during the day so I make a huge pitcher of iced tea every few days and drink that mostly. Not as good an option as pure water but better than not drinking enough. Whenever you start feeling hungry drink a big glass of water and reevaluate in 15 minutes.


on January 25, 2013
at 02:18 AM

Strength training is always a good idea. Even selective training while injured. If you're in a full body cast, it's time for crosswords..

Be careful, though! You have to make sure you are satiated before starting ANY type of routine. Reason: if you are feeling hungry now, imagine what you'll feel like after burning hundreds of calories. My suggestion is to follow routines that are along the lines of McGoff's 'Body by Science', or Primal Blueprint Fitness. You'll learn more wrong things from college kids than good. Train smarter, not harder.

We want you to feel good. That's the main goal. As people mentioned, you need much more protein in your diet. Speaking as someone who works in a meat department and knows all about the bad practices and the havoc they wreck on our bodies, if I'm broke, I'm going to get a bag of frozen chicken breasts every once and a while. Just as long as I'm getting micronutrients from whole, unfrozen, unbull%&S%ed products.

I also have to mention, the reaction to lactose (sugar) from the butter might be invoking cravings. There are better sources of fat you can find. Coconut oil, bacon grease, belly button grease.. Plenty of options. Relying on butter so heavily is ingraining bad practices.

Let us know if we've helped or hurt at all!!

All the best,



on January 25, 2013
at 12:21 AM

I agree with mge110 about the tea. A good cup of chamomile night time tea can help both keep you full until you go to bed and cause you to get tired earlier, allowing you to get a better night sleep and have less temptation to eat.

Also, I agree that more veggies will keep you full. I definitely recommend strength and resistance training. If you're looking to build muscle it's the only way to go. I've found that simple exercises like pushups, chair dips, and pullups can be the most simple and effective workouts. The key is to do 2-3 sets of each while doing enough repetitions in each set to feel a nice burn. Afterwards, have some protein and you'll build muscle and feel great.

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