How To Lose Weight In College

March 25, 2014 | 20 Comments

Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. Students (including myself) are all going back to college to get educated so that we can make the world a better place.

College is a time of opportunity, but unfortunately it’s also a time to potentially get fat as hell. So here are 2 tips on how to lose weight in college, but I must warn you, these tips go against everything you’ve heard.

How To Lose Weight In College
My college, only 2 more years to go!

1) Skip breakfast…and even lunch

Yes I know your mom has been telling you to eat breakfast ever since you crawled out of her reproductive organ, but there is absolutely no scientific proof to back that statement.

Students especially, think that they need to eat breakfast in order to function properly. This is probably because they were brainwashed back in high school when they were told that breakfast was essential so that they could score high on standardized tests.

I know how hectic college life can be, and worrying about breakfast only adds to that stress.

So my advice to you is to just skip breakfast. Trust me you’re not going to miss it, the breakfast food in most colleges suck anyways.

But why stop at breakfast, why don’t you go ahead and skip lunch as well? This way you can do whatever you got to do during the day(classes, homework, video games) without any food interruptions, and at the end of the day, you get to eat a massive dinner.  The only thing you have to watch at the end of the day is your calories.

But for most students, the problem isn’t actually skipping breakfast and lunch. The problem is trying to convince yourself that it’s okay to skip meals. You’ve spent the last 18-20 years being told that you need to eat multiple meals per day, so I don’t blame you if you don’t want to skip meals right away. Trust me, it took me 2 years before I realized that all that breakfast and meal frequency talk was complete bullshit.

If you need help on being convinced why it’s okay to skip meals, then check out Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. It’s one of the best selling e-books on fasting, and Brad Pilon does an excellent job of debunking pretty much every single myth regarding breakfast, meal frequency, and fasting.

2) Don’t workout like a college student

If there’s anything I’ve learned from working out in a college gym for the past 2 years, it’s this: most college students have absolutely no idea what they’re doing in the gym.

I understand that their underlying motive for working out is to look better, and that’s great, but the way they workout in the gym is just embarrassing at times.

The typical college workout program for guys goes something like this:

  • Go to the gym 3-5 times a week.
  • Do 10 sets of bench pressing and 10 sets of dumbbell curls, because you know… those are the only muscles that matter.
  • Do a couple sets of ab crunches.
  • Drink a protein shake after.
The typical college workout program for women goes something like this:
  • Go to gym 3-5 times a week.
  • Hop on a treadmill or elliptical for 45-60 minutes.
  • Head into the weight room to do a couple sets of ab crunches.
Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up. I wish I was but I see the same people at the gym day in and day out, and they actually do these stupid routines.

I can confidently say that only 10% of the guys in my gym workout their legs and only maybe 15% of girls train with free weights. Guys seem to only be concerned with their mirror muscles (aka chest, shoulders, arms), while girls are scarred to even touch a dumbbell.

If you want to lose weight in college, then you need to workout smarter. That means no slaving away on the treadmill and no double-digit sets of bench pressing.

You need to stop running in hopes losing weight, and you need to start doing workouts that actually matter and produce results.

Don’t screw your college life

College is suppose to be fun, so don’t screw yourself by gaining weight.

Don’t fall prey to conventional wisdom. If you don’t want to eat breakfast, then don’t eat it. If you don’t have time for lunch, then don’t worry about it. Plus, banking those calories during the day means you’ll have more room for alcohol soda at night.

And if you go to the gym, don’t be like other college students who don’t have any idea on what they’re doing.

Hopefully these 2 tips have given you some insight on how to lose weight in college.

20 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. I love the point about the workouts everyone is so proud when they go to the gym and do 45mins on the elliptical and then call it a day

  2. thanks for this 🙂 I’ve been trying to “diet” and feeling rather pissed off that I can’t “afford” (in calories) what I want for breakfast and dinner, becauseI have to eat-every-two-hours-or-your-metabolism-will-die thing… but I’m very rarely hungry in the day! I”m going to try just having breakfast and dinner on weekdays from now on 😀 (but don’t tell me to miss my breakfast 😛 haha I always wake up hungry and craving fruit!)

    1. No problem Kiki. It actually took me a while before I was able to skip breakfast everyday since I was doing it for so long. But doing so now make me feel better than ever.

  3. Wow. You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how the human body is meant to function. So many things wrong with this.

    1) A (healthy) breakfast speeds up your metabolism. It helps your body digest and perform all its other chemical processes better and faster. Skipping breakfast may cut down on your calorie count, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

    2) You attacked the “myth” of eating many meals a day, most likely because it didn’t work for you. But the idea is that you eat several SMALL, HEALTHY meals. Yes, believe it or not, this is what is best for your body. Don’t attack things you don’t know about because you don’t have enough self-control to do them properly. That doesn’t mean you have to do it this way. You can also function well on the standard three meals a day.

    3) If you eat too much a) across the day or b) AT A SINGLE SITTING (as you propose, tucking in to a “massive” dinner), you are doing your body no favors. The whole purge-starvation-purge idea may cause weight loss, but at a terrible price for your health.

    Now here’s the RIGHT way to be healthy. You will have more energy (for real) and feel happier (for real), but it requires self-discipline and commitment…

    1) Exercise in the morning. This will (honestly) boost your metabolism; exercising in the evening keeps your body from getting the full benefits of this when you go to sleep soon after (and have already eaten all your meals for the day).

    2) Eat breakfast. A ZONE bar is a good option both for this and for interval snacks throughout the day, as it is balanced.

    3) At meals, EAT VEGETABLES. Dark-colored green ones (broccoli, spinach, etc) are the best for you. They will fill you up with the right kind of carbohydrates and provide nutrients your body needs. Yes, if you do this right you WILL be able to be FULL at meals and still lose weight.

    4) Your protein at a meal should be the size of the palm of your hand (except fish; you can eat twice as much fish). Chicken is the best for you.

    5) Breads, pastas, etc. should be eaten in moderation. Bread should never exceed twice the amount of protein taken in, but ideally it should be equal (that is, also palm-sized) or completely replaced with vegetables.

    6) Avoid fatty foods.

    The key is that your body needs a balance between protein and carbs. This is the way your body is made to function, not according to some wacked-out one-meal-a-day scheme. There’s a reason you’re hungry when you don’t eat. Starvation, just like overeating, is never the way things were supposed to be. So do it right.

    1. Hey J.B.

      First off, I TOTALLY understand your point of view. I also understand that my approach to health/fitness is VERY different than what you would read in the mainstream media, but I’m simply trying to steer people into the truth. As for your statements:

      1) Eating breakfast is largely a myth. As for speeding up your metabolism, I don’t know of any reasearch at all supporting that fact. Any time you eat any amount of food, your metabolism will increase due to the amount of calories needed to digest and process and food, but it doesn’t matter when you eat.

      2) The reason I attacked 6 meals per day is also because it’s largely a myth and lie. You’re right, I personally don’t use 6 meals per day and have never found much success on it since I never felt satisfied with each meal. Did you read my article on intermittent fasting: . Many people have found success on eating less than 6 meals per day. If eating 6 meals per day works for you, then go for it, but it’s absolutely not necessary.

      3) Eating one big meal per day is really not a problem unless you dislike eating large amounts of food in one sitting. This is the basis of the warrior diet, which many people have found success on. As for starvation mode, it is largely exaggerated. There is a large amount of research that shows that the body doesn’t actually “starve” for at least 72 hours without food.

      Hope this clears any confusion

  4. You go to Riverside? lol I’m a UC Davis, but I visit Riverside often. Great article, I personally think in the end, a diet will work as long the calorie deficit is there. Meal frequencies is simply a personal preference. I personally dislike going to class in the morning on a full stomach, makes me hella sleepy lol

    1. UC Davis, I was actually thinking about going there.

      And you’re right, meal frequency is a personal preference, but so many people think that they have to a certain amount of meals otherwise bad things will happen lol.

  5. This is completely unreliable. You really have no idea what you are talking about. You need the calories you eat at breakfast and lunch to help your brain do well in school….if you don’t eat, you definitely slow your metabolism down. People should definitely eat breakfast….but a healthy one, consisting of protein and whole grains. People should eat around 300 calories about 6 times a day to keep their metabolism going. Trust me, I’ve done this before and that is how I lost weight in college. The main idea is to eat HEALTHY though…the reason people gain weight is because they skip those meals & pack it on at the end of the day! Not what anyone should be doing! You are right about interval training and working out various other muscles of the body…people really do not know what they are doing at the gym, but there isn’t anything wrong with being on elliptical/treadmill that long…it’s quite a stress relief, unless you have tons of school work to do. But, when it comes down to it, who have the required knowledge and training to achieve a full body workout? Not many. Unless they visit a personal fitness trainer. I know what I am talking about here because my boyfriend was a personal fitness trainer, and I am currently studying dietetics. EAT HEALTHY & EXERCISE….you have to do both or it is hard to lose weight. Also try to keep stress in your life at college to a minimum.

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I understand your frustration, but please understand that I’m simply trying to give people options and tell them the truth. As for eating breakfast/lunch to do better in school, the majority of those studies stating that were conducted on very young children, with practically no research done on full grown adults.

      As for slowing down your metabolism, this is largely a myth. Once again, there is next to zero scientific research proving that your metabolism slows down if you skip meals, this is just basic fitness marketing. In fact there is research suggesting that your metabolism increases if you fast for over 36 hours!

      As for 6 meals per day, that’s completely up to the individual. It’s awesome that you were able to lose weight by eating 6x per day, but meal frequency doesn’t matter at all. You could eat 1,2, or 3 meals per day and get the same results as long as you track your calories.

      The majority of people who skip meals and pack it in at the end of the day are typically people who don’t care about their health. They skip meals for the sake of convenience and typically don’t even track their caloric intake. If you structure your day around eating 1 meal, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

      Hope this clears any confusion

  6. Hey,
    I want to get into some short, high-intensity workouts, but I can’t afford DVD systems like P90X or expensive books. Do you know of a website or other free source where I can get really good information about that kind of thing?

  7. I have been eating one meal a day for a few months now and LOVE it! The Warrior Diet is definitely the way to go if you want to be lean and healthy. The body does not go into starvation mode, your metabolism does not go haywire, you do not lose mass amounts of muscle. This is the way humans are supposed to eat. Many people throughout the world eat this way, it seems to only terrify Americans (hence our obesity rates). I supplement this with doing 1000 jumping jacks every day (perhaps not the best workout but my body responds very well) and taking a daily supplement. I feel amazing and wish everyone would give this a try! Don’t be blinded by media hypes for several small meals a day! Did our ancestors eat that way? No. Then we shouldn’t either.

    1. Absolutely agree Ana! It’s best to question everything the media says until you can confirm the facts for yourself.

  8. Your website and advice is awesome. Lots of truth here especially in this article. I find it hilarious about the college workout because I’ve seen it first hand and it is very true!

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