How to choose the right diet as a college student

Ketogenic, paleolithic and vegan diets can help promote a healthy lifestyle. 

Breaking unhealthy eating habits can be challenging, especially without guidance. With popular diets such as the ketogenic, paleolithic and vegan diets, it can be hard to figure out which will work and how to incorporate it into a daily routine.

Be intentional

Ana Alvarez, public relations and advertising senior, tried the ketogenic diet after trying different diets that hadn’t worked for her. She wanted to look good for her summer trip. Alvarez said that when she first started she noticed that she was losing weight quickly.

“Then I just kept seeing results, and then I just kept doing it,” Alvarez said.

Though the diet changed her eating habits Alvarez was able to successfully follow the ketogenic diet for four months without it feeling like a burden.

Alvarez describes the ketogenic diet as being low carb and high in fat and proteins.

“I don’t want to say restricted because you really can eat a lot of things,” Alvarez said. “With the modern diet that us Americans follow, for most of the world, it’s very carb heavy, so you do have to make a lot of modifications.”


Stacie Ellis, a registered dietitian nutritionist on campus, said most people mistake the ketogenic diet for other diets such as the Atkins or paleolithic diet, so it is important to do research in order to get weight loss results.

Felicia Starks, fitness and nutrition expert, has been a nutritionist since 2012 after losing weight herself in 2004. Starks also believes it is important to do research when planning a change in eating habits.

Starks said that research is important because diets can work differently for each individual as not everyone has the same body type. Starks said that there are three different body types. The first is endomorphs, who tend to gain weight and keep it on, while ectomorphs are usually thin and have difficulty gaining body fat and muscle, and mesomorphs are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

Buying smart

Starks said that setting a budget before shopping can also help students be more savvy when grocery shopping.

Alvarez said when she was on the ketogenic diet, buying groceries wasn’t difficult for her since she was buying most of the same foods, with the exception of foods with carbs.

For students who aren’t used to frequent grocery shopping, Starks recommends purchasing groceries in bulk from stores such as Sam’s Club.

Going to the closest Walmart and buying store brand products can be a smart way to save money for students who don’t have access to a lot of options due to transportation or money.

Utilizing resources on campus

Starks said though it’s completely possible to lose weight just from changing your diet it is necessary to incorporate fitness for 30 minutes, five times a day to change the shape of the body.

Students can use the treadmills or walk on the track at the Maverick Activity Center if they aren’t ready for heavy exercise, Starks said.

In order to inquire and schedule an appointment with Ellis, students can contact Jeremy Roden, assistant director for wellness, at

Campus recreation will also be holding a free Food for Thought event on April 3 titled “Fat Loss Facts and Fallacies.”


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