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Cheap Paleo Diet for an Athlete?


Im about to go back to college soon and was looking into the paleo diet. My friend said he's been doing it for a year now and looks to be like he's seeing results. I run cross country and do a fair amount of lifting as well and was wondering if the amount of cardio I do would require a change in the typical paleo diet.

Also since I'm a college student i'm trying to eat cheaply. I have a cap of 70 a week for food. I'm 6ft and weight is 160. I'm around 11% body fat. I'm looking to build a little more lean muscle and power as well as reduce my body fat to 6%. Any advice on the diet, workouts, and anything else would be appreciated.


Do you understand how lean 6% is?

Also, do a search on "build muscle and lose fat." You'll usually see a lot of rage.

70 bucks a week:

Peanut butter--two jars
Ground beef
Chicken breasts
Cheap protein powder
Cabbage (boil it--it's delicious).
1-2lb bags of almonds.

Learn to cook. Boring. Simple. Effective.


Rice, potato, fruit, don't be afraid of these things.


Ill give you some old advice from my strength coaching days....its better to have guns and a little gut than be skinny and cut....at a buck sixty Id forget about bodyfat percentages and do 3Commandments diet suggestion...or just do PBJs on wheat with sliced bananas and honey, and a few gallons of milk a day...if you get bored of that tuna and hard boiled eggs, mac and cheese with tuna or chicken thrown in, pasta with meat thrown in....man 6' and a 160 Id forget about worrying about getting cut....make it simple...stuff you face, and do nothing but compound lifts, dont even bother with isolation movements....grab a rack or platform at your college gym and stake claim for an hour....various squats, deads, RDLs, cleans, snatches, BB lunges, OH press, bench press, push press, jerks, chins, bent over rows, inverted rows....3-4 time a week mix up sets and reps, 5x5s, 8x3s, 3x3s, some high rep sets of front squats to OH press for good measure....dont even worry about worrying about doing too much diet or lifting right....you just need to go to the woods and start chopping down trees son...


Are you competitive cross country for your university? If so are you not working with a strength coach? and FYI hitting full body lifts with ground based movements WILL improve your running times even in endurance work so dont listen to the hype of dips$ts who do not understand sports performance...running cross country and eating strict enough to get to 6% is going to be counter productive my friend if you are competing...

I say stuff your face, run you ass off whatever your coach tells you, and lift your ass off as I suggested....worry about being 6% when your running career is over


If your that skinny and need cheap calories- everything 3commandents said.
Not as easy as bulking on milk but it still works. Sliced turkey breast is quick food. Don't need to cook it and tastes great. If plain turkey breast is too boring for you get spicy turkey breast.


I wouldn't say paleo is the cheapest way to eat for someone on a budget, not the way I eat anyway, but it could be done with careful planning. I'm a fan of using the basic tenet's of paleo, but tweaking it as necessary for your own body and training.

Before setting foot in the store I would make a list of everything you want and price check online for a general guideline. Mix and match your items in whatever quantities best suits you and your $70 budget. This way you can maximize your money and know what and how much you can buy at the store.

Here is a list of items to choose from based on what little I know of you-

Weekly Items (not all at once):

Eggs, eggs, and more eggs (did I mention eggs?)
Lean ground beef
Chicken breast
Tuna (yuck, I dont eat this but it's another cheap protein)
Fresh fruit
Canned fruit (in it's own natural juice of course)
Fresh vegetable (spinach!)
Frozen vegetable (broccoli!)

Bi-weekly or Monthly items to factor in:

Frozen fruit (for smoothies, add fresh spinach to them)
Bulk nuts (walnuts!)- no peanuts
Bulk rice
Coconut Oil (use in place of butter for cooking eggs, sear chicken breasts, add to smoothies)

Your meals, depending on daily activity, should basically be:
protein, vegetable, and or fruit
protein, vegetable, rice or potato
snacks of fruit and nuts
(boiled eggs on hand always, great for quick snack or a make it a meal)

Don't get hung up on body fat %. Follow a good eating strategy (modified paleo in this case), giving your body the proper fuel to train hard and recover and then see where that puts you after a committed effort. Tweak calories as necessary.


get a costco card and then 70 dollars gets you 140 dollars worth of good stuff


I eat paleo but I pretend I'm a caveman that ate so well that he lived so long that he saw the rise of farming so he eats rice and other grains.


I eat paleo and have done so for a few years now. I weigh 170lbs and am 7% body fat. Kind of nice, didn't believe this would be possible. Don't know how much I spend on groceries per week, but for food tips you might check out this sight. It a sight with a listing of several different paleo and low carb writers, giving their experience with grocery shopping, eating out, etc.



Are you called menthol because you smoke menthol cigarettes?


I'm Paleo, and Primal, and Wheat Belly, etc. (they are all almost identical)
Often times, the Bodybuilding set will scoff at it, and they should because Paleo has nothing to do with big gains from lifting.
It is primarily a formula to live year round very lean. If you can afford eggs, strip steak, chicken breast, spinach, and water - you are pretty much set. Being that I'm pushing 40 and have a decent budget, I can afford to include Oysters, Cherrystones, Sashimi, Porter House Cuts, etc., but if your in school and on a limited budget, it is easy to maintain. Canned Tuna and Greens cost little, the only expense might be Fish Oil which you'll need to consume about 16 grams per days for the first few months, being that you are 160 lbs.

I particularly like Paleo and amazingly do not miss my old loves: Fresh Bread, Pizza, Cereal, Cheese, Waffles, etc.

If you follow it with dedication it works well and quite quickly.

I think you'll find that Saturated Fat is wonderful fuel for energy.


PB ain't Paleo bro


Best and most intelligent post in this thread.

Also, Paleo is a bit more expensive... Perhaps try making some sacrifices so you can put more $$ towards eating healthy... Countless college kids waste money on tv, drinking, text books, etc.


I eat Paleo aswell. I thought PB is allowed, given that it is natural?

As a semi-pro soccer player I allow myself lots of potatos and sweet potatos. Im not a fan of rice. Once or twice a week I allow myself a cheat meal which may include pizza or pasta. Im allowed 4 beers a week.

I agree with the previous poster who commented on making boiled eggs a meal. Boil 8 eggs, addd some salt and pepper and a bit of mustard if you like, and eat with a side bowl of spinach.

Good luck kid.



People are seeing results with a lot of things. Most people on this board with beastly bodies have eaten tons of meat - but with rice and potatoes. The paleo diet is fine, although hard to gain muscle on. But it's not a cheap diet. If you do it on the cheap all the meat you eat will be shit quality. I think it's better for you to focus on chicken and rice.


I buy farm eggs from a local guy for 2.00 per dozen. It's about the same as the grocery store and much healthier.
I use whole cream in my coffee and even though it's not necessarily paleo, I eat cream cheese with a lot of foods. I'm doing the anabolic diet also, but from a mostly paleo angle. Try to get food in bulk if you can-from costco or sam's club. I'm not sure if you would have room to store it at college? If you live at home buy a quarter of beef from a farmer. It's actually cheaper than the grocery store and you get some awesome steaks. You'll need a deep freezer for that. You can also get the cheaper pieces of chicken such as legs, thighs, and wings.
Switch to almond butter rather than peanut butter-it's paleo, and the peanut butter isn't.The only other thing I would do is have whey protein-although it's not paleo, it's a cheap source of protein compared with meat.

I think I read somewhere that Dean Karzales (sp?) does paleo when he's not running ultramarathons. Also the guy who wrote the book on triathlon training-Joe Friel is an advocate of the paleo diet.
Go as natural as possible!


Peanuts are legumes :wink: not allowed at least on Loren Cordain's Paleo version.

I'm switching to cashew butter as we consume quite a bit of PB in our house.


Legumes are also a subclass of legumes...


Learn to love offal and the "ick" cuts. Heart is cheap as hell and packed with protein (being a muscle). I can get ground, grass-fed beef heart for 3 bucks a pound, if you don't care about grass-fed, you can find it at most ethnic food stores for cheaper sometimes. Beef cheeks are nice, meaty cuts and relatively cheap. Oxtail. Fish heads. Etc. Lots of nutrients and lots of protein in these cheap cuts and since people are grossed out by them, they're cheap (though also a little hard to find depending on where you're at). But, if you're even only a half-way decent cook you can make them taste like any other cut..making it so you only have to get past the mental aspect.