College years are notorious for many reasons, one of which is gaining weight. Did you know that most freshmen gain nearly up to twenty pounds? Do not be a statistic! Weigh in on these helpful tips to make your college years, truly, the best of your life.
It seems that college life and weight gain go hand in hand. The boredom certainly plays a role. Mom would rather not hear this, but there is a lot of down time in college. Time that you’re supposed to be studying real hard but instead is spent socializing and snacking, and let’s be honest: guys your peers are a big influence on your unhealthy food choices (pizza and wings at midnight, anyone?).
Another cause of weight gain is eating out. Since there are limited cooking facilities in dorms and limited cooking skills – most eighteen year olds tend to only know how to toast bread – there is a reliance on eating out.
I’m Young, Why Eat Healthy?
Choices made at a young age affect your future- we all know this. This is especially true with healthy eating. Preventing future health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are only a few of the benefits of eating well at a young age. Not only will it help you prevent disease, eating healthily and exercising will also lay the foundation for your future. Developing healthful habits at a young age makes it easier to keep them going throughout your life.
Do’s & Don’ts
The following are just small adjustments you can make to your diet which will kick-start your “healthy makeover”. In college, there are times you have to make a choice between “bad food choices” and “better food choices” for your future, and here’s how:
Bar Food- Choose: Fresh popped popcorn and grilled chicken
Not: Mozzarella sticks, Wings, fried chicken fingers, chips/French fries
After Party Food- Choose: Macaroni and Cheese, whole grain Crackers and Hummus, low fat Cheese on whole grain Toast (healthy grilled cheese),
Not: Ordering in: Pizza, Chicken wings or burgers.
Cafeteria Breakfast- Choose: A vegetable omelette or hard-boiled Egg with Toast, Oatmeal
Not: Unhealthy fry up, Waffles or Muffins.
Dorm Room Snacks- Choose: Greek yoghurt, trail Nuts (without the chocolate) , Peanut butter on slice of Brown or whole wheat bread and fresh fruit.
Not: Chips, chocolate/candy, microwave meals, butter Popcorn and heavy Sugary food period.
Frozen Meals- Choose: Lean cuisine meals, Frozen Fruit and Veggies.
Not: Frozen food with lots of salt in them ( READ THE LABELS)
Restaurants Choose: Healthy one that actually makes their food fresh! E.g unlimited salad to start, with vinaigrette dressing on the side, grilled Salmon with a side of spinach for the main course.
Not: Fast food restaurant food, bread sticks, salad coated with salad dressing, creamy pasta and vodka to drink (smh)
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Everyone, no matter the age, needs physical activity. As the concept goes: calories in should be less than the energy you expend in order to lose weight. One does not work without the other. Make a commitment to working out at least three times a week and stick to it. It can be from any where from 7 to thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise to make a difference to your health. Consider going for a run, dancing at Zumba class, or playing a sport with friends. Encourage a friend to join forces, and motivate each other along the way, nobody said it would be easy but once it becomes a habit, boy it will be worth it :).