Top 10 Way to Avoid the Freshman (or Senior) 15!
Whether you live in the dorms, have an apartment or are a commuter, these tips can help you to avoid the weight gain often seen while in college.
1. If in the dorms, make sure and stock your dorm fridge and room with healthy snacks and quick on the go items. Examples: fiber or protein bars, light popcorn, low fat yogurt and milk, high fiber cereals, fruit, and healthy soups (No Ramon noodles!).
2. Eat breakfast daily and pack healthy snacks for in between classes so you don't get too hungry later in the day when you aren't in class.
3. Limit the late night snacking and eating.
4. Lay off the fast foods and vending machines.
5. Reduce late night fast foods (Chinese, pizza, etc.). If in an apartment, invest in a George Foreman or some healthy frozen meals so you can eat some healthier meals at home.
6. Go grocery shopping at least once every week or two to keep fresh foods in the house.
7. Work out, work out, work out! Exercising can help reduce stress, make you sleep more soundly and help you to concentrate better in class. It's a proven fact! The Shannon Center offers FREE classes and gym membership to all students so use it to your advantage. Even try going for a walk around the track in between classes.
8. Skip the sugary and caffeinated high calorie beverages (Monsters, Red Bulls, coffee drinks, pops, juices, etc.). Drink water, crystal light or diet juice to reduce the empty calories.
9. Make healthier choices if dining in the cafeteria. Limit the fried foods (chicken fingers, fries, etc), fatty meats (burgers, hot dogs) and high fat items (such as cheese, sauces, gravies, mayo etc). Choose grilled or baked items, foods made with whole grains and reduced-fat condiments. Try and add a fruit or vegetable to your meals to add some nutrition and fiber.
10. Eating smaller meals throughout the day that are low in fat and sugar while also adding in at least 30 minutes of physical activity can help keep your energy levels more stable though the day, thus allowing you to be more productive (and also avoid that college weight gain).
Kelly Devine, MS, RD, LDN, CPT