Top 10 Tips to Avoid the Freshman (or Senior) 15!
Whether you live in the dorms, have an apartment or are a commuter, these top 10 tips can help you to avoid the weight gain often seen while in college.
- Prepare Healthy Snacks: If living in dorms, make sure and stock your fridge and living space with healthy snacks and quick on-the-go items. Examples: fiber or protein bars, light popcorn, low-fat yogurt, high-fiber cereals, fruit and healthy soups. (No Ramen Noodles!)
- Eat Breakfast: Eating breakfast daily and packing healthy snacks for in between classes will prevent you from getting too hungry and binge eating later.
- No More Midnight Munchies: Late nights make it easy to over indulge in junk food. A healthy alternative is to limit the late-night snacking.
- Cut Down on the Junk Food: Lay off the fast food and vending machines. Cougar Fuel, the Shannon Center's café, has plenty of healthy food options to get you through the day.
- Cook from Home: If in an apartment, invest in a small, portable grill or some healthy frozen options so you can prepare healthier meals at home.
- Eat Fresh: Go grocery shopping at least once every week or two to keep fresh foods in the house.
- Work Out, Work Out, Work Out! Exercising can reduce stress, help you sleep more soundly and allow 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. If the gym isn't your scene, try going for a walk around Lake Marion in between classes.
- Don't Drink Away Calories: Skip the sugary and caffeinated high-calorie beverages like Monsters, Red Bulls, coffee drinks, soda pops and artificially flavored juices. Drink water, crystal light or diet juice to reduce the empty calories.
- Make Health-Conscious Dining Decisions: The SXU Diner is convenient and offers several healthy meal options. Limit the fried foods (chicken fingers, fries, etc), fatty meats (burgers, hot dogs) and high-fat items (such as cheese, sauces, gravies, mayo etc). Instead, choose grilled or baked items, foods made with whole grains and reduced-fat condiments. Also, try to add a fruit or vegetable to your meals to add some nutrition and fiber.
- Eat Light and Often: Eating several small meals throughout the day, which are low in fat and sugar, and adding in at least 30 minutes of physical activity can keep your energy levels more stable though the day, thus allowing you to be more productive.
If you have any other helpful health tips to keep off that Freshman 15, encourage your friends and classmates to try them out with you!
Kelly Devine, MS, RD, LDN, CPT