Monday, August 19, 2013

My pants don't fit: How to Avoid the Freshman (or Sophomore, Junior or Senior) 15

1. Stay away from the cafeteria desserts.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that the cafeteria desserts aren’t good (at least at my school) and at many schools they may be the only recognizable food there is. The red velvet cookie bars and cereal treats are delicious and once (or maybe twice) I’ve gotten a to-go box solely full of cookies and other desserts. And, I think my cafeteria puts the desserts right by the dish drop off on purpose, just to tempt us, but you have to be stronger than that. Sometimes this takes offering to take all the plates at your table so you don’t have any free hands to grab a cookie or going in through the out, (although frowned upon, sorry!) and then back out through the out.

2. Keep healthy snacks close.
Grab a banana or orange on your way out of your cafeteria. If you aren't supposed to take food out, then bring a backpack and stuff it full of fruit. If your bag doesn't have a top zipper, make sure you're not putting too many oranges in or it will fall off your chair and the oranges will roll everywhere (not that that's happened to me or anything). A good late night or quick in between class snack is a banana and peanut butter. If you have a ton of chips and cookies in your room you are going to be more tempted to eat them at times you aren’t even hungry. And when you are hungry, and you’re too lazy to go get food, you are going to go through a whole box of Cheezits and then regret it.

3. Go on walks.
Not a gym person? Don’t like to run? No problem. You don’t have to be a workout junkie to stay healthy. Maybe you will feel like a middle aged woman, but some exercise is better than none. You already walk to class, but take a morning walk with a friend or explore campus (I have yet to go in every single building on campus). Night walking is nice too, because there aren’t many people on the sidewalks. But keep your phone with you and stay on campus or close to be safe. I like to call my parents and high school friends on these walks because it lets me get some fresh air and I can vent about the people who live in my dorm.

4. Eat before you go out.
If you think you are going to get some snacks when you get to a party, or your drink choices are going to fill you up, you are wrong. Yeah maybe your caloric intake will equal that of a meal, but if you're dancing and sweating the night away, you'll burn those off. You are also going to be so caught up in the excitement that you may even forget that you are hungry until it’s 2am and you’re starving and you order a pizza from Papa John’s and down the whole thing in five minutes by yourself and then pass out.

5. Don’t eat late at night.
I know it's temping to hold a book in one hand and a bag of chips in another. But this is what I call “busy eating.” Take a couple minutes to take a break from studying (it’s okay!) and get a small healthy snack like trail mix or yogurt. Finish your snack and then go back to studying. When you are multitasking, your brain doesn’t know if you are hungry so you may continue to eat without really realizing you are full. Also, eating late at night prevents you from going to sleep right away and is not very good for your metabolism.

Moderation is key. It’s okay once in a while to eat a cookie or snack on some potato chips, because if you totally deprive yourself, you are going to end up binging. But don’t eat McDonalds for every meal and remember to do a little extra physical activity if you do decide to indulge in a treat.

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