I think it’s safe to assume that something every incoming freshman worries about is gaining the freshman fifteen. With unlimited meal plans, the late night studying, and going out to eat, gaining weight in college is easier than you can imagine. If you’re like most, you want to avoid gaining any weight especially fifteen more pounds. If you’re looking for a quick fix, this is not the place to be; however, if you are looking for a change in your eating habits and your lifestyle, then this post can help! In this post, I am going to explain how I managed to lose weight my freshman year of college and to maintain that weight throughout the rest of my college experience.
Okay, so, at my house, both of my parents cook, and boy do they do it well. My mom is Puerto Rican so her specialty is delicious authentic Puerto Rican food. My dad, on the other hand, thinks that everything should be fried. Let’s just say that he and Paula Dean have at least two things in common, butter and fried foods. So, this is what I left when I headed to college. I’ll just say.. don’t expect anything like your home cooked meals from a college cafeteria. You will be disappointed. The positive side is, at every college cafeteria, there are some things that they get right (at my college this is a great salad bar and delicious cookies!). Here are the things I did and continue to do in order to never gain the freshman fifteen.
Step 1: Choose Healthy Food Options
In order for us to be healthier, we have to eat healthier. Usually, colleges give students a couple of options that they can choose from for each meal. Instead of automatically going to the main line every meal, try checking out the salad bar or deli station if your college has one. Also, try to limit yourself on the number of desserts you eat a week. That means having ice cream every day is a no go. What works for me is only allowing myself to have one dessert every two or so days, and if the cafeteria doesn’t have my favorite dessert (chocolate cookies with white chocolate chunks..yum!), then I don’t allow myself to eat any dessert.
Step 2: Drink More Water
Although college cafeterias have a pretty good range of beverage options, in order to keep from gaining weight, it is best to limit yourself on the number of sodas you drink a week. Instead, choose water! Make it your goal to get at least five cups of water in a day. Carry a water bottle to class with you to help you better reach your goal. Once you are able to reach your goal regularly, up it to eight cups a day! Drinking more water will also help you to feel full which in turn will cause you to eat less, a total win-win situation!
Step 3: Keep Healthy Foods In Your Room
Instead of stocking your dorm food drawer full of chips, candy, and other junk foods try grabbing healthy things next time you go shopping for snacks such as swapping granola bars for chips and grapes for candy. Some of my favorite healthy foods are peanut butter crackers, peanut butter, and granola bars! Keeping only healthy foods handy is a big help because if you don’t have junk food then you can’t eat it! Simple as that!
Step 4: Limit Snacking (Especially Late Night Snacking)
I think it’s safe to say that we have all had those times where we look down at the bag of Cheetos in our hand only to discover that it is empty (I’m not the only one right?). Sadly, in order to keep from gaining that freshman fifteen, we need to cut down on how much we sit and snack. Try snacking less often and avoid late night snacking. However, if we do have to have a late snack, step four (keeping healthy foods in your room) will help!
Step 5: Hit The Gym
Most colleges have some type of gym that students can use as a part of paying tuition. In order to keep the freshman fifteen at bay, we need to take advantage of this. I mean, how often are you going to have a life where you don’t technically have to pay extra to go to a gym? So, while you are in college, make sure you are getting every penny you put into tuition out of it as well. Figure out a schedule that suits you and do it! Hit the gym two to three times a week. Use the machines. Take someone with you! Using the buddy system to work out will keep you consistent and will make you work that much harder because who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?
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Although these weight loss tips might be simple, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. If you really want to stay healthy in college you have to push yourself. So, go out and make those healthy choices! Good luck!
How do you stay healthy in college? Share your best fitness tip below!
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