Keep off the Freshman 15!
College is a wonderful time filled with new friends, new experiences, and a new-found independence for students. It is also a time of expanding waistlines with food temptations lurking around every corner. From vending machines, dorm dining halls set up in an all-you-can-eat manner, and new restaurants to try, it is no wonder a term has been coined for the weight gained by freshman: the Freshman 15.
Besides exercise, portion control is one of the most important ways to lose or maintain weight. But with most dorms not offering kitchens where students can prepare their own meals and control portion sizes, what are you to do? Below are a few easy tips to follow to help eliminate the chance of gaining the dreaded Freshman 15.
1. Never skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast helps fuel your metabolism for the day. Great options include two hard boiled eggs and toast, Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, or oatmeal with fruits and nuts mixed in. Be sure to keep healthy snacks like bananas or almonds in your room in case you get hungry between meals.
2. When preparing your plate in the dining hall, be sure to follow this rule of thumb: 50% vegetables, 25% lean protein (like grilled chicken), and 25% whole grain or rice. The more colors on your plate, the more nutrients you get. Avoid going back for seconds or getting dessert.
3. Drink lots of water. Avoid the sugary calories found in sodas and opt instead for water. Not only will drinking water help control your appetite, but it will keep you energized since dehydration can zap your energy. Low-fat milk is also another option, but be sure to monitor your intake since an eight ounce serving has on average 122 calories.
4. Burn extra calories throughout the day. Park further away from campus than you normally do and walk to class. If you live on-campus, take the longest route to class. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator if possible. It may not seem like much, but these little things really add up!
5. Exercise. Exercise has the biggest impact on our overall health and effectively reduces stress. Finding something you enjoy is vital, because if you do not like it, you will not stick with it. A great alternative to lifting weights and the treadmill is a group fitness class.
Avoid the Freshman 15 with the above tips and by signing up today for our group fitness classes
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