September is here and that means the new school year is upon us. Among all of the excitement that can come along with moving to a new area, leaving home and adjusting to new roommates can always make college interesting.
So often we hear about the “freshman 15” – the dreaded freshman 15 actually, that anyone who is going to college is fully aware of. What can you do to prevent weight gain in college? There are some things to focus on to keep your college experience a healthy one!
Snacking: Schedules tend to vary while in college (late nights and later mornings) and snacking can be a great way to keep a semi-normal eating schedule.
- Keep healthy snacks in your dorm room: microwavable popcorn, oatmeal, granola bars, cereal, nuts, whole grain crackers, peanut butter, whole grain bread
- If you’ve got a refrigerator stock it with: cheese sticks, greek yogurt, cartons of milk
Meals in the Dining Hall:
- Be sure to eat something in the morning (even if breakfast doesn’t come with your plan) whether its a piece of fruit and milk from the night before or a piece of bread with peanut butter
- Utilize the salad bar! I loved dorm food, when else do you have access to a wide variety of vegetables that are cut and prepared for you? Aim for 3 servings of veggies at lunch and dinner
- Sandwich Bar: these can be a great place to build a sandwich of your own – choose whole grain bread + lean protein like turkey or ham + veggies + mustard and a bit of mayo or other flavor spread
- Hot Foods: Instead of having pizza and pasta every day look for stir-frys, lean proteins and roasted or sauteed veggies
- Limit: pizza, burgers, pasta and desserts. Sure, you are going to have pizza from time to time, but it doesn’t need to be an everyday thing
*Drinking certainly doesn’t help – don’t go overboard on drinking, it can lead to bad decisions and also that late night pizza habit not to mention that it is illegal until you are 21.
Not only will exercise help keep you focused for study sessions, consistent exercise will also help keep those extra pounds to a minimum.
- Try out new classes at the gym
- Need a quick routine to do in your room? Try free online exercise videos!
Don’t stress yourself out too much about gaining a few pounds. Get settled into your new routine, get moving and make some healthier food swaps.
Do you have any tips to share?