Going to college is another chapter of your life and majority of college students, especially freshmen, are required to stay in the dorm during their first year of college. They are also given the options to sign up for meal credits, meal plans or both combined for more flexibility and more options to choose from. Living away from home and going to college is going to put a toll on your waistline due to stress, eating habits changes and frequent partying. It’s all up to you whether you wanted to lead that lifestyle or you can make a little changes to avoid putting on weights during your college years.
Most university has a major dining hall that are usually operating in “All You Can Eat” concept. When students see that, the brains automatically triggered “FREE FOODS”. Therefore, they tend to eat more than they should because the foods are always available and there’s a wide variety of foods for them to choose from. What you should do is start your meal with salad (but don’t cover your salad with dressing, just one or two drizzles will do), fill yourself with vegetables as it will make you fuller faster. Then, pick a better alternative compare to caloric dense food. Avoid fried foods, cream soups, and heavy desserts. Choose grilled or baked foods. In addition, portion control still counts, don’t eat anything that’s bigger than the palm of your hands as a rule of thumb. Also make sure you have all the food groups in your meal, carbohydrates/starches, vegetables, fruits, meats and dairy. After you’ve gathered all your food on your tray, try to sit far away from the buffet line. The less visible the food is to you, the less likely you are going to get up and getting second helping.
Many students have stress while in college and some people like to eat while they are stress. Stress also release the hormone cortisol and cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism, which may results in increase appetite and may lead to weight gain. When you feel the urge to grab something to eat while you are stress but not really hungry, go out for a run, hitting the gym or taking a walk instead. Distractions works well with impulse and stress eating. Besides, exercise releases endorphins that can makes you feel better and help you burn calories if you like to eat. Try to include as many physical activities into your daily routine, walk to class, use the stairs and join exercise classes offered in the university, it’s usually free for students.
There’s no doubt that college students like to party and they party hard. Alcohol, foods and snacks are always readily available to them. People may not attributes alcohol as a high calorie food because it’s a beverage. However, one bottle of beer is usually between 110-150 calories and when you go to a party, you will rarely just drink one beer. Calories add up at the end and if you consume more calories than you are able to burn and use, you are bound to have some extra pounds linger around you for sometime. What you can do is bring your own beer, and choosing lite beer will cut the calories in half. If everybody is having pizza, try to add some vegetables as toppings. Take one or two slices of pizza and walk away from the kitchen, go to the yard and hang out with your friends. As for the ladies, you can bring salads, fruit or vegetable platter to the party, limit the chips and dips will help you eat better.
As a conclusion, it is all up to you to make the change. It is your life and take charge of it, eat healthier, work out harder and party smarter will help you keep the freshmen weight gain at bay.