Any college student hates those dreaded words: “Freshman 15”. For those just starting college or even those already in college for a while, its extremely easy to get so caught up in everything you’re doing that you become that person who hits up the McDonald’s drive-thru at midnight. Trust me, I’ve been there and those cheeseburgers are definitely not worth the tears you’ll shed when your favorite shorts don’t fit anymore….
Most people have a love-hate relationship with eating right and exercising. But when these two don’t go hand in hand, there are multiple consequences that will affect your studies too, not just your waistline. Here are some easy ways to prevent unwanted weight gain and keep yourself in top shape:
- Master the dining hall. As a college student, most of your meals will come from the dining hall, which is often buffet style. Knowing what’s the right thing to eat and when you are full is the best you can do. That fifth slice of pizza won’t make you feel amazing tomorrow.
- Take the stairs. Try not to use elevators, instead use the stairs or even take the long way back after class. Wearing gym clothes to class is also a motivator.
- Get a gym buddy. You will be more likely to go to the gym and work harder if a friend is with you. Joining a sports team or a fitness club at your school is also a start.
- Don’t be a drunk. Alcohol is just empty calories…avoiding it can help you keep the weight off. If you’re 21 and over, you can have a drink or two when out with friends. You don’t want to be the person who comes home with the beer gut.
- Grocery shop properly. Only buy foods in their raw form or if you can identify the ingredients on the label. Too many of our foods now have artificial dyes and other ingredients that are unhealthy. Also limit your soda intake and try to drink more water than anything else. Keeping healthy foods on hand in your dorm/apartment will keep you on track.
Keeping these tips in mind now will save you from lots of heartache down the road. Its also good to keep in mind that you should get enough sleep and manage stress properly or it will throw your eating habits out of whack. I’ve been there…and as much as you think that piece of chocolate cake will help solve your problems, it won’t.