Staying fit in college can be difficult, trying to balance school work, a social life and clubs or activities. Luckily, University of Texas Alpha Epsilon Phi senior, Claire Siegel, created her blog The Slender Student, easing worries for college kids everywhere who want to ward off extra pounds.
After returning from a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain, Siegel noticed that resources directed toward student health and fitness were few and far between. Frustrated by the lack of advice, she started The Slender Student this past June.
“I distinctly remember laying in my bed one day, Googling phrases like, ‘how to lose weight abroad’ and ‘how to not get fat abroad,’ and I didn’t find anything. That’s when I decided to just do it myself and start up a blog to help other college kids in my position,” Siegel said.
She drew inspiration from her own experience abroad and her interest in health as a nutrition major, originally providing tips for students going abroad. Siegel advises trying new foods in moderation, staying away from super sugary drinks and going on walking tours when traveling or avoiding public transportation whenever possible.
“In terms of diet, I think it’s important not to deprive yourself,” she said.
Since Siegel launched The Slender Student, the post topics have expanded from being geared only toward study abroaders to a general college lifestyle. Once a week, she posts a section called “Lazy Sunday,” with tons of easy, healthy recipes, complete with drool-worthy pictures. Her “Slender Set” posts give workout routines and advice on targeting different body parts. She even gives meal plan suggestions and provides a formula to find resting metabolic rate in her post “(Wo)Man With a Plan
“The portions and variations of the meals I post on Lazy Sunday have been what have gotten me through cooking for myself in college,” Siegel said. “The Slender Sets and the other workouts I’ve designed are inspired by the workouts like boot camp and other classes that I’ve done for a while. Now I just share it all really, really publicly.”
Her goal is to provide realistic food and exercise recommendations for college students. “This is trite, but if I can do it, you can do it,” she said.
She’s combined her studies in nutrition with information in magazines and blogs and her love of food to create the perfect outlet for student health. When Pinterest and other magazine articles seem too overwhelming, The Slender Student puts all of the information in one place with Siegel’s creativity.
“Of course, there’s some stuff that just pops into my head. I think about food like… a lot,” she said. For those recipes that she creates on her own, she uses SparkRecipes.com to provide calorie counts in her posts.
Aside from great meal ideas, Siegel gives amazing tips for snacks - the downfall in weight loss of college students everywhere. Her suggestions combine carbohydrates with protein and generally shoot for around 150 calories. She even offers options for those living in their respective Greek house, with only a microwave available.
“I love pairing 100 calorie popcorn packs with a Babybel Lite cheese, or a Vitalicious VitaTop with a couple spoonfuls of fat free Cool Whip,” said Siegel.
Along with great snacks, meal plans and workout regimens, The Slender Student provides low-calorie drink options too – another weight loss trap in college. Siegel suggests diet mixers or light beers, and even has a post all about making a “Slender Vodkamelon” – basically a watermelon filled with vodka (perfect).
Even as a slender student herself, Siegel still finds weakness in the diet and workout world -- namely Thursday nights out in downtown Austin, likely similar to $2 Tuesdays and the ominous threat of late night Pizza X here in Bloomington. To combat drunken cravings, Siegel recommends grabbing an unwich at Jimmy John’s or whipping up something at home instead of street food.
For more Slender Student-isms from the wonderful Claire Siegel, be sure to visit her at www.TheSlenderStudent.com, as well as on Twitter (@SlenderStudent) and on Facebook. Also, be sure to tweet us your favorite Slender Student tips at