I mentioned this in my last article addressed to the upcoming college freshman class, but I thought I'd dive deeper into the topic. Listen up people: The Freshmen 15 is avoidable. Now it might have been easier for me because Rider's dining hall isn't always the best example of what a college dining hall should and could be... but regardless, I think my method can be used anywhere. When you're a freshman and you walk into the dining hall, you might be overwhelmed. You see all these food options and they say all you can eat... it's a lot to take in. But fear not. You can overcome.
1. Only eat when you're actually hungry
It's tempting to go 50 times a day especially when you have an unlimited meal plan... but you only need to go there about three times a day.
2. Plan ahead
Don't walk in there without a plan of attack. Maybe you had pasta yesterday so you're having a salad today. Maybe you had a big breakfast so you are going to plan your other meals accordingly.
3. If your school has a gym... find it... go there... go inside... utilize it.
Stop walking past it. Go inside. You don't have to become some gym junkie. But exercising is good for you. They might have a track you can walk. Or classes you can join.
4. Limit late night ordering
The only thing worst than always being in the dining hall is late night ordering. You're food needs time to digest and if you eat it at 2 am and then go to bed at 3, you might get sick, but your food will also store as fat in your body. It's tempting with late night study sessions or rehearsals. You're hungry, tired and the only thing open is Taco Bell or a pizza place. I get it trust me. But try not to eat at this hour. If you must, eat something healthy. Your body will thank you in the morning.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Pizza, pasta, carbs, sweets... all that stuff is wonderful. But you need to eat fruits and veggies. The more you eat them, the more you will find how wonderful they can be as well.
6. Walk places when you have the option
Stop getting rides from one building to the next. Walk places. It's a simple way to exercise that you don't even think about. If your campus is the size of a small country... just walk around on the gym track.
7. Keep healthy snacks in your room and when you're walking around
You're gonna be hungry throughout the day. That's normal. Snacking isn't bad, it just depends what you are snacking on. Fruit, nuts, hummus and veggies, nut butters... these are healthy snacks that are good for you. You also don't need low-fat popcorn or any of those "diet" foods. They are actually bad for you. Instead of buying "diet" foods, eat less of the normal foods.