Keeping the Syllabus-Week-Six at Bay
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Keeping the Syllabus-Week-Six at Bay

We all know about the freshman fifteen... But collegiate weight gain doesn't end there.

Keeping the Syllabus-Week-Six at Bay

If you're going into your senior year like me, you know that the first week of school is seen as a little bit of a joke. You get your syllabus and have minimal assignments, so what on earth are you to do with this week's free time?

Obviously, you're going out every night. You haven't seen your friends all summer and it's time to catch up - but a whole summer of working on your savings and your beach bod is about to go to waste when this week hits. How do you keep the all those calories from your weeklong party streak from clinging to your thighs?

Here are four tricks I use to keep fun to a max and weight gain to a minimum:

1. SUGAR: You've probably been told this - there's a lot of sugar in everything you love about your favorite bar. Here’s the breakdown for different types of alcohol:

LIQUOR: Tequila by itself, for example, might seem fine - but once you add in that margarita mix, you're talking a couple hundred calories and a pretty nasty hangover! If they don't have a skinny margarita available, your best bet is to skip it and go for something else. You can make your own margs at home for much cheaper and with a MUCH lower calorie mix that's available almost anywhere.

Cranberry/vodka is nothing but liquor and concentrate. If you can learn to appreciate a good vodka water with a dash of lemon and lime, it'll change your life. Diet sodas are always the way to go, as well, but if aspartame freaks you out then start learning to love soda water. Make sure you ask for soda, though - tonic has over 100 calories per serving. If your drinks still don’t have enough flavor, there’s plenty of garnishes at most bars (lemon, lime, orange, mint leaves) that can add a nice touch to any low-cal cocktail. 

Be wary with shots, as well. They don’t seem like much because of their size, but they're packed with calories to maintain flavor and smoothness for the shooter. A mere shot of Fireball has 108 calories - heartbreaking, I know. If you just can’t resist buying a round for all of your buds, go with plain liquors that don’t contain flavoring or syrups. 

BEER: Light beers are never a bad choice, and while some might seem less alcoholic than a heavy draft, it's nothing significant. Always go for the lighter side - they don’t call it a beer gut for no reason. 

WINE: While cheap wine is great thanks to potency, each glass contains between 100 and 200 calories. Those numbers add up pretty quickly when you account for the fact that the standard serving is much smaller than your standard serving. Stick to one glass per evening if you just can't let it go, and be ready to switch to something else to keep your waistline in check. Keep your buzz without losing the bod!

2. Drunching: We all do it, and it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of - it's basic instinct taking over as you crawl home from the bar to claw at the nearest (hopefully) edible item. But when that's pizza and fries, it's going to show pretty quickly. The last thing you want is to start your year off with a newly acquired set of love handles. Get to know your drunk self. Do you come home and make Easy Mac or do you call in a whole pizza? Pick up food from the nearest fast food joint? If at-home drunching is your thing, try leaving out something lighter but filling to feast on when you arrive home from your bar time adventures. I used to do a cheesy quinoa that I'd leave in the fridge pre-cooked , so tipsy me could heat it up and nom away. If you frequently pick something up in your way back, you have a couple of options. Learn your area's late night menus and find a “go to” that you can give yourself. In downtown Charleston, for instance, Black Bean is the place to be for late night and guilt-free. Natural, organic and vegan-friendly menu items keep you from splurging too much, even if you lick your plate clean. 

3. Don't Skip Your Workout: Less sugar should have you feeling a whole lot better than usual in the morning, but your body still won't want you to move. NO EXCUSES! I'm not a fitness expert, and I'm certainly not in the best shape of my life, but I know that doing a little something is better than absolutely nothing at all. Your body has a hard time burning the calories from alcohol as it is; refraining from working out is only going to give then incentive to sit there and accumulate into pounds. Get in a good 30 minutes of even just a light cardio - jogging, biking, or even just walking with a friend (you can do all of these things while re-capping the previous nights happenings) to keep calorie retention to a minimum. 

4. Keep Calm and Stay in Control: The less you drink, the less you'll gain. Obviously, no one wants to be a party pooper, but it's important to remember that you can still have a great time without totally letting yourself go. Track your drinks so you know you're not getting carried away, and remain functional. The better control you maintain, the less likely you are to suddenly start drinking gallons of soda or devour an entire pizza at the after party. Your head will thank you in the morning, while your waistline and reputation will thank you in the long run.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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