You’ve heard me mention this before: the freshman 15. Plenty of freshmen struggle with their eating habits upon entering college. There’s so much food available ALL the time and they abuse that. And they eat, and eat, and eat, and before you know it, they’ve gained 15 pounds, hence the freshman 15.
If you’ve been reading my blog since I started college at CSU, you will know that I was determined to avoid the freshman 15, and so far I’ve been successful and actually lost about 15 pounds. With a combination of working out and proper eating, I’ve been able to accomplish this goal. Exercise is extremely important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also so so so important to eat right. Here’s what has worked for me:
- Drink lots of water. Whenever I go to the dining halls, I typically get water and I do my best to drink at least two full cups of water. Occasionally I will drink some iced tea or lemonade but I really try to stay away from the sweet drinks, especially soda. Water is not only good for your skin and body in general but it helps fill you up a bit so you don’t overeat.
- Make your plate colorful. While fried food is super duper good tasting, it’s not so good for your body. In moderation, it’s fine, but if the color of the foods on your plate are all a fried brown, you’re doing something wrong. Add some vegetables or fruit to that plate or add a salad. Your body will thank you. Strive for this with every meal and pay attention to the variety of foods you eat throughout the day.
- Leave the dining hall feeling not hungry and not stuffed. The wording on that statement might be a little weird, so I’ll do my best to explain what I mean. With eating from dining halls in college, you definitely don’t want to starve yourself. You shouldn’t starve yourself, period! You want to be balanced with the food you eat. If you’re piling on the food and coming back to a table with multiple full plates, you might want to rethink that. Just think about balance and remember that you can always grab a to-go box if you start to feel full. 🙂
- Eat desserts in moderation. At the dining halls at CSU, there’s a place dedicated to desserts and I’m sure that it’s that way with most schools. Seeing the rows of cookies upon cookies and plates of cakes and brownies can be extremely tempting, but remember, eat these in moderation! Desserts also taste AMAZING and sometimes its really hard to only take one serving and limit yourself, but all of that sugar really isn’t that good for you or your teeth. Treat yourself every once in a while but don’t go nuts with the desserts.
- Seek nutritional advice through your university. Colorado State University has an “Eat Well” program and they have dietitians and nutritionists willing to help figure out foods that you’ll enjoy that are better for your body. In addition to this, all of the menus for food are available online so I have access to the nutritional facts. I don’t pay too much attention to this, but sometimes it’s a great resource for knowing more about calories (even though I’m not big on calorie counting) and nutritional values in general. Most college dining halls have resources like this and within the dining halls themselves, there’s typically information on all of the foods available so pay attention to these! Use your resources and you’ll be set.
Keep in mind, that these are things that I’ve found helpful and they may work for those of you also eating out of college dining halls, and some of them might not, and that’s ok! Find something that works for you and stick to it. Eating healthy in college is important because it helps set the foundation for eating healthy later in life and it’s important that you give your body the materials it needs to function at its best!
If you’ve got an idea for a blog post or a question for me, feel free to leave a comment on this post or reach out to me on my new “Contact Me!” page which can be accessed in the menu above. I’d be happy to hear from you. I hope you all have a great week! See ya next Sunday. 🙂