First year students are loaded with the typical college stressors such as finding suitable roommates, finding classes, making good friends and avoiding weight gain. While you cannot control all other factors, you can take every possible step to eat healthy, stay fit and keep your weight in check. Adjustments are inevitable during your college life, but it is not necessary to adjust your pant size too.
Though people caution against drastic weight gain during the first year of college, weight gain during and after college life is also true. Students are in the driver’s seat and it is in their hands to take every step possible to stop this weight gain.
Staying Away from Home
Registered dietitian nutritionists cite emotional stress as the primary reason for this weight gain. Most of the freshers are staying away from home for the first time in their lives and this paves way for unpredictable emotions. Stress, anxiety and homesickness are few such emotions that can end up in overeating. To curb such eating patterns, question yourself on the authenticity of your hunger. Are you eating simply out of boredom or to soothe yourself? If so, try to go for a brisk walk, take a small study break to chat with your friend or listen to some soothing music. If you are at the pinnacle of stress and anxiety, it is better to seek the help of an on-campus student counselor.
Never Stock your Favorite Junk Foods
Never stock any foods that you have a craving for. Late night studies and stress might lead you to binge eating of these foods. Try to keep some snacks that have a good mix of protein and carbohydrates. Apples with peanut butter, Greek yogurt and whole-grain cereal are smart snacking options.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Breakfast is essential to pep up your energy levels and metabolism. And moreover, people who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat less through the rest of the day than those who have skipped their breakfast. Some quick breakfast options for college students include hard-boiled eggs and fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter, a low-fat granola bar and fruit or a whole-wheat cereal with fruits and nuts.
Choose Smart & Nutritious Foods
You can make positive or negative use of your dining hall. Along with high-calorie foods, most universities provide healthy options too. Healthy option includes anything that is boiled, broiled, baked or grilled. Stay away from buttered, fried foods and anything topped with creamy sauce.
Few more cafeteria meal options include:
Beverages Too Add Extra Calories
Don’t indulge in soft drinks or sodas regularly. They are full of sugar and pile up empty calories. Try to drink some plain water, a glass of milk or some fresh juice instead. Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Be on the Go
Though students wish to utilize their available time in studies, they must allocate time for some physical activity too. It helps any individual to control weight and come out of stress. Colleges nowadays have excellent fitness spaces available for students. It is up to the student to hit the gym for a workout or engage in less strenuous activities like walking or taking a bicycle to the classroom. You can tag along with a friend to the gym or encourage a healthy bicycle competition among your friends.
Speak to a Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you require outside help, check with your university if they offer nutrition counseling services. You can even contact nutritionist/dietitians at www.firsteatright.com, who are available for online consultations as per your convenience, to help you with a healthy diet chart for weight loss.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.