This blog is written by Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Cari, at the University of Georgia. Cari is a Public Relations and Sociology Major.
College is said to be the best time in your life. For most kids, this is the first time that they are on their own and free from any restrictions set by their parents regarding clothes, homework, TV, and especially food. You can eat cookies and French fries anytime you want without anyone telling you to first finish your vegetables. It sounds like an exciting privilege, yet this is usually where the term “freshman 15” comes in.
Some call it a myth, but going to college usually means gaining some weight. Most college kids eat at dining halls or go out to dinner, which usually means that they are eating unhealthy items that do not provide much nutritional value. In addition, going to classes, participating in activities, and adjusting to your new busy schedule can lead you to putting exercise on the back burner. It is hard to worry abut your weight while also trying to find your place in college, but with these helpful tips, you will find that it is easy to incorporate nutrition and fitness into your everyday life.
1) Walk (or Bike) It Out: As freshmen, most kids live in the dorms that are located close to campus. Instead of taking the bus, why not walk to class? It’s a small easy step that incorporates fitness into your schedule. Riding a bike is also a great way to get some exercise into your day, and it’s even quicker than walking.
2) Color Your Plate: It is very important to eat vegetables or fruit at every meal so that you can get nutritional value out of your diet. Try to make your plate colorful by picking different items, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein, at every meal.
3) Portion, Portion, Portion: I cannot stress enough how important portion control is when you are eating. Most people gain weight because they are eating too much bad stuff and not enough of the good stuff. For example, your protein portion, or meat, should be the size of your palm, and carbs, like pasta, should be the size of your fist. Eat as many fruits and vegetables you want, but remember to only eat until you are full.
4) The Most Important Meal of the Day: Eating breakfast every morning can also help you maintain your weight. You may have classes, but eating early on in the day boosts your metabolism and helps you make it to lunchtime without feeling like you are starved.
5) Partner Up: Going to the gym can be B-O-R-I-N-G! To make it more fun, take a friend with you. You can motivate each other by agreeing to work out for the same amount of time, or even make a competition of who can do the most reps or run for the longest time. Working out with a friend makes workouts go by much faster, and both of you can look and feel great together.
6) Don’t Forget the Good Stuff: When something is taken away from us, we want it even more. It’s the same with food; you can cut back on your favorite junk food, but not allowing yourself to eat it at all will only make you crave it more. You should treat yourself every day, but in small amounts. Like I said before, maintaining your weight is all about portion control, so instead of depriving yourself, just eat those French fries, chocolate bars, or ice creams cones in moderation.
College may mean freedom, but you can’t forget about your health!