For whatever reason, it seems to be a common thing among college freshman students to gain a little extra weight. Most people know this tendency to be the dreaded freshman fifteen. It’s assumed to be brought on by some new found freedom. Freshman don’t have to worry about their parents nagging at them about what and when they eat, and they develop bad eating habits. A lot of the time, the students will come into the new college environment and be excited that they can order pizza for dinner every night, fill their mini fridge with soda, stock up on chips, and drink mass quantities of beer.
Reading something like this you’re probably thinking that you are going to have to make drastic changes in your life, like a zero calorie diet and spending every night and morning running instead of partying. Although that would all help out A LOT if you would have the discipline for it, it’s really much simpler than that.
The key to weight loss involves a ratio between caloric intake and energy expanded. If your caloric intake is more than your energy expanded you are going to gain weight. Likewise if your energy expanded is more than your caloric intake you are going to lose weight. So you’re thinking, diet and work out all the time, change my life, be miserable. Well, yes and no.
You don’t need to diet in terms of eating less and less until you’re hungry all the time, or workout and run every night or morning. All it takes is a slight CHANGE of diet and some habits; not a drastic one though. College is a time where it’s almost impossible not to change some habits. You’re on your own. That means setting an alarm and getting up without your parents waking you. It means getting your own meals. It means you have to trust your own judgments rather than going to parents and asking for permission.
The changes you need to make are simple. It starts with a simple trip to the grocery store. Your shopping list should look something like this:
20 pack water – $6
pack of granola bars(not the ones that taste like cardboard. Get the chocolate ones or something delicious so you want to eat them.) – $3
Other miscellaneous snacks (no candy- period) – $5
Watch out for the carbohydrates
Stock your fridge and back pack with the water. If you get thirsty, pull one out. If you think you’d rather drink a Coke or Pepsi than water, consider this. Switching from soda to any other non-carbonated beverage will make you drop weight faster than anything else. There is so much sugar in the soda. The carbonation makes it harder to lose any weight, and it zaps all your energy. Try this for just ONE week. You should see an amazing change after one week.
The next step is snacking. The best way to lose weight is to eat throughout the day. You should have at least 6 meals a day. Not large ones obviously, but decent enough to fill you up. The best thing you can do is pack your bag with those waters, granola bars, fruits and other snacks and try to eat a little bit every 2 hrs. You’ll constantly be full but your body will be working to lose that weight throughout the day. Your body is the best computer ever created. When you starve yourself for a day, it goes into caveman mode and decides it doesn’t know when it’s gonna get its next meal so it stores every little meal it gets as fat so that way it doesn’t starve. However if you eat constantly throughout the day, your body tells itself that it is taking in a lot of food and constantly works to lose weight as fast as it can.
If you are eating in a cafeteria or at a restaurant it wouldn’t hurt to ask for fruit or maybe a salad along with your meal. The fiber in the fruit and veggies will fill you up fast and help you drop the weight quicker.
As far as other habits go, use the stairs. College is a place where there is more walking than anything, and that’s great for weight loss. If you live on the 10th floor of a dorm you don’t have to use the stairs the whole way up, but if you’re going to a class that’s 3 or 4 flights of stairs, don’t bother waiting on the elevator just walk them. Any little bit like that helps.
So the basic steps are:
- Don’t drink soda
- Eat at least 6 meals a day or a meal every 2 hrs.
- Take the stairs
If you’re going to drink, remember that there are a lot of calories in a beer, and liquor will just destroy your body. So be careful about how much and what you drink. Switching to a light beer is at least better than a dark one, and don’t drink too much liquor. Also be sure to drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks. You don’t need to sit there and sip on a cup of water while your friends have alcohol. You can just drink a beer, then down that water in one big gulp. Just remember, to take those stairs the morning after that party..