Tips to Avoid the Freshman 15
Cooking in your dorm room can be a real challenge, especially if you are trying hard to avoid the infamous, dreaded “freshman fifteen” that everyone fears. No thought into what you’re putting into your body and spending extensive amount of time not being active can lead to weight gain, clothes stretching and hibernating over winter break to avoid your high school friends and past crushes. With no kitchen in the freshmen dorms and no car to easily get to a grocery store, all you have to work with is a microwave, a mini fridge, maybe if you’re one of the few, blessed colleges that allows a toaster oven, and food filled with preservatives. There is no magic trick to staying fit in college but following these simple rules and being conscious of what you eat at 3am will help.
Healthy Eating Tips
- Eat healthy on weekdays so you can be more lenient during the weekend. Feel free to order a pizza for Sunday afternoon football and not feel guilty about it later.
- Don’t fall into the “bagel trap”. Sure grabbing a bagel with cream cheese every day in the library seems like a cheap and easy lunch, breakfast or even dinner option, but fast forward a couple months from now and the results will not be pretty. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that. A whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese is not bad for you if eaten maybe once a week. One bagel can contain about 70 grams of carbohydrates, and not many other to nutrients to back it up.
- Make sure you are getting 3 solid meals a day with healthy snacks in-between. Great on the go snacks would be a small bag of almonds- great for fuel and to keep your metabolism going, an apple- packed with natural sugar and caffeine to keep you awake, Greek yogurt- is a great new item to hit the markets, they come in a ton of different flavors and are packed with protein.
Check out this great list from Self magazine of healthy snack options for any craving that you might encounter!
Tips for Eating In The Cafe
- Sure the chicken fingers and hamburgers smell and look fantastic… especially after a night out, nothing seems better. THIS IS A TRAP!!! Do not fall for it. Locate the salad bar and make your own wok/omelet option at the cafeteria.
- Always ask for eggs whites and nonstick spray instead of butter or lard. No matter which school you attend, there are many ingredients in the foods being cooked that you have no way of knowing about. Not all information is available on the nutrition site or packaging of to-go foods.
- Try to pick water over soda and remember to drink plenty of water at every meal, drinking a large glass of water before every meal will also trick your body (and your mind) into thinking that you ate more than you did causing you to eat less.
- Let’s be honest here, past a certain time of the day, water may no longer be on the menu in college, so keep hydrated during the day! Not only will you feel better if you’re hydrated, but your skin, hair and nails will thank you too.
Tips for Eating In Your Dorm Room
Eating in your dorm doesn’t mean Easy Mac and highly salted popcorn or Hot Pockets. There are a ton of microwave recipes out there that call for fresh ingredients that college kids can prepare right in their dorm room. The café serves pretty much the same 10 things on a rotating schedule which can get boring. Ordering out is expensive and allows for not so healthy food choice. But, making your own food is not only cost effective and delicious but can be nutritious as well. Check out this blog for over 70 recipes of microwave cooking for everything from potatoes to cherry cobbler.
Start a Pinterest Board
Pinterest is a great resource for healthy recipes and new workout routines. The key to staying fit and healthy is variation. That way you’re working out various parts of your body and your body is getting the different nutrients that you need. Check out our [Negative] freshmen 15 board for inspiration on how to start your own board for healthy recipes and fitness goals.
Make a Realistic Workout Schedule & Stick to it
- And last and probably most importantly, your workout routine will need to change in college. If you’re used to doing sports in high school and eating whatever you want, hit the gym hard! If you don’t your body will reflect it if you don’t change your eating habits.
- Hit the gym with a buddy. Working out is always more fun when you’re with someone else, and you have someone to hold you accountable for missing a day… or 6.
- You don’t have to work out every day but at least work it into your schedule 3-4 times a week.
- Wear your gym clothes to school and plan on meeting your friends there after class or in between a break. Once you start doing something for 20 days, it becomes a habit and you won’t even think twice about how much you don’t want to go.
- There are also easy things to do in your dorm room if going to the gym just really is not appealing on a cold or rainy day. Check out these quick, fun workouts below for some great tips!