As you enter college, many students lose out on the home cooking they’ve come to know. Additionally, no one is monitoring what they eat, making it much easier to eat junk food. Metabolisms also begin to slow as you age out of your teens and into your twenties. All of these combined help create the freshman 15. Here’s my tips to prevent gaining too much excess weight now that you’re in college.
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1. Drink lots of water
Water is so important and most of the population is dehydrated. Drinking water helps keep your metabolism up. Additionally, dehydration can cause you to feel hungry when you’re not. Keeping hydrated can help cut out some of those excess mid day snacks.
2. 10,000 steps a day
This one is surprisingly not met by most people. Despite walking all over campus, it’s still important to make sure that you are getting your full 10,000 steps each day. This can be helped throughout the day by walking instead of taking a scooter or bus. Additionally, if you can’t hit your 10,000 steps this way, it also helps to go on a walk during your lunch break or after dinner. Put on a podcast or music and spend some time decompressing while you wander around.
3. Workout Classes
Many colleges offer “free” gyms. Free meaning your tuition is paying for it. Don’t waste your money and use all of the campus resources you can. Even better, many campus rec centers offer workout classes. Take advantage of these in particular. Not only are these great for switching up your workout routine but they are at set times. If you decide you’re going to go it’s a lot easier to schedule around and not make excuses about being too busy.
4. Eat your fruits and veggies
This one seems like a no brained but you’d be surprised how many people forget about this in college. While it can be exciting to get pizza, pasta, and Chinese at the dining hall, don’t neglect the salad bar. Even if your not a huge fruit and veggie person, aim to eat one serving per meal by eating them as a side dish. You can also get some in by eating things like smoothies and açaí bowl (available at many cafes and some campus rec centers).
5. Try a fitness challenge
This one is great if you need to reward yourself for good behavior. Find a good fitness challenge on YouTube or Pinterest and stick to it. Set yourself some sort of prize for when you finish. This will help keep you on track and you can check off each day which makes me feel way more accomplished.
6. Stand every hour
This one goes along with getting your 10,000 steps. I try and make myself stand every hour and take a few steps. It helps keep you from cramping up and allows you to get a break between work sessions.
7. Make it a group activity
If you’re really struggling to motivate yourself to stay active and fit, rope one of your friends into doing it with you. You can each keep each other accountable when you start to lose your own motivation. Schedule workouts together if you can. If not, try sending each other a sweaty selfie after each workout or pics of healthy meals. Not only will it keep you accountable to your friend, but it may also motivate them to follow in your footsteps.
8. Create a habit
Making a lifestyle change can be difficult. Keep in mind that it’s hard to start and keep a habit. If you can keep yourself accountable for a few weeks, your new healthy habits will become part of your lifestyle. It’ll be easier to get yourself to the gym and to eat healthy.
9. Don’t restrict yourself
While it can be easy to just say that you’re going to give up chocolate, pop, pizza, etc. it can be hard to ditch them permanently. Everything is fine in moderation. Over restricting yourself can lead to binges, mood swings, and disordered eating if taken too far. Prioritize healthy foods, but allow yourself some treats now and then.
10. Be calorie conscious of drinks
Many college students drink during the school year. Alcoholic drinks are empty calories that can really add up. If you’re going to drink in college, be mindful of what drinks you’re consuming. Some drink are higher in calories than others. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, keep in mind other types of drinks can be calorically dense too. Things like pop, flavored coffees, energy drinks, and more can add up calorie wise as well. Prioritize water over all other beverages and try and keep your no water intake low. Personally, my goal is to only have one non water drink a day. This allows me to have my mid morning coffee or pop to keep me going during the day.
What tips are you planning on utilizing? Do you think I missed any? Let me know in the comments below!
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