Many college freshmen fear the dreaded “freshman 15,” and it’s no wonder why! Class schedules, limited places to prepare nutritious meals, decline in quality sleep, and a reduction in physical activity, all contribute to the surge in college student weight gain. How can students beat the bulge? Let’s take a look at some recommended measures college students should take to keep off the weight.
Today’s college cafeterias provide endless temptation for students by offering comfort and convenience foods many students crave. With buffet-style food lines, soda fountains, and dessert bars, the temptations are hard to resist, but there are also nutritious options! College students should remember that a variety of foods should be consumed to ensure a balanced intake of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Always begin the day by eating breakfast!
Eating breakfast will take your body out of the fasting state while revving up your metabolism. Listed below are a few simple ideas for breakfast.
Eat balanced meals!
If you’re in a college cafeteria for lunch and dinner, focus your choices around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
Most importantly, remember sensible portion sizes for filling your plate by using this visual tool provided by ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Give in to cravings-in moderation!
Are you finding that slice of pizza or cheeseburger tempting your taste buds? When these foods are consumed in moderation, guilty pleasures should not cause too much concern. Try to include a small piece of fruit, serving of veggies, or side salad to take in a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.
Get those Zzz’s!
Remember to get quality sleep by aiming for 7-8 hours every night. Sleep helps heal your body, and, according to Harvard Health Publication, affects how the body processes carbohydrates and releases hormones that affect appetite. Lack of adequate sleep can cause increased consumption of caffeinated and high-calorie drinks and decreased consumption of nutritiousoods. Learn how sleep is essential for a healthy weight.
Pack a bottle of water to carry with you for the day and refill it at nearby water fountains when it gets low. The USDA recommends that males in the age range of 19-30 should have 3.7 liters of water a day, while females in the same age range should take in 2.7 liters a day.
Make fitness a priority!
Last but not least, do not neglect physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone shoot for 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity 5 days a week, either all at once or broken up throughout the day. Need ideas on how to be more active? Take a peek at these suggestions.
Starting college can be a scary time for anyone. Gaining weight is the last thing any student wants to worry about. Following recommendations to maintain good health will not only help students succeed academically, but also empower them to take control of their health and lives.
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