It’s that time of year. As the weather starts to cool, we say bye to our last weeks of summer and get ready to get back in routine. For those of us heading away to college or getting our kids ready for it, here are some tips to avoid the Freshman 15.
💥 Choose the “healthier” option
If your school was anything like mine, the healthiest options are Subway — and that’s if you’re lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, college campuses are littered with options like Chik-fil-A, Burger King, and the like. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have healthier options on campus, great! If not, choose the better options from those types of menus. Maybe the grilled chicken sandwich instead of the fried one. Maybe the side salad instead of fries.
💥 Design your plate
If you’re lucky enough to have a buffet-style dining hall, try to fill 50% of your plate with veggies, 25% with protein, and 25% with starches. This is a great way to ensure that a majority of your diet is healthy and wholesome without having to think about it too much.
💥 Listen to hunger cues
Your body is usually pretty good at telling you what it needs, so make sure to listen. Eat when you’re hungry, avoid mindlessly snacking while you’re studying or hanging out, and stop eating right when you’re about 80% full.
💥 Make sure you’re eating enough
This will vary person-to-person but most should aim for three main meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) plus a few snacks. If you’re playing college sports, respect that fact that you’re training super hard and need to fuel and recover appropriately…so don’t be afraid of eating carbs.
💥 Always opt for water
With college partying, there are plenty of opportunities to get in unneeded calories through drinking and late-night snacking. While that is part of the college experience, you can offset some of that by choosing to drink water (instead of juices, sodas, smoothies) throughout the day. You’ll be adequately hydrated and not adding any extra unneeded calories to your daily regimen.
💥 Snack smart
If you have a mini-fridge in your dorm, stock up good quality snacks like fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. If you have them available, you’re less likely to go out and buy a less-than-ideal snacks.
All-in-all, the key is balance. Focus on making the better choices when you can. Don’t be so stressed about your nutrition that you miss out on the most important part of college — the experience.