We’ve all heard of the freshman 15, referring to the 15 pounds that many students pick up during their first year of college.
Usually this weight gain is the result of poor eating habits, lack of funds and simply not knowing what is good to consume.
On Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s campus, you can purchase a meal plan for approximately $3,000 in the fall and spring semesters and for approximately $1,000 during the summer terms. Some might think that meal plans give students “options” to help solve bad eating habits, but what is there to eat?
Well there’s fried food at least twice a week (fried chicken Wednesdays and fried fish Fridays), a pizza bar, Chic Fil A, and so many other unhealthy options.
Let’s be real, who is running to the salad bar for lunch every day when there is a warm cheesy slice of pizza five feet away? Or, who would buy an eight-dollar salad from Chic Fil A when you could get chicken nuggets or a sandwich, waffle fries and a drink for the same price?
Aside from all the bad foods that are so tempting and readily available, college students love to drink, which also makes them gain weight. Ultimately, as a result of unexpected weight gain, many college students try to find quick ways to be healthier and get in shape. Sadly, the gym life and ridiculous diets aren’t for everyone and the journey to a healthier lifestyle can sometimes become a struggle.
According to Rutgers University’s health services department, the key to being healthy is to monitor your diet, exercise, sleep, sexual health, illness, stress and mental health. Here’s a list of ways to be healthy while in college: https://healthservices.camden.rutgers.edu/topics_wellness. Good health starts with good food.
A simple switch to eating more veggies and practicing portion control can make all the difference. You should eat about four to five meals a day, consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Choose healthier foods when grocery shopping. For example, instead of getting potato chips, get baby carrots or fruits and eat lean meats like chicken and turkey.
Also, avoid eating late at night and home cooked meals are usually healthier (and cheaper) than fast foods or something from a restaurant.
You don’t have to live at the gym, but doing some cardio workouts during the week will definitely help on the journey to being healthy and fit. If the gym isn’t for you, try taking the longest path to class to help burn more calories.
Drinking lots of water, getting an adequate amount of sleep, exercising and eating right are the best ways to be healthy while in school. Being healthy in college is not impossible, it just takes a conscious effort.