How to keep healthy diet on campus

Students get dinner at the Gregory Hall cafeteria on Tuesday, September 16, 2008. Erica Magda

By Lauren Mroz

One of the most common topics associated with your freshman year of college is the so-called “freshman 15.” Of course, this refers to a supposed weight gain that many freshmen face during what is usually the first time students have spent a significant amount of time away from home.

This weight gain can be caused by a variety of factors. A big issue that I noticed with my friends’ change in eating habits was the ability to get food whenever it was desired. This means that late-night eating is easy to access. 

A simple and easy way to avoid the need for food any time after nine or ten o’clock is to eat three good-sized meals throughout the day. If you spread out your meals throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner, then you are less likely to have constant hunger during the later hours of the day. 

Casual snacking may cause you to under-eat at some points, which can catch up with you later. If you eat too late at night, then the food you have eaten will just sit in your body while you sleep as opposed to digesting properly if you finish meals during the day.

It is important to take full advantage of your meal plans. The best way to get a healthy meal on campus is through these plans. Instead of spending money on some salty take-out, go through your dining hall, and find what healthy eating plan works for you. 

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You’ll always find some sort of salad options which is easy to keep healthy. You just have to keep an eye on what dressing you use and portion control. There also will likely be an option of some sort of hot item. Be careful with these items because they can be worse for you than you think. 

If the dining hall is serving a dish containing meat amongst other ingredients that are not so good for you, don’t be afraid to ask the chef to cook you up a plain piece of meat that you can fix up yourself. The more you are able to control your meals, the easier it will be for you to eat healthy.

This being said, it is okay to cheat on your healthy eating every once in awhile. That does not necessarily mean you will be a victim of the “freshman fifteen.” As long as you stay active and be cautious of the food traps that you may fall into at school, you will be fine.

To my friends, I am known as the girl who can make a diet on celery and peanut butter. But that doesn’t mean I don’t add my side of french fries every once in awhile. Everybody’s dietary needs are different. It might just take a little thinking out of the box to find the right combination! Tweet: College diets can be more than just late night calls to the pizza guy. Read our tips for maintaining a healthy diet.

Lauren is a sophomore in Media.
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