We’ve all heard about it, but we think it won’t happen to us. In college, it’s easy to fall into a trap of inactivity with convenient fast food and excessive alcohol consumption. Maybe you’ll actually get away with it for a while, but once spring break rolls around you’ll wish you had made better decisions. Don’t get silly, sloppy and stupid. Instead, use this year to get sexy, strong and smart.
In the café
1. Watch portions – The café is all you can eat at every meal, every day. To avoid overeating, eat one plate at a time and after you’ve finished, wait at least 10 minutes before getting another serving. If you’re satisfied, hunger hormones will send fullness signals, but not if you grab another plate before your brain gets the message.
2. Be smart – Each serving station at the café will contain barcodes so students can use their smart phone to see the calories of each food they are consuming. Download the MyFitnessPal app and all food will be pre-programmed in.
In the dorms
3. Sleep – Although often overlooked as a part of health, sleep is critical – not only for your brain, but also for your body. Research has shown that sleeping less than six hours leads to increased hunger.
4. Greek yogurt – Protein is the most filling macronutrient and it comes in a convenient and tasty form of Greek yogurt. *Savings tip: buy large containers plain and mix in your own fruit, granola or nut butters. Single servings are pricey.
5. Fruit – A great option because of convenience and high nutrient density. Most are cheap (especially bananas) and can be used as a quick breakfast when you miss your alarm, or as a quick snack between classes.
6. Protein powders – Shakes are quick, easy and tasty. You aren’t limited to chocolate or vanilla. Mix it up with fruit, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and peanut butter.
7. Limit fast-food – Most places have “calorie bombs.” these are items that are quickly consumed and provide little nutrition or fullness. Avoid items like Blizzards and super- sized meals as much as possible.
8. Be frugal – This isn’t to say you can’t eat out. There are plenty of awesome options in Emporia. In walking distance from campus, you’ll find Orange Leaf, Wheat State Pizza and Subway. These places are ideal for social gatherings and great food, but don’t cram your mouth full just because it’s “healthy.” Portions and calories still matter.
9. Get active – The Student Rec Center is free for students! You’ll find weight training equipment, cardio machines, group exercise classes and even free personal training. Like sports? Almost every intramural activity you can imagine is hosted by the Rec.
10. Alcohol & Soda – Liquid calories quickly add up. If soda is a vice, try switching to diet. If you’re going to drink alcohol, it does quite a good job at adding inches to your waist – on top of impairing your judgment, which can lead more poor food choices. One more reason to practice moderation.