Eating Healthy in Your Dorms

Liliana Macioce, Entertainment Editor

Rumor has it that you gain fifteen pounds your freshman year of college, known as the “Freshman 15.” It makes sense that people would pack on the extra pounds during their first year of college because every decision – including what you eat—is made on your own.  You no longer come home to a fridge full of food that your mom picked up at the store. You live off of cafeteria food and the mini fridge in your dorm room. However, gaining the “Freshman 15” won’t happen if you know how to take care of your body.

To start with, make it convenient to eat right. It’s easy to eat healthy when it’s almost all you have to eat. Take advantage of your mini fridge, and put healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, in it. Try to avoid the 100-calorie snacks because those normally have a lot of sugar and/or processed ingredients to make up for the flavor lost when the extra calories or fat are taken away. Try to keep protein bars in your room, too, so that way when you’re running out the door, you won’t stop at a vending machine to get food. The unhealthy foods in the vending machines won’t keep you full and will make you want to eat more because of the lack of fiber and protein in them. Also, the extra sugars will make you crash shortly after you eat them. The cafeteria also has healthy options—you just have to know where to get the healthy foods. Eating healthy in the cafeteria may be hard because of all of the temptations, but it is possible. There are enough healthy choices in the cafeteria for you to change up your meals so they don’t get boring.

Second, stay away from the energy drinks and soda. These drinks may have caffeine to keep you awake, but they are also stocked with almost a day’s worth of sugar. You’ll have more energy when you eat right, keeping you from needing all of those unnecessary drinks. Not to mention, these drinks will give you energy for about five minutes until you crash, and then you’ll go to grab another one. A lot of these cans and bottles are also meant to serve more than one person, so by drinking one by yourself, you’re getting twice as much sugar. The caffeine is also really bad for your heart –so just try to avoid these energy drinks whenever you can.

Every college has a gym for their students, and most, if not all, are free. Take advantage of the gym membership. Even if your schedule is crazy, you can find the time to get even thirty minutes in. Yes, you may have to wake up a little earlier than usual or stay up a little later to get your workout in, but it’s better in the long run. If you can’t make it down to the gym, you can always do dorm room workouts. Whether you do yoga or body weight workouts, there’s a countless amount of things you’re able to do. You could even buy DVDs and put them in your laptop.  If you don’t like working out, try to work out with a friend to make it more fun—it will give you more motivation. Make sure to also keep a realistic and healthy goal for your body.

There are many things you can do in college to live healthy, but these are the simplest and easiest things to do while you’re in college. Just remember: don’t cut out food groups or overexert your body to try to keep in shape or maintain your weight. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to achieve your fitness goals.