How To: Stay Healthy in College

In light of recent holidays…

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We can all agree that the holiday season is a time when we all put on a little, shall we say, insolation… Unfortunately, college is also historically a time when this happens. Almost everyone goes into college believing they’ll avoid the dreaded Freshman 15, and many even successfully do so for a while, until one day, they wake up, and…

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And then they’re like…

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Having had a few years to learn what it takes to stay healthy in college, I feel, like, super qualified to pass on my wisdom to all of you. Here are just a few tips:

If you have a designated number of swipes into the cafeteria, don’t feel like you have to eat there more often than you normally would just to get rid of them. If you’re hungry, go eat. If you’re not, oh well. If your swipes expire each week, consider swiping in a starving super senior…If you can exchange the swipes for food bucks, take advantage of that!

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While eating in the cafeteria, don’t grab one of everything just because you have so many options in front of you. Eat like you would at your mom’s house: one entree, one side dish, and one vegetable dish. If you don’t eat at the cafeteria, meal prep at home to plan your diet and save you time.

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Swap one meal a day for a salad. I’ve never seen a better salad bar than the one in my college cafeteria, so take advantage of your campus’ ~delicious and nutritious~ options.

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Don’t go overboard on the soda machine. Drink at least one glass of water with every meal, then refill your water bottle and carry it around with you. Grab fruit and nuts from the cafeteria as well, and take them with you on campus. You’re less likely cave in and buy something unhealthy like Panda Express if you already have snacks with you. If nothing else, chew gum to help fight cravings. Chewing gum while studying also helps you retain information!

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As tempting as it is to abuse the soft serve machine, try sticking to just one dessert a day. Avoid snacking on processed foods, especially while doing something mindless like studying or watching TV. You don’t need all those empty calories.

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Be aware of the nutritional facts of alcohol. A typical glass of beer has 154 calories, while a typical glass of wine has 123 calories, and a typical vodka soda has 84 calories. All those drinks can really add up overtime, and nobody likes a beer belly.

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If you can, try walking to class rather than driving. It’s just one more way to stay active!

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Sign up for a PE class one semester, even if it’s something fun like yoga. They’re usually only one credit, but that still counts toward your electives you need to graduate! Plus, you kind of have to go since it’s for credit. Otherwise, get a gym buddy who will help you stick to a workout routine and motivate you to improve. Stick to your schedule and reward yourself for doing so.

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If all else fails, there are apps you can download to help you keep track of your daily caloric intake and exercise regimen.

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What are your tricks for staying healthy in college? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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