Escaping the Freshman 15

by Stephen Todey

If you’re anything like me, when you first walked into the dining center for the first time, your eyes widened and you thought, “Whoa. There is so much good food. I must eat it all.”

If you’re anything like me, you did eat it all. During the first semester of my freshman year, I gained 20 pounds. But if you make some smart choices, you can easily avoid gaining weight at the dining centers. These are some tips for avoiding or reversing the effects of the Dining Center.

1. Look at how many calories are in dishes

Now, I’m not a fan of counting calories. I think it can make people overly paranoid about what they’re eating. But it is smart to have an idea of how many calories are in things. For example, a panini from Conversations can have over 1000 calories in it. Fried pita chips and hummus can add a few hundred more calories, and if you’re topping it off with either a scoop of Blue Bunny Ice Cream or a glass of pop, you can easily be consuming close to a day’s worth of calories in one meal thinking you’re eating about half of that. The website below is a link to the ISU Dining website where you can find information on all the dishes served. [Note: at the time this was written, NetNutrition was not working properly.]

http://www.dining.iastate.edu/nutrition/netnutrition

2. Learn to drink Coffee (Real Coffee)

Ever gone to Caribou or Bookends and bought a large pumpkin latte with whole milk and whipped cream? Did you know you consumed about a quarter of your day’s calories right there? While sugary coffee drinks may be tasty way to consume a small amount of caffeine, they sneakily add hundreds of calories that you most likely won’t notice. Our bodies don’t tell us to stop when we drink calories, which is what makes things like super sugary lattes and pop so dangerous if you’re trying to avoid gaining weight.

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3. Exercise Daily

Obviously, most people don’t have time to exercise heavily every day. However, something as simple as running one or two miles, or walking to class instead of taking the bus, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a difference. Once you get into the habit of doing some amount of physical activity, it will make it easier to find time to exercise.

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4. Be realistic

If you’re trying to lose weight or diet, you need to be realistic. You’re here to do well in school (hopefully), so be realistic in setting goals for yourself. Don’t push yourself to a point where you can’t balance school and exercising. I’ve done it (multiple times), and it always has ended with me getting sick. Remember that, at least for this time in your life, staying supa fit isn’t always possible.

Todey_Page_3(a Parks and Rec reference for those of you not yet exposed to the awesomeness that is Parks and Rec)

5. Treat yo’ Self!

Quoting Grace Ricker here : “What’s not good for you is good for your soul.”

Sometimes it is necessary to eat a tub of ice cream after failing a physics exam. (Not speaking from experience or anything…)

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One comment on “Escaping the Freshman 15

  1. […] 10. Don’t eat everything in the dining center. There is a lot of food to try in the dining center, and a lot of it is extremely high in calories. The whole “Freshman 15” is unfortunately sort of a thing for a lot of people. Eating a bunch of fries, desserts, burgers, chicken strips and pizza is not going to help you out. Just be cognizant of how much you are eating. […]

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