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Freshman 15: Aching to Lose Your Extra College Weight

Diet Products

It’s almost that time again, my fellow college students. Winter break is only a month away. Soon you’ll be back home sharing college stories with Mom and Dad. The one story you won’t want to share is how you gained 15 pounds. The pizza, burgers and soda has come back to haunt you around your stomach. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes to help you lose the weight before break starts. You might lose the weight during break, but then you’ll just regain it during the spring. However, if for spring semester you take the time and small efforts, you can begin shed pounds and KEEP the weight off. As someone who already has lost my freshman 15 and kept the pounds off, I am here to help you.

Chocolate Cravings
Like many others, I have a chocolate addiction. Many of my former diets were broken over a slice of chocolate cake. As long as chocolate existed it seemed as if no diet would last. I found three solutions for my chocaholic problem. A) Chocolate milk-this is good for small cravings, and it is extremely healthy. Don’t buy the triple fudge brownie chocolate milk. Regular chocolate milk is fine. B) Chocolate granola or cereal works, but I prefer granola because the two tastes together are scrumptious. C) Dark chocolate is best for strong cravings. Notice that I put “dark chocolate” and not “milk chocolate.” There is a vast difference between the two. One is good for you, and the other makes you fat. Not to mention, dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste which is less addictive than milk chocolate. With milk chocolate, one candy bar is never enough!

Vegetarian Weeks
On the weeks you miss your goal or cheat, make the following week a vegetarian week. Taking the meat out of your diet cuts a lot of fat and calories. It also eliminates a large source of protein. I replace the protein with milk and nuts. I used vegetarian week as a form of punishment for cheating on my diet and to get me back on track. Just remember that a healthy vegetarian does more than cut the meat out, they also eat lots of fruits and veggies. So eating Funyuns for breakfast lunch and dinner doesn’t count.

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Bye Bye Pizza
Pizza is a big part of a college student’s meal. It’s fast, tasty, and cheap. It is also fattening. A slice of four cheese pizza can hold over 600 calories. Just think how much your meat lovers pizza adds up to! I replace pizza with breadsticks. They’re extremely lower in calories. They fill you up quicker. One slice of pizza will leave you craving several more. If you like you could add some marinara sauce to make it seem like pizza.

Desserts? How About Fruit
After a long hard day everyone deserves a dessert, but they don’t need one. It is insane to eat a high calorie meal a couple hours before you go to bed. That is begging to gain weight. Instead of eating a piece of cake that is 500 calories, snack on a 120 calorie banana or 45 calorie small orange. When I would get hungry I’d eat an orange, and it would shut my stomach up while preserving my diet. If a piece of fruit isn’t in sight then some popcorn or caramel corn can be eaten. Popcorn is low calorie, and you can eat a whole cup of caramel corn that is about 160 calories.

Other Ways to Use a Pyramid
Many use the food pyramid to count food groups. I use it for meal size. The pyramid is large at the base and smaller as you reach the top. That is how I eat my meals. Larger meals in the morning and meals get smaller as I reach the top. If you eat a 500 calorie breakfast, you have much more time to burn it off than if you ate a 500 calorie dinner. What I would do was save the cereal for dinner because its quick.

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Healthy Snacks
Arms yourself with healthy snacks. Don’t think “I’m only going to eat three meals and that’s it.” That is never it. You’re going to get hungry in between meals, and if you don’t have a snack at reach you’ll end up in some drive-thru ordering a #2 with extra cheese. My favorite snack is Jack’s Links Steak Jerky. It is tasty, extremely high in protein, and under 100 calories. I eat that with a serving of unsalted, baked pretzels.

Milk DOES Do a Body Good
Stop avoiding the commercials and billboards. It’s true milk does do a body good. It is high in protein and can be low in fat. I make sure I drink at least two cups a day. It makes me feel responsible and healthy concurrently. So the next time you’re in the campus cafeteria take a cup of milk back to your dorm, because milk can be expensive.

Avoid Water Weight
A little water weight is good, but don’t overdo it. By eating salty foods like potato chips your body holds in water to counter the saltiness. Pay attention to labels. If something says it is 33% of your daily sodium, and you just ate 4 servings then you’re already over your limit. Avoid sprinkling salt unless something is terribly bland.

No Overpriced Diet Items
Diet products like Slim Fast and Lean Cuisine are overpriced. When you buy a lot of overpriced items to lose weight you will quickly find yourself broke. Once you have only $1.82 to your name you can only afford junk food. Those diet products tend to be too salty or sugary.

Switch up the Diet
When you begin a diet your body loses weight just fine, but after a couple weeks the weight stops dropping. That is because your body has got used to the change. I changed my diet every 3 weeks. The amount of time may be different for you.

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Break Goals Down
Don’t go into your diet saying “I’m going to lose 15 pounds.” That is going to overwhelm you. Instead say “I’m going to lose 2 pounds this week.” Break your goals up. You’ll lose 2 pounds quicker than 15 pounds, and you will feel less likely to quit. Don’t set unrealistic goals either. They will make you more likely to quit, and can be unhealthy. Losing more than 3 pound a week is unhealthy. It took you time to put the weight on, so it is going to take some time to lose it.

Of Course Exercise
Dieting and Exercise is like peanut butter and jelly. Your weight loss will be small and slow if you diet without exercising. Walking is a good exercise. I still walk everyday for about an hour. Even something small like standing up helps. Humans are always sitting down. Standing burns way more calories than sitting. Exercise also gives you a change to mold your body into whatever you want it to be. If you want a small waist, then workout your waist and wear an exercise slimmer. I would workout after dinner. Some exercise early in the morning but I think it does no good to exercise then eat, you’re just undoing all your hard work.