Thursday, June 20, 2013

All Diets Aside

College seems to be synonymous with weight gain. I frequently have visits from students who have been in college for a couple years that are looking to lose the 15-20 pounds they seem to have gained. Many different factors contribute to weight gain: late night snacking, eating more meals out, exercising less or not participating in sports anymore, lack of sleep that leads to increased appetite...and the list goes on. Instead of stressfully counting calories and tracking calories burned through exercise, take look at what you are eating to see if there is anything you can do differently.

1. Follow the MyPlate guidelines, focusing on including lots of vegetables. The diagram below is designed to help you control portions and include more nutrient rich foods. Not good at translating this diagram into real life? Follow these guidelines for weight loss: fill your plate with vegetables first (several handfuls), choose a handful of whole grains, find a lean protein, add a fat free or low fat dairy.
2. Be active every day and exercise 4 times per week. Even on days when you are "sedentary", make sure to get up and take a walk. Fresh air will always help you be healthier. When you exercise, make sure you challenge yourself. Change up your exercises to add variety and make your body even stronger.
3. Think about your drink. Are you drinking your calories away? Sugary coffee drinks, sodas, juices and juice drinks, sports drinks, and alcohol can all contribute a significant amount of calories. One full glass of soda in the dining hall can add almost 250 calories to your meal. This is equivalent to half of a 6in Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich from Subway! The best beverage for your body is water; it won't add unwanted calories to your diet. 

4. Snack wisely. Make sure you include a source of protein and fiber in your snacks. This will make your snack more substantial and help you feel fuller. Check out our other blog postings on snacks to learn what snacks are best.

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