By Cristin Lalone
Elm Staff Writer
As students in college many people are focused on their weight. One study says college students either gain not an ounce freshmen year or are subject to the infamous freshman fifteen. This, on average, is somewhere in the range of six-and-a-half to nine pounds. Other studies claim most college students will gain about 10 to 15 pounds over their whole college career. This weight gain can occur for a few reasons in college. One reason is a large percentage of college students eat more, drink more, and exercise less when they get to college. This can be called the collegiate lifestyle, which is appealing to many college students. A similar study regarding food found that students who live in a dorm and have dining facilities onsite usually gain more weight in college than those who have to go outside of their dorm to get food.
With a few simple changes to your plate when in the Dining Hall, you can lower the amount of “collegiate lifestyle” weight you yourself gain. This can be done a few different ways such as using easily accessible resources and thinking smart. These easily accessible resources include the dining services website (http://www.dineoncampus.com/wc/). On this website you can read about nutritional information, meal plans, take quizzes, and read about many other interesting topics around food and dining services. The most important for the idea of eating healthier in the dining hall is the daily menu for each meal posted for the whole week. This is key because you can plan ahead for the day what you will eat and not just grab the first thing you see. If you plan ahead you will be able to choose healthier options with help from the nutritional information posted next to the names of each item on the menu. This is also helpful because if you see something more unhealthy at dinner that you really want to have then you can plan ahead, and have a healthier breakfast and lunch. If you get overwhelmed when the dining hall is extremely busy and just get your food at the least busy station, then try going to the dining hall when it is less busy. This means for lunch time try to not go as soon as classes let out. Wait a bit and give others ahead of you time to get their food and sit down. This gives you time to look at all your options before choosing your food and read nutritional labels above the food if you were not able to look at the menu.
Another healthier choice is Create. Create is located on the first floor of Hodson Hall Commons. There you can build your own sandwhich or salad. This gives you more options of what you like in a healthy way.
Having time to look at labels and thinking, can help you make more concious decisions concerning what you put on your plate and how much. You will be able to make good choices such as choosing vegetables, fruits, or salad instead of French fries or other fried choices, chicken instead of pizza, or yoghurt instead of ice cream. Another healthy and easy meal idea from the Dining Hall is making a salad colorful and exciting with veggies and other healthy toppings from the salad. You can even take chicken from the hot stations and cut it off and throw on top of your salad to make it more hearty and filling.