Avoiding the Freshmen 15

By Anja Trenkwalder

Elm Staff Writer

The good news is, managing one’s weight can be easy when following just a few simple tips:

Educate yourself on your nutritional needs. Being aware of how many calories you should consume will help you keep your weight in check. While there is no need to count every single calorie you consume, it helps to have a rough idea how many calories there are in your favorite foods.

Practice portion control. Stick with just one plate, and unless you are still hungry, don’t go back for seconds. Make sure that the bulk of your meal consists of fresh veggies, and that you go light on fatty and sugary dishes like pizza and cakes.

Limit “cheat” meals. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but if all you eat is pizza and fries every day, you will gain weight. Practice moderation, and do not over-indulge.

Eat regularly. People who have regular meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight than those who skip meals. A balanced breakfast is especially important.  Your morning meal should consist of a mix of protein, fat, and carbs. Try, for example, a fried egg on a slice of whole grain toast, and a side of fresh fruit.

Dash-diet-fruit-and-vegetablesHave a plan. Be aware of situations in which you will likely over-indulge, and plan the rest of that day’s meals accordingly. Your crush asked you out on a dinner date? Wonderful! Have just a light lunch so you can afford a little splurge later in the day without going way over your calorie limit for the day.

Stock your mini-fridge with healthy options. Fill the space in your fridge up with fruit, veggie sticks, and light dips like hummus for quick and easy go-to snacks that will not expand your waistline.

Drink water, not soda. There are 260 calories in a vending-machine-sized bottle of Coke. In an equally sized bottle of water, there are zero calories. Must one say more?

Stay (or become) active. While you cannot out-train a poor diet, regular exercise does speed up your metabolism and gets your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Even if you are on a tight schedule, aim for hitting the gym at least three times a week.

Drink responsibly. One gram of alcohol has seven kcals. While that does not sound like much, mixed drinks can easily add up to 200 or 250 calories a drink, as sugary juices and syrups are often added for taste. Liquid calories often go unnoticed… well, until you step on the scale. If you do choose to drink, better stick with low-calorie options like wine and light-beer, and only in moderation.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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