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freshman 15

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french fry 'hana'

my friend getting creative in our cafeteria. photo credit to her.

This is about the time of year that some college freshmen start noticing their pants are a little tighter and hiding miserably behind their coats. and some sophomores, seniors and out-in-the-real-world people too. Since this is a blog about food, I wanted to share my thoughts and tips on the subject:

surviving the cafeteria:

all-you-can-eat is not a challenge.

eat what you’re hungry for. grab an apple or a bagel for later

on the flip side, don’t not eat if you’re hungry! just try to make it satisfying.

have breakfast! it doesn’t save on calories if you’re so hungry you eat twice as much for lunch.

don’t have desert with every meal. is the cafeteria’s idea of pie really worth it? save it for when you’ll really enjoy it, like late night milkshakes with friends or somebody’s birthday brownies. but by all means, if the dining hall has your favorite ice cream this week, have a cup! and no guilt! all things in moderation.

outside the cafeteria:

limit your options: if there’s not a bag of m&ms in your room, you cant eat them all while you study for that test tomorrow. maybe get some microwave popcorn, or small packages of nuts (so you’re less likely to plow through the jar).

get active: find a buddy to work out with, or try a gym class or club sport.  it doesn’t need to be intense, just make sure its something you enjoy. yoga, kickboxing, ballroom dancing, anything! even an hour or two a week will make a difference, and help keep stress at bay.

get more sleep. yeah, laugh all you like, I did too. but its easier to do than you might think and it does help a lot!

on that note, try to limit late night snacking. I find a nice cup of milk, or maybe a little yogurt or bread or even just a big glass of water can satisfy the 11:30 hungry.

when all’s said and done? it happens to everyone. you’ve got the summer to let the stress of school go and get back into healthier habits. so if you can make the effort to avoid/minimize it, good for you! but you’re getting used to a new environment, so cut yourself a little slack! especially if you’re already overwhelmed, this is not a thing to stress out over.

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