The dreaded freshman 15. We've all heard of it, but don't worry, it doesn't have to come for you... what and how you eat are choices you make each and every day and we're here to help you make good ones. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of poor eating habits when you are in college! While there are many explanations for weight gain, the biggest problem is making poor dietary choices. We are here to help you avoid these pitfalls!
Your transition from high school to college is a good to learn about nutrition, and to pick up the good eating habits that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Balancing eating with activity
The true balance is to be sure that you eat less than you burn to lose weight, eat more than you burn to gain weight. It’s a balance and everyone’s body and metabolism are different!
Eating healthy in the dining commons
Dining services at colleges usually offer huge amounts of high calorie, high sodium, lower quality food in an all-you-can-eat venue. Luckily for our students, the Westfield State dining service is committed to offering healthy and delicious foods featuring local, regional and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner. Here are some helpful hints to make the most out of your dining service meals:
- Eat two or three square meals daily in the dining commons or other eateries on campus – it’s important for your energy and alertness to have a balanced nutrition.
- Try the salad bar: It’s amazing! Practically everything you could ever want on a salad is featured on our salad bar.
- Emphasize protein: Protein will stick with you and make you feel full longer. Just be sure to choose healthy proteins like chicken, fish, legumes, lean burgers, eggs, tofu, tuna, peanut butter, etc. Try to avoid processed lunch meats and fried foods.
- Make special requests: Be sure to alert the dining commons staff to any allergies or sensitivities. Westfield offers a clean eating area for people with allergies! Other special requests will also be considered. They may not be able to accommodate everyone with every request, but you’ll be surprised at what they can do!
- Drink a ton of water: Be sure to drink water with your meal and throughout the day, as it contributes to a feeling of fullness and helps to avoid dehydration.
- Stay away from soft drinks: Empty calories…need I say more?
- Treat yo self: Be sure to include foods that make you happy, in moderation if they are not healthy. You shouldn’t deprive yourself completely of the joy of indulging in sweets or pizza once in a while.
Eating healthy on your own
Stock up on healthy snacks: Choose foods like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, rice cakes, and multi-grain crackers, popcorn, fruits, veggies and hummus. Try to avoid the chips and cookies, even though it’s difficult not to indulge in them when you’re hanging around with friends or studying.
Avoid trips to the local fast food restaurant: if you want to eat off campus, find a place that has healthier options and avoid the greasy burger at the drive-through.
When you make good decisions about nutrition, you will feel better physically and emotionally. Don’t let yourself down! Choose to stay healthy and avoid the Freshman 15, and learn eating habits that will stay with you for the rest of your life!
Here are some healthy recipes you can try right in your residence hall room!