It’s common to come into your freshman year of college with the idea that eating healthy and working out will be your top priorities. What you find out after the first few weeks of college is that it’s actually more difficult than you’d think to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I mean, when you go off to college with the unlimited meal plan and greasy pizza and unlimited grilled cheese are on the dining hall menu everyday, it’s difficult to find the willpower to eat healthy, much less to workout on a consistent basis.
Lucky for you, we’ve all been there and we’ve all had to learn how to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15” as much as possible. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you go through your first days as a college student.
A lot of people seem to think that skipping breakfast will ultimately mean less calories consumed, therefore making it the healthier morning option. However, have you ever heard the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Well, that couldn’t be more true. It’s all about putting good foods packed with nutrients into your body to start the day off on a good note. Plus, eating a good breakfast makes you less likely to crave unhealthy snacks later on in the day.
Going to college means having your choice in what foods you choose to eat. For a lot of college kids, this means swerving the fruits and vegetables and heading straight for the more calorie-filled options. My solution for this is… smoothies! They’re super easy to make, even in a dorm room, because all you really need is some fruits and veggies and a blender. You can fill your smoothies with anything like bananas, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, almond butter or coconut milk. It’s a simple way to make sure you’re still getting your nutrients in, while making them taste a bit better.
DON’T FEAR THE REC
One main reason that a lot of freshmen don’t end up working out enough is because the rec center is kind of intimidating. How are you supposed to know how to use the machines? Why does everybody else seem like bodybuilders while you’ve never really picked up a dumbbell in your life? The reality is that no one is really paying attention to you and what you’re doing, they’re all focused on their own workout. So don’t be nervous to look stupid while working out because everyone else is there to stay fit, just like you.
SLEEP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
In college, you’ll find it’s hard to balance school, working out, homework, and a social life all in one busy schedule. But the reality is that sleep is a key factor that many college students don’t prioritize as much as they should. Make sure that your mental health is as important to you as your physical health, and that includes getting a good night’s rest in order to balance the chaos that is a college kid’s schedule.