Have you noticed your waistline expanding or your jeans feeling a little more snug since FROG week freshman year? I know I definitely felt and looked like that after freshman year and most of sophomore year as well. I am here to inform my fellow duke blog readers of six little food changes for on and off campus students in order to avoid the bloat and weight gain that I felt.
The six little changes that I will expand on are listed below as a preview, so please if one catches your attention feel free to skip to that section.
- Remove creamers and sugar from your coffee
- Ask for dressing on the side
- Eat the right choices after you workouts
- Drink water with every meal
- Prep and defrost your meals
- Go to the store with a list
Something to remember while reading this blog is that these things are little changes that I found worked for me. Doing all six of these things or just one is already a great start to being a healthier Duke.
First Little Change: Remove creamers and sugar from your coffee
I get it. I go to Dunkin Donuts every morning to get my morning coffee. I need it or else I fall asleep in class or can’t seem to open my eyes. Therefore, most college students like me need coffee at least once a day. And that’s fine, but one thing I have changed since sophomore year about my coffee habits is that I have cut out the creamers and sugars. According to an AuthorityNutrition.com article, Kris Gunnars wrote that creamers are highly processed and packed with harmful ingredients. In my opinion, something that is that unnatural cannot have any positive outcomes of consuming it, so I would just avoid using creamers all together. As for sugar goes, take it out too. According to a FearlessEating.net article, putting sugar in your coffee just makes you crave sugar more than the caffeine in your coffee. This is why I drink my coffee black. There is no need for me to consume extra calories of chemically processed ingredients and supplements for my coffee to taste better, especially when the only reason I’m drinking it is to wake up.
Second Little Change: Ask for dressing on the side
This little change is pretty easy. According to a Greatist.com article, author Kristine Lockwood wrote about the Fork Method. This creative way to eat a salad cuts down salad dressing calories without eating a salad dry and with no flavor. All you have to do is ask for the dressing on the side, and then dip your fork in the dressing before each bit of your salad. Even just asking for your dressing on the side will force you not to use an excess amount. Either way it cuts down unneeded calories that Festival and Dukes douses your salad in.
Third Little Change: Eat the right choices after you workout
Freshman year especially, I would workout and then go to D-hall or E-hall with my hallmates. This defeated the purpose of even working out since I would eat twice the amount of calories that I had just burned off. Last year I made it a pact to go to anywhere but an all-you-can-eat dining hall after a workout. I would walk to Mrs. Greens to get a salad or a portion sized meal. This year Freshens opened, located on the first floor of UREC, which serves healthy meal options from salads and rice bowls to smoothies. Making a pact with yourself to not go to a dining hall after your workout will cut down the amount of calories you consume daily.
Freshens at UREC
Fourth Little Change: Drink water with every meal
One of my best friend’s moms used to tell me that if you don’t drink soda for a year you would lose 10 pounds. She told me this my summer going into sophomore year and ever since then, I have drank water instead of soda with every meal. I don’t know exactly if this change has fluctuated my weight, but I do know that my skin feels a lot more hydrated and I don’t get cramps when I workout. Soda contains a disgusting amount of sugar that is terrible for your body as whole. Therefore, switching to water all the time cuts out those soda calories and will make you feel and look healthier.
The following two little changes are mainly for off campus students.
Fifth Little Change: Prep and defrost your meals
For me, planning my meals ahead of time is a little change that helps me resist weekly Chipotle and McDonald’s trips. Before the week starts I talk to my roommates and look at what frozen food I have and plan my meals. By planning ahead and knowing what to defrost and cut up every morning when I wake up, it helps me keep a scheduled food plan that prevents me from eating microwave meals, take out food or punching for a taco bowl at Dukes. Another plus of planning your meals is that eating at home with your roommates can save you money if you pay for one meal a week and you also don’t have the temptation of just grabbing a quick meal because you don’t feel like cooking and eating alone.
Sixth Little Change: Go to the grocery store with a list
This is a major key to only getting food necessities and not forgetting anything at the store that you may need for your healthy home cooked meal. Grocery lists also give you a reason to not have to return to the store for missed items and then be tempted to grab a box of cookies on your way out. Making a list by grouping the food items by where they are located in the store is also a helpful method to not backtrack into the aisles that you have already been to. Although this change is little it can help you with your meal planning for every week if you go to the grocery store every Sunday.
I have adopted these six little changes towards the end of last year and still stick to them now. I feel mentally and physically healthier and recommend trying some of these tips to keep your stomach flat and your jeans fitting.
Peace, Love and DDP,