Eating healthy in college can be a challenge. To avoid the Freshman 15 weight gain, you have to make good food choices and get regular exercise. Belly fat, from college weight gain, can follow you all your life.
Your college years can be some of the most fun, meaningful, and insightful years that you will ever experience, yet the independence afforded by them can truly be a double-edged sword.
With the personal freedom you gain on a university campus comes important personal responsibilities.
Your health and fitness are at the top of that list.
If you decide to put your health on cruise-control, and allow healthy eating in college to dissolve into unconscious grazing, you will pay a huge price in adulthood.
It requires a true leap in both maturity and awareness to discipline yourself to make good food choices each day, and budget daily time segments for regular and consistent exercise.
Remember this: It is far easier to avoid putting on belly fat than it is to lose belly fat.
Sadly, there are many young adults now fighting excessive weight gain from their college years. It has hurt them not only in their health, but also in their career and social relationships.
The Challenges of Eating Healthy in College
The quest to make good food choices in college is made difficult because of three factors:
(1) The university cafeteria serves great-tasting food filled with fats and calories. Plus, you can return to get as much as you want.
(2) The eating establishments near campus serve pretty much the same fare, and they advertise heaping portions for a cheap price.
(3) "Care packages" from family back home are usually loaded with cookies and candy.
With this three prong attack, is it any wonder that fighting the Freshman 15 college weight gain can be a struggle?
For whatever reason, it seems like guys are more susceptible to putting on belly fat quickly.
A cavalier attitude, wanting to be "one of the guys" when it comes to drinking and gorging, and an irresponsible outlook toward personal fitness all contribute to beer belly fat and sloppy love handles.
Listen guys, here is the best motivation for eating healthy in college: Male belly fat is a turn-off to women. They desire men with the lean Hollywood look. They feel no sexual attraction to a guy who looks like a stunt-double for Free Willy.
Strategies for Eating Healthy in College
If you are to avoid putting on belly fat during your college years, you will need a strategy for dealing with all of the high-calories, great-tasting food selections that present themselves.
* Be realistic about the university cafeteria. It provides easy to make calorie-rich foods that are mostly starchy carbs and fats. Look for fresh fruits and leafy vegetables when you eat there.
* Always eat breakfast, ALWAYS, but stay completely away from sugary cereals, pastries and donuts. Stay away from fatty sausage and bacon. Opt for oatmeal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit. Eggs are good for protein.
* Eating healthy in college involves portion-control. You do NOT have to go back for "Seconds" of everything.
* Get your protein from solid sources like skinless chicken breasts, fish (not fried) and turkey. Eat protein at each meal. Go light on steaks and hamburger.
* Pasta and breads are prevalent in college eateries. The calories from them are easily stored as belly fat. Be selective and go easy.
* Desserts are attractive. The fat and sugar make them taste delicious...but they are like eating live grenades. They will easily explode into abdominal fat. Stay away completely or sample only occasionally.
* Drink ice water at every meal. Pop, fruit juices, and energy drinks are all full of calories. They do not satiate hunger, and it is way too easy to drink 300-400 calories without realizing it.
* Eat an apple and drink a glass of cold water 15-20 minutes prior to each major meal. This will make you feel more full and you will eat less.
* Eating healthy in college will also depend on your snacking habits. Get rid of all sugary, junk, and processed foods from your room. Replace them with fresh fruits and vegetable sticks.
* When you go out to eat, do your best to maintain your self-discipline. You do NOT need to eat 4-5 pieces of pizza when two will fill you up.
* Talk to your folks about the care packages they send. Gently let them know you would much more prefer a small gift card to the local grocery instead.
Eating healthy in college comes down to eating consciously. If you know EXACTLY what you are putting in your mouth each time you eat, and how it will effect either building lean muscle or being stored as belly fat, you will be way ahead of the game.