It is easy to gain weight in college for a number of reasons but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can follow a few simple rules that will allow you to eat well. This won’t be an endeavor that is geared to attain perfection, it is a journey in doing good, by doing better.
To get started, you can try resourcing a food scale such as the one outlined by the USDA. That will help you know what the recommended daily allowance is for the types of foods that you need, where to get them, and how much of them you can have. Other than that, you can you could try establishing your dietetic base from a source such as the basic Paleo platform that clearly outlines the food resources that pertain to a well-rounded diet. Although we do not recommend that any young adult adopt a dietetic plan that prohibits whole grains because they are a prime resource for getting those slow absorbing carbohydrates that are necessary to fuel your energy throughout your day.
Your daily regimen should at least consist of 4 ounces of meat per day, 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 6 servings of bread and grains, 3 servings of dairy, 5 servings of nuts, legumes, and beans a day, and 3 servings of fats and oils every day. However that may be a bit much for a college student diet. Try to mix it up with a little bit of each.
Meats are usually best obtained from lean sources such as poultry and fish, but there are ways to use the cheaper cuts of beef. Beyond that remember that grilled or baked is always a better choice than fried. Eggs and nuts make another great source for obtaining protein as well as other important sources of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits and vegetables are in their best forms raw or steamed, but the normal serving size of butter is a about the size of the tip of your thumb. Whole grain bread, pasta, and sources like barley make great fillers and give that necessary energy store. Oatmeal also makes a great place to start your day with. Dairy should come from a low fat resource, which is bountiful on the shelf at every grocery store.
As for drinks, of course you know that soft drinks are a bad idea, even the sugar-free varieties are full of additives that are unnatural and they can play havoc on your digestion system. Alcohol is another form of drinks that should be avoided or used in strict moderation. It doesn’t matter who you are, the carbohydrates in alcohol always seem to collect at your waist. The best source of drink that will promote a healthy diet is all natural fruit juices without additives, any form of tea either hot or cold has the same beneficial effects, and of course water.
Here are some other tips that will help you achieve that goal of getting good by doing better:
- If food choices in the dining hall are limiting your diet, try addressing the situation with the dining hall director.
- Opt out for single servings rather than the dressings that may accompany certain selections.
- Try new taste.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat on a regular schedule.
- Avoid the dessert bar.
- Pay attention to portions.
- Cook your own.
- Hand carry your food at the dining hall rather than piling the tray.
- Don’t eat from the bag, carton, or container so you can maintain portion control.
- Steer clear of vending machines.
- Plan ahead for your meals, especially if are travelling.
- Opt out for walking, cycling, or using the stairs rather than a lazier alternative.