We’ve all seen our friends come back from school, and nobody wants to tell them about their recent weight gain. Here a few ways to combat the change, as well as a few trends/tendencies I noticed while in college that lead to others gaining weight.
Make the Gym Part of your Daily Schedule.
Before class, after class, in between, make it happen. It shouldn’t be something that you squeeze into your day if you have time. College can get very stressful with a heavy course load, a job, clubs, and whatever else you have going on. Without some type of energy release everyday, you’ll end up losing your mind. Daily exercise has actually been linked to improved cognitive abilities, as well as overall mental health. Try to think of exercise as an allowance to have fun on the weekends. Kill it on the weekdays, and give yourself some wiggle room for Friday/Saturday night.
Trying to get on Everyone’s Good Side.
Whether it be a house party, going to a bar, drinking with friends, or pizza night at the apartment. You’ll have things going on all the time, being able to pick and choose what to attend, and what to skip will take time. Don’t worry about pleasing everybody. If your gut instinct is saying that you don’t want to go, politely decline. I’m sure the person won’t be too mad. Don’t make up a fake excuse either, save them the trouble and tell them you weren’t feeling it. The whole “I got caught up with homework, etc.” excuse can only work so many times before you stop getting invites.
Too Much Xbox and Netflix.
You’re not in sports anymore, and your high school coaches burnt you out of sports because they took the joy out of it. Now you want to chill with friends and eat an amount of food your current activity level can’t match. Next time you’re on the second season of a show in as many days, opt to have a healthy snack and some water, instead of ordering a pizza. Sounds exciting i know. You’ll be much more energized after the Breaking Bad binge if you had an apple with peanut butter instead of a pizza.
No More Home Cooking.
You never learned how to cook when you lived at home, and you’re not going to start now. You settle for pasta, sandwiches, eggs, and pop tarts. Veggies and protein are the last thing you consider eating. Who would want to take all that time to cook when pop tarts only take a few minutes? Word of advice, start researching how to cook, and follow a recipe. Start with baked chicken and veggies with rice, and go from there. The idea of cooking will become a lot less intimidating once you give it a shot.
Maybe your friends in high school didn’t drink, and you weren’t exposed to it at that point. But once a lot of people get to college, they aren’t prepared for the lifestyle change, or for the new temptations that present themselves. Dieting, exercise, school, relationships, work, organizations, among others. Take a few minutes out of the week to prioritize your commitments, and determine which will require more time than others. Keep in mind that time management is a skill, something that must be practiced daily.
Taking Advantage of Down Time
In college, you have a lot more time to yourself. You no longer have class for 8 hours a day, and a sport for an extra 2. You have class from 12–18 (in most cases) hours a week. If you’re not employed, this will result in a lot of extra time. Use it wisely, block out a few hours each day to commit to schoolwork outside of class, get ahead, and have the rest of the day to yourself. This is easier said than done, but once it’s a habit, time management will become second nature.
Too Much Drinking.
You can drink, but limit yourself to a day or 2 out of the week. If you choose to do so, make sure that you are balancing it out with exercise and great eating habits on the days before and after drinking. This is obvious, but people think that their metabolisms are invincible. Once their high school friends see them after a few months away, reality begins to set in.
Abusing the Meal Plan.
If you have the unlimited plan for the dining hall, don’t eat until you’re full every time you’re there. Unless you’re on a serious bulking diet and trying to add muscle, stick to the grilled chicken, salad, and other healthy options, while limiting your portions. The pizza and desserts are delicious, but have one too many slices and you’ll be buying a few new pairs of jeans over Christmas break.
Join Intramural Sports.
These are great physical activities for all skill levels. You’ll make friends that you wouldn’t have made otherwise, burning off a lot of calories in the process. If you’re not a sports person, most schools have co-ed intramurals that aren’t taken as seriously, for the group that wants to socialize. If you’re not a sports or social interaction person, get out of your comfort zone and become one, to the best of your ability. A lot of success in life is about the relationships and network that you’re able to create. No one is going to cut you any slack because you’re a natural introvert.
Thanks for reading! Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to get a 4.0, have a 6-pack, and an extremely impressive resume, leading to the job of your dreams. *
- disclaimer-the above statements are not in fact guarantees, but if any of them happen as a result, reading this was definitely the reason.