Now that we’re halfway into the semester and have all grown very accustomed to our Aramark options, here are some ways to get/stay healthy so you can go home trim and fit in December.
Eat the healthy meats like chicken and pork (chops, not bacon).
Red meats like beef and fatty pork can have more calories and raise cholesterol. They are best saved for special occasions, or eating a few times per week, not every day. Don’t neglect them completely, though; that protein and iron is great for your muscles.
Start lunch and dinner with a salad.
Did too much salad ever hurt anyone? I don’t believe so. This is a great way to lower your caloric intake, especially if you eat them first. They will help fill you up before the rest of your meal; an easy way to eat less. The same applies to breakfast: Eat the fruit first.
Begin your days with Cheerios or Raisin Bran.
Opting for healthier cereals will improve your health, and even Frosted Flakes fall in this category. Any cereal with less fat and relatively less sugar is a great option. Also, add some skim milk to it, instead of whole. This saves about 500 calories per week.
Head to the Expo before you hit the grill or pick up pizza.
The Expo station is the easiest place to find healthy options in the cafeteria, since each meal they serve a new salad or wrap. This and the sandwich station are the old standbys for healthy eaters in the “Caf.”
Have a donut once a week instead of always.
Having good donuts in the cafeteria is a great thing. Resisting good donuts in the cafeteria is a very difficult thing. Pick one day per week to have a donut, be it Monday for a pick-me-up or Friday for a celebration. Stick to that one day and enjoy.
Go with iced tea or water instead of soda.
This is the kind of advice you hear all the time, so it may be repetitive, but here is something new: You can save about 1400 calories per week by avoiding soda and not adding elsewhere.
Only fill your plate with a few things that you really want.
Believe it or not, humans really do not have much control over what they eat. If something that doesn’t look scary or weird is put in front of you, you will probably end up eating it. Our brains are stuck on the hunter-gatherer mode that says, “Eat now because it may not be here later.” Just remember, you can always go back, so start with less rather than more.
Chicken-fried steak Wednesdays will not kill you.
It is more than OK to splurge sometimes; it keeps life and food interesting and fun. The point here is just that you are aware of what you eat each day. When you want to eat a little more or something that you normally wouldn’t, just be sure to be aware of it.
More than anything, simply writing down what you eat each day can help you regulate your intake. This doesn’t change if you want to eat less, more or keep your level as is. Awareness is the key to good health.