Athletes’ guide to keeping off the freshman 15

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As freshmen arrive, they are introduced to a variety of healthy and unhealthy choices in the Haggar Cafe. Photo by Paulina Martin.

When faced with limited eating options, it is easy for students to make unhealthy choices. To keep off the freshman 15, here are some tips for healthy living on campus.

  1. Avoid eating while stressed and/or studying.

“If you plan to eat while studying try a healthy snack like carrots or celery,” junior Lauren Hood said.

When you are stressed it is really easy to assume that you are hungry. In reality, you are just trying to distract your mind from the stress of school or work. Before you eat, ask yourself if you are actually hungry or just eating to eat.

  1. Do not eat after 9 p.m.

Frequently eating late at night can lead to a lot of weight gain. If you do need a snack at night, junior Tori Fleharty suggested Arctic Zero gluten-free, lactose-free and low-sugar ice cream.

“If you are hungry late at night, always get a drink of water first because 95 percent of the time you are just thirsty,” Fleharty said.

Also, try not to have snacks lying around your bed. If you see it, chances are you are going to want to eat it.

  1. Stock your dorm with healthy snacks.

Do not buy Cheez-its or Oreos. Instead, stock your dorm room with apples and peanut butter – or some peanut-free alternative. Having healthy snacks around will help you look and feel better.

  1. Avoid alcohol.

Alcohol is a waste of calories. Sugary drinks, dark liquors and beers are high in carbohydrates, which cause weight gain. Watch what you are drinking just as much as you watch what you are eating.

  1. Do not skip breakfast.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Have some egg whites or yogurt and fruit instead of a bowl of cereal. Starting your day off right will help you to make better decisions throughout your day.

  1. Exercise at least four times a week.

Start simple. Take the stairs rather than the elevator or walk across campus instead of driving. The University of Dallas gym is open seven days a week during the school year and has all the equipment needed to stay fit and healthy.

  1. Never skip cardio.

Cardio is key to weight loss and maintaining your weight. You should do at least 20 minutes of cardio every day. Make sure it pushes you and you are not just doing a light run. At the end, you should be exhausted, covered in sweat and ready to do at least 40 more minutes of working out.

  1. Set a sleep schedule.

“Having a sleep schedule will keep you rested, and being well-rested is so important when you’re in college,” junior Mackenzie Vasile said. “When you’re up late studying, you may be inclined to have a sugary snack to keep you awake, but it is not good to eat late at night. If you have a sleep schedule that you stick to, you can avoid late night snacking and enable you to focus on your daily meals to make them healthier.”

  1. Drink lots of water.

“It is healthy to drink eight glasses of water a day,” junior Sydney Stirling said. “Water keeps you awake and is a better alternative than coffee. If you drink more water, you will have more energy and be healthier.”

  1. Watch an episode of “The Biggest Loser.”

Seeing others succeed will often inspire you to make healthy choices yourself.

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