Eating Healthy On a Meal Plan

Eating Healthy On a Meal Plan



One of the worst things that everyone hears about Freshman year of college is the Freshman 15. The supposedly infamous 15 lbs that most freshman will gain in their first year of college. The worst part is that according to WebMD, this old college wives tale, is for real. After some serious googling, I found a statistic that says almost every 1 in 4 freshman gain at least 5% of their body weight, or about 10 lbs. So I guess it’s technically the freshman 10.

So how do you curb the statistics and stay healthy a a freshman in college? Here are a few tips that I have picked up throughout my first year of college at Loyola eating on a full seven day meal plan!

The best thing you can do to avoid gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, is to work out regularly. Take advantage of all the activities and resources that Halas has to offer! You can do everything from rock climbing to yoga in instructor lead classes, or you can do your own thing in the weight room or cardio room. This unfortunately isn’t always easy due to the simple fact that you’re in college and you’re stressed out and have a billion things to do. So what else can you do that doesn’t cut into your intense Netflix schedule.

Stay away from the french fries and pizza as much as possible. These are things that are always going to be in the dining hall, always there staring you down and tempting you to come and indulge – DON’T! Instead of french fries, try the homemade potato chips in every dining hall on campus! Instead of the regular made pizza hit up De Nobili dining and make your own pizza full of fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomato, or any number of yummy fresh veg.

Skip the self server ice cream machine. Don’t worry Loyola makes this one pretty easy because most the machines are perpetually broken, but nonetheless, there are plenty of other sweat after meal snacks to grab instead! My favorite is a banana with peanut butter- super delicious, super good for you.

Go whole grain! All the sandwich bars and bread options for the toaster offer whole grain or whole wheat bread/wraps. They taste practically the same and are just a little healthier which is everything!

Toast instead of waffles. Even though the waffle machines in the dining halls are awesome and really fun especially the first week of school, you can’t eat waffles and pancakes every day. My favorite alternative is whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana on top!

Take the fruit. There’s almost always apples, pears, or banana’s in the dining halls. Take them, steal them, hoard them, but most importantly – eat them. They taste great and are an awesome alternative to chips or junk food.

Stock up on granola bars/ protein bars to eat before exam or early classes. This is key, staying energized and eating all your meals is going to make you feel better and be a better student. If you’re not a morning person, like me, this is great for the days your running late for an 8 am or to catch the shuttle downtown.

If you have the extra cash, mix it up and eat out once in a while. There are amazing restaurants around Chicago and right here in Rodgers Park, treat yo self and go out for sushi or Italian  every so often. It’s a great break from the monotony of your meal plan and will probably be made of high quality ingredients which is, you know, also good.

All in all, gaining a little bit of weight your freshman year, it’s no big deal. It happens to everyone whether you can tell or not. Being on a dining plan and living life as a college student is a lot different then living at home. Don’t let stereotypes and body standards dictate how you live completely, but do be aware that there are little things you can do to stay healthy freshman year.

Loving yourself is 100 times more important than staying a size 4.

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