Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Friday, November 4, 2016

6 Healthy Choices to Avoid the "Freshman 15"

Friday, November 4, 2016 | 10:02 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments


Although the "freshman 15" in fact seems to be a myth, it is still important to be a conscious eater for your overall health!

College is a time for adjustments including getting use to roommates, busy class schedules, and making new friends. Many times with all these changes come homesickness, stress, and anxiety, which may result in overeating. Try to evaluate your level of hunger when you reach for a snack; are you choosing a snack because you are hungry? Stressed? Bored? Do yourself a favor by stocking your room with healthy snack options: yogurts, fruits, whole grain cereals and breakfast bars.

Some tips to help you make healthy choices in the dining hall!

Even the most health conscious students can make less than healthy choices while filling their plates in the dining hall. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you make healthy choices most of the time:
  • There are no "good" or "bad" foods. When choosing chicken fingers and French fries and/or a few cookies, do not feel guilty. Instead of thinking of foods as "bad" or "good" think moderation. Avoid getting hung up on counting every calorie. It's more important to concentrate on getting the nutrients you need by eating a wide variety of foods.
  • Choose beverages wisely. Sodas, juice drinks, and some sports drinks contain lots of added sugar, which can add empty calories and possibly contribute to weight gain over time. Try to choose water and low-fat or nonfat milk most often.
  • Choose a variety of foods. Try to avoid eating the same few foods all the time! Work on including foods from all the different food groups. Think about the MyPlate model when planning your meals: Fill ½ your plate with vegetables or fruit; ¼ of your plate with a piece of lean protein, a veggie burger or beans; and ¼ of your plate with a small portion of whole grain pasta or brown rice to balance out your meal.
  • Remain mindful if you stay around to socialize in the dining hall. After you are done eating choose a fruit to snack on or drink some fruit infused water. The dining halls are like endless buffets. You can sit for hours, and the longer you sit the more you will eat. Try to avoid continuing to eat desserts while you are hanging around.
  • When you turn to the Internet for facts, choose carefully. Some websites may promote fad diets and/or provide misleading information. Try to choose reputable websites.
  • Don’t forget to stay active. Fitness is important too! Make an effort to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Choose moderate to vigorous activities each day (like walking, running, swimming, or working out at the gym). Look for chances to be active with friends to make it fun and social! Exercising along with making healthy food choices will help fuel both your body and your mind!
References:
  1. Freshman 15 May be just a myth. Accessed October 30, 2016. http://teens.webmd.com/news/20111103/freshman-15-may-be-just-a-myth.
  2. Healthy Dining Hall Eating. Information accessed October 30, 2016 http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=207&cat_id=20132&article_set=34570.
  3. 8 ways to Beat the Freshman 15. Information accessed October 29, 2016 http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/eating-out/8-ways-to-beat-the-freshman-15.

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