Live fit: How to change your diet
by Katie Stephens
After a few months into the new year, the fuss about resolutions has slowly died out. Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that Americans make relate to exercise and eating right. The challenge can seem a little overwhelming or almost impossible to obtain. Most people refer to quick diet plans to shed a few pounds or resort to the new “cleansing” trends.
However, once people attempt these diets and find either success or failure, it is common for them to gain back their weight once lost after a short period of time.
People commonly ask why it is so hard to keep off the weight they lost and are often discouraged. I faced similar issues during fall semester in my own personal experience with trying to eat healthier. Diet plans such as Weight Watchers or the “Fitness Pal” application just seemed like too much work. College students often just find keeping track of calories to take up too much time that they do not have to spare.
So how could a college student find easy ways to change their diet? Well, first, anyone looking to eat right must come to the conclusion that it cannot be a short term process. Eating right must become part of a daily habit. The major issue is that a healthy diet is a lifestyle change and not just a short term challenge. I began to make small changes in my diet in order to be and feel healthier. Here are ten ways I was able to keep off a few pounds and feel healthier.
First try drinking less soda. The average bottle of 20 fluid ounces of Pepsi contains 250 calories, 69 grams of carbohydrates, and 69 grams of sugars. Drinking one soda with every meal can add up the calories that can easily be taken away by choosing healthier beverages.
Second, eat more grilled foods. Fried items, such as fried chicken, contain more oils and fats that are not so healthy for the body. One classic fried chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A contains 440 calories and 18 grams of fat, whereas a classic grilled sandwich from Chick-Fil-A contains only 320 calories and 5 grams of fat, according to the nutrition facts found on the restaurant website.
Third, ditch the fries for a healthier side dish. Fries are a common side to most fast food meals. However, according to the McDonald’s website, in one medium sized serving of French fries, there are 320 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 48 grams of carbohydrates. Try substituting the fries for a more beneficial item such as a fruit cup.
Fourth, when you need a snack make sure you snack wisely. Everyone gets little cravings for something throughout the day. A person may not want a full meal, but desire something to just satisfy the hunger until mealtime. When you need a little something to get you by, try not to go for the bag of Doritos or Little Debbie’s pastries. If you need a quick fix, grab a granola bar, a piece of fruit, or maybe even a light snack wrap from somewhere if you’re on the go.
Fifth, water is a miracle worker. Earlier, it was stated to drink less soda. Water is probably the healthiest substitution you can pick. It has zero calories and is also free at most restaurants. Another bonus is that’s good for your skin as well.
Sixth, when you need caffeine, try drinking hot tea instead of coffee. Although black coffee isn’t that bad, many people load up their drinks with sugars and creamers that turn coffee into an overload of bad health vibes. Hot teas with a very small amount of sugar can supplement that Starbucks caramel macchiato to give you a little extra kick of energy without all the sugar and calories.
Seventh, it is actually okay to occasionally treat yourself. Sometimes, that chocolate craving just becomes too hard to handle. You are only human. If you’ve been good the whole week it is okay to allow yourself one item, that even though you know it’s wrong, you just decide you don’t want to be right. It makes it easier to eat right throughout the week if you know you can have that one ice-cream bar on Friday.
Eighth, try to eat less fast food in general. At Maryville College, most students have a meal plan. Students should encourage themselves to take advantage of the food they have already paid for. Pearsons often has healthier grilled options that will be more nutritionally beneficial than a thick burger from Hardee’s, and also cheaper.
Ninth, try not to snack late at night. Late night snacks can add up the calories quick, especially since a large majority of late night snacking is due to stress eating. The best way to avoid this is to be strong and not grab that cookie at 4:00am. However, if you must eat something just refer to number four and snack smartly.
Finally, always eat a healthy breakfast. Starting your day right can set you up for success in your eating habits for the rest of the day. A good start will encourage you to eat well for lunch and dinner.
Although there are many more ways to a healthier diet, these ten ways are some simple tips to get students started on eating right. A healthier diet will cause more energy and help students reach their fitness goals as well. Eating right and exercise always should go hand-in-hand.