In this article you are going to learn how to eat to keep those college pounds off…and maybe finish your semester lighter than when you started!
Imagine coming home for Christmas break in the best shape of your life!
Read on to learn how…
Like I said in part 1 and part 2, a complete college workout plan consists of 3 parts:
- Motivation – so you actually keep at it when life gets busy
- College workouts – quick enough that you can squeeze in, but still effective
- Nutrition – something easy that you can make work with all the late night studying and dining hall buffets
In part 1 you learned how to motivate yourself to actually stick with your workout plan so you don’t quit. This is the key to success. A lot of women start working out without building up the motivation required to change their lifestyle and they end up dropping out.
Now it’s time to complete your college workout plan by learning how you can eat healthy in college and avoid the freshman 15.
Proper College Nutrition
A lot of women hit the gym to lose weight, but fail to modify their diet. They might think “Hey, I am working out I can eat whatever I want now!”
The Problem is that nutrition is actually 80 – 90% of the “getting sexy equation”. You need to eat properly if you want your body to look amazing.
You need both exercise and proper nutrition to lose weight and shape up – doing one or the other won’t get the body you want. In fact, studies have shown time and time again that working out 4 – 5 times per week without eating properly does absolutely nothing for your weight loss and fitness goals.
Nutrition is especially important for college women!
The key to college weight loss is to exercise AND eat healthy 80% of the time.
This is probably the biggest reason for college weight gain. College life just gets way to busy and women can’t keep up with their healthy habits so they do one or the other – most of the time they just hit the gym.
The key to college weight loss is to exercise AND eat healthy. It sounds so obvious (and it is!), but the key is figuring out how to actually do this in college…
Well, the not so obvious solution is to setup a few simple nutrition habits that when followed allow you to eat healthy 80 – 90% of the time without even thinking about it! This makes your healthy eating sustainable and easy.
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to eat healthy in college without trying very hard.
The 5 rules of college nutrition
1. Don’t eat processed dining hall foods
Coming into an all-you-can-eat dining hall can be a nutritional nightmare. Pizza, pasta, Chinese food, 15 different types of sugary cereals, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and an arsenal of fruit juices and soda choices surround you with every step you take.
You need to make a cardinal rule – if it’s processed do not eat it. This includes anything with processed sugar, white flour, fancy salad dressings, processed cold cuts and anything coated with creamy sauces, oils, or breading.
You have an empty plate when you walk in to the dining hall and only you can decide what to put on it. Fill it with whole unprocessed foods. Foods like grilled or steamed vegetables, sliced fruit, grilled chicken, lean beef or fish, beans, nuts, salad, whole wheat pasta…the list goes on.
2. Never skip breakfast!
Not only is it hard to focus in class, but skipping breakfast severely slows your metabolism down and actually helps your fat cells get better and better at storing fat. You need to eat something when you wake up.
Make breakfast in a bag!
Don’t have time for breakfast? Go to the store on the weekend and buy a bunch of fruit and veggies – bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, some peanut butter, some 100% whole wheat bread, a water bottle and a sandwich container.
The night before class, make yourself a peanut butter sandwich, put it in the container and throw it in your bag with a few pieces of fruit and veggies and the water bottle.
When you wake up you have everything you need for a decent breakfast in your bag – all you have to do is crack it open and eat it on the way to class (or even during class) and you just solved the breakfast problem. It’s easy. Do it.
Buy only healthy snacks and keep them with you at ALL times! This goes in line with the breakfast habit. Go to the store and buy a bunch of fruit, veggies, whole-wheat crackers, low fat cheeses, and low fat yogurt and never leave home without them (this is what large handbags are for!)
See here for a list of healthy snacks. When you get hungry in class or during the day eat an apple instead of stopping at the student center for an ice-cream, slice of greasy pizza, or a bag of chips.
At home in the dorm and need something to eat? Eat your healthy snacks instead of ordering out for pizza or having a vending machine soda.
3. Drink more water!
Skip the soda and fruit juice — as the excess sugar will only be converted to fat and stored on your body later. Instead, opt for water or unsweetened tea (or even the occasional coffee or diet soda if you really need a caffeine boost). Contrary to sugary juices and sodas, water will actually help BOOST your metabolism, and will have the added benefits of keeping your immune system strong and your skin clear and healthy.
To get the maximal benefit, you should drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water each day, and even more on exercise days. So carry that water bottle with you and use it!
4. Avoid calorie-rich alcoholic drinks!
If you do drink, ask for a diet rum and coke instead of regular (the alcohol itself contains more useless calories than you need), and alternate alcoholic drinks with calorie-free non-alcoholic drinks!
No will ever (be sober enough to) know the difference, but I guarantee your waistline WILL. Most college students don’t realize how many calories they can consume while drinking. Be the one who does.
5. Eat every 3 – 4 hours
The days of having no breakfast and living on Pop-Tarts for lunch are over. If you follow the “breakfast in a bag” routine and carry snacks around with you all the time this rule is actually easy to follow.
You cannot let yourself go hungry – if you do, your body will think it is starving, your metabolism will drop and your fat cells will kick into high gear and start storing excess calories as fat. You can help prevent this, and avoid feeling tired and getting sick by eating every 3-4 hours!
Just grab an apple, some whole-wheat crackers and a yogurt mid morning after breakfast and a banana and some carrots with natural peanut butter mid afternoon a few hours before dinner. To get a super easy-to-follow nutrition plan that outlines what to eat and when, become an ftf15 member!
When to Break the Rules and Cheat:
Believe it or not, if you follow these rules, you can actually cheat on your nutrition plan 3 times per week on different days and still keep that weight off. I call these meals “cheat meals“.
But remember, skipping a snack or a meal counts as a cheat meal so make sure you are eating every 3 – 4 hours if you want to cheat and still keep the weight off.
Cheating on your healthy diet makes this plan sustainable – you can plan for a fun meal out or a girly party drink and it won’t be a big deal. You won’t feel trapped by the usual diet plans frustrations most starving college women suffer from.
For a complete college friendly nutrition plan that keeps you full and satisfied all day while you burn fat, become an FTF15 member to get my complete nutrition and fitness guide! With your membership, you’ll get access to a customized nutrition plan that shows you everything about how, what, and when to eat to keep those college pounds off for good!