For many students entering college, “The Freshman 15” is something they likely experience. While this is an unfortunate situation, there is still the possibility of shedding that extra weight by just planning a little better and making a few other lifestyle adjustments.
Sara Atkins, a senior who studies communication, and French as well as having an internship, noticed this pattern in her college career and decided to make a change in October.
“I noticed that I had a bad habit of stress eating, which ultimately lead to me not feeling as well day in and day out,” Atkins said. “I decided not only begin making healthier choices but to become more active.”
Skyler Brooke, assistant director for strength and fitness programs, recently spoke at the Community Engagement Center about workplace wellness. Brooke said making healthier choices starts with planning.
“I always recommend to people to avoid emergency situations when it comes to eating,” Brooke explained. “If you’re coming home from a long day at work and you’re starving, odds are you are going to eat the first thing you come across. A majority of the time, that ends up being fast food.”
In order to avoid making decisions based on food emergencies, Brooke recommends fixing large portions of healthy foods that can be used throughout the week.
“For me, I love to make barbeque chicken,” Brooke said. “When I’m leaving the office and am ready to eat, I can look forward to the barbeque chicken I made earlier in the week.”
Atkins said another key to overall health is not just having a healthy meal, but a balanced meal regularly. Before switching her eating lifestyle, she struggled with maintaining a balanced diet.
“Often times I would skip a meal which threw off my overall nutritional balance,” Atkins said. “I began committing to eating three meals a day which helped my overall well-being.”
Brooke also recommends being mindful of portions and balancing a healthy diet with physical activity. To often, the word “active” can be associated with going to the gym or running 5 K’s regularly. Brooke explained staying active can include a number of activities an individual finds interesting and stimulating.
“There is not a single right answer to what activity an individual should do,” Brooke said. “I recommend that an individual finds an activity that they enjoy doing and go from there.”
It is recommended an individual does physical activity for 150 minutes a week. For Atkins, physical activity involves her doing what she loves.
“I’m currently enrolled in a kickboxing class,” Atkins said. “I regularly go swing dancing on Friday nights which gives me quite the workout.”
In a fast-paced world where technology helps us everyday, Brooke recommends getting apps that track your physical activity. Though some may be focused on the scale, Brooke recommends focusing on your activity.
“Often times we focus on the scale and we don’t have as much control over that as we do how much physical activity we’re doing and what foods we’re eating,” Brooke said. “Along with eating well and doing physical activity; it’s important to get 7-9 hours of sleep.”