It’s 3 a.m., and you’re still awake. Why? Because you’re at a party. Four beers in and you and your friends are on the way to the nearest pizza place. A pepporoni calzoni is calling your name.
You wake up the next morning feeling exhausted, a little nauesous, still full. And disappointed in yourself for another night of unhealthy decisions.
“It’s college,” you rationalize. “How can I avoid it?”
In reality, though, it is completely possible to maintain control in college situations. In fact, a few college scenarios are perfect for a healthy lifestyle. Here are four of them:
1) Walk this way.
By grabbing the bus or taking the elevator, you’re skipping valuable (and easy) exercise opportunities. Take advantage of the fact that you have a college campus at your feet—literally. Find a longer route to class. Always take the stairs. To keep yourself on track, a pedometer is a useful investment.
Walking even has the potential to help you lose weight if you do it right. According to Shape Magazine, a brisk walk can burn around 160 calories in merely 30 minutes. Prevention Magazine offers several walking workouts, tips and plans to follow.
2) Fourth meal woes.
“Variety, balance and moderation,” advises Ruth Sullivan (@SUNutrition), the Registered Dietician at Syracuse University’s Food Services. “Strive to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins into your meals.”
Sounds easy, but in college it’s not. Why? Fourth meal—the late-night phenomenon that has us munching when we shouldn’t.
To stop the habit, eat breakfast. It will make you less hungry later in the day. And if you’re up until three a.m., you have a meal to look forward to in only a few hours. Plus, unless you’re consistently reaching for Lucky Charms, any breakfast food you choose will be more nutritious than Ramen noodles or Domino’s.
Don’t eat straight from the bag. Forget where the vending machine is. If you must snack, air popcorn is your best bet—Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! Popping Corn individual bags are only 120 calories and have four grams of fiber (to keep you full).
3) Nurse your drink.
Five 12-ounce beers can be up to 800 calories. Resist peer (more likely, self) pressure.There’s no need to fill your cup. You don’t need a double shot. And cranberry juice will chase your drink as well as Red Bull. Drink slowly. Your friends won’t be keeping track of how much you’re drinking. Plus, no one needs to know if you’re alternating in water throughout the night—which you should be.
Need alternative drinking choices? Impress your friends with these low-calorie mixers from Fitness Magazine. They sound fancy but are actually dummy-proof.
4) Most importantly, relax.
I often must remind myself that I’m allowed to be unhealthy once in awhile. A night of binge drinking is okay (it is college, after all). And sometimes late-night Taco Bell is a must. The key is simply moderation.