Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Today we have a guest blogger with us, Holly Larson, MS,RD, from GrassRoots Nutrition, to talk about 5 ways to prevent the freshman 15.  Throughout the semester Holly will be doing a variety of blog posts on how to stay healthy despite the pitfalls that college might throw at you such as disgusting cafeteria food or one too many late night trips to T Bell.  With just these five simple steps in mind you could keep your figure in check until Spring Break.  Thanks Holly!
Preventing the freshman 15 

You’re trying to juggle roommate quarrels, flirting with cute classmates, navigating your professors’ assignments and composing the perfect outfit to wear tonight. The start of the school year is a busy time and your health status may be the last thing on a long list of other priorities. Enter: the Freshman Fifteen.
Students do tend to gain weight at the beginning of college, and many folks continue to do so throughout their college career. While the independence and new responsibilities of college life are a big transition, establishing and maintaining a healthy foundation will only help you to be more successful - if you feel great, it is easier to take charge of your studies, work and play.
There is no magical formula; health is a lifestyle. Try incorporating these tips and tricks into your routine and watch your energy (and not the scale!) soar.
  • Drink water: dehydration is routinely mistaken for hunger and is a common source of fatigue. We’re drinking too much junk: sports drinks, energy drinks, juices and sugar-laden coffee drinks. They can all lead to calorie overload and and a bad case of the muffin top. Focus on plain water, drink throughout the day and carry a reusable water bottle with you to stay on track. Dropping a few frozen berries or peach slices in your water adds great flavor without any sugar or junky chemicals.
  • Eat breakfast: Many studies support the benefits of starting the day with breakfast. Focus on a reasonable portion, something with protein and something with fiber. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a half of a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread is one easy option, a smoothie with frozen berries, yogurt and spinach is another.  Hard boiled eggs are an easy thing to fix over the weekend to have on hand for those busy mornings. Tuck an egg into a whole-grain pita with some veggies and hummus and head out the door!
  • Play time is positive time: for better or worse, we’re influenced by the people surrounding us, especially our friends and family. Those with a healthy social circle tend to be healthier too. When you’re ready for some down time, choose a trip to the rec center, a hike in the woods or a game of tennis. Video games, pizza and beer may be effortless, but they’re not doing your body any favors. Try some fresh veggies and  hummus or a fruit and yogurt smoothie while flipping through the latest fashion magazine. Take time to cook dinner with friends; the best conversations seem to happen over a nice meal when the TV is off.
  • These boots are made for walkin’: The more we depend on our own power for transportation, the better we feel and the less money we’re spending on gas, bus tickets and car expenses. Unless you’re running late and making a mad dash to class, a walk is a great way to burn off some energy and arrive to class focused and ready to learn. Walking to the grocery store nixes splurge purchases and taking the bus allows you to focus on the scenery and not the other drivers.
  • Veggies: we need to eat more of ‘em, plain and simple. Try to eat a veggie at all of your meals and snacks and focus on the non-starchy veggies. Starchy veggies such as peas, potatoes and corn have many nutrients, but also plenty of calories. Mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, kale and green beans are all wondrous, low-calorie choices. Tuck leafy greens  into your morning eggs or smoothie, pack pea pods and carrot sticks for an easy and portable snack, have your chicken salad on leafy greens instead of an oversized bun and grab an extra scoop of steamed broccoli with your dinner.

For more information, tips and tricks, visit Grass Roots Nutrition, LLC in Oxford, Ohio. Grass Roots Nutrition is your source for accurate and reliable nutrition recommendations. Visit Holly online at www.hollylarsonrd.com and follow her on facebook at www.facebook.com/hollylarsonmsrd, twitter @HollyLarsonRD and see what’s cooking in her kitchen on pinterest. Have a delicious, healthy day!

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