Seniors are finally heading off to college, and to many, that means one thing—freedom. Free to expand your horizons, explore new mindsets, liven your experiences, eat, party and much more. Given that you’re able to eat anywhere your wallet can afford, most stick to the good ol’ ramen you find in your cabinet. So without further delay, let’s talk about how to avoid the dreaded freshman fifteen while staying healthy in your mind and body.
Always keep in mind that you don’t want to overeat. History teacher Mr. Tom Haim advises to soon-to-be college freshman to “be consistent with your eating, otherwise you end up missing meals. Don’t miss or skip meals because you lose portion control. If you do things reasonably, you’ll be pretty successful.” Along with avoiding overeating, choose your favorite fast foods carefully, or at least with health benefactors in mind. If you feel like you desperately crave that Big Mac, go for it. “It’s okay once in a while, but can you limit it?” said Haim, “Maybe you can treat it to a good fitness workout.” He also says for students to try to stick to the meal plans the colleges offer. “If you miss the meal plans, you’ll have to buy your food elsewhere and end up spending money.” If you can cook, do it. Use the occasional microwave to heat up your food if you want or have to.
Now let’s talk about budgets. Part of actually obtaining your food is buying it, after all. Home Economics teacher Mrs. Rebecca McLatcher strongly advises to “write everything down to the last penny. Make a written budget, including your gas, clothes, food, rent (if there is any), etc., and follow it. Every dollar has to have a name.” Along with Haim, McLatcher also encourages students to make homemade meals and exercise to burn calories. “For starters, prepare fruits and veggies in a bag. It’ll make you less likely to grab your usual junk foods. Make sure to have readily available healthy snacks. It’ll take some forethought,” said McLatcher.
Being able to do as you please doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat anything and everything. Try to keep yourself away from fast food, and you especially don’t want to live on fast food, either. Just because food is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.