Whether you are a freshman or senior, moving into college after any break can come with a bit of culture shock.
With new people, classes and things to do, it can be easy for students to slip into a rather unhealthy lifestyle. That is why it’s important for students to remember to be active, hydrate and, most importantly, eat well. This can be a daunting task for those with little knowledge on nutrition, but avoiding the “freshman 15” can be quickly simplified with a few easy tips.
Portion control plays a large role in nutrition. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone eats a different amount. The amount of calories you should be consuming per day can easily be found online and can help students tremendously in eating properly.
You could be eating exactly the right things, but if you are eating too much of them it is all for naught.
“My advice to students when I talk or teach is simple portion control. If you are sedentary or aren’t physically active you will need to take in less calories in your diet to maintain your current weight. Calories in equals calories out,” said Suzanne Kitts, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and human performance within Gannon University’s sport and exercise science program.
Nutritional information and serving sizes on food packaging is important for a healthy diet. This information is easily accessible across Gannon’s campus. It is displayed in front of all meal or side options.
A mistake people can make is to significantly cut back on the amount of food they eat in order to lose weight to the point where it is unhealthy. This is a dangerous habit that can lead to some serious health complications.
Instead, try to utilize a more balanced diet.
“A good well-rounded diet provides good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibers,” Kitts said. “We need all those things every day to supply our bodies with what it needs.”
To get that balanced diet and live healthier, never be afraid to try new things. A lot of students find one thing they enjoy and stick with it for weeks at a time.
However, a person can only eat so many chicken tenders or bagels, so it is important to be open to more unique and healthy options when the opportunity arises.
“Gannon always offers an assortment of different items to choose from,” said Ashley Laur, the C-Store Supervisor. “We work hard to make the cafeteria’s main plate as healthy as possible, whether it be something as common as steamed carrots or something more rare like breaded catfish.”
A lot of eateries at Gannon also serve food in a “build your own” manner. With fully customizable stir fry, smoothies, salads and sandwiches, students can design their own meals to fit the lifestyle they live.
“I follow a gluten-free diet, and it can be hard to find meals that don’t violate that,” Kate DuCarme, a senior physicians assistant student, said. “Fortunately Gannon usually accommodates with food choices that are gluten-free, vegan or both.”
With so many options, Gannon students can continue their healthy diets after returning from any long break.