The Dreaded ‘Fresh­man 15’

Wellness Update - - Front Page -

Col­lege is a time for stu­dents to learn to be re­spon­si­ble for them­selves, whether it’s wak­ing up on time, study­ing or even de­cid­ing what to eat. Ac­cord­ing to a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian at Bay­lor Col­lege of Medicine, there are sev­eral things col­lege stu­dents can do to en­sure that they’re con­sum­ing nu­tri­tious foods and avoid­ing the dreaded ‘fresh­man 15.’

“One im­por­tant thing to do is to es­tab­lish a sched­ule to go to the cam­pus recre­ation cen­ter,” said Roberta And­ing, reg­is­tered di­eti­tian with Bay­lor and Texas Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. “It might be a good idea to get an ac­tiv­ity tracker to help en­sure that you are get­ting at least 10,000 steps per day.”

And­ing also sug­gests that when fac­ing the choices at the din­ing hall, con­sider fill­ing half of the plate with fruits and veg­eta­bles.

“If your fa­vorite thing on the line that day is fet­tuc­cini Al­fredo, con­sider hav­ing half a plate of fet­tuc­cini Al­fredo and the other half of the plate have fruits and veg­eta­bles,” And­ing said. “That imag­i­nary line down the mid­dle of the plate can help in the din­ing hall.”

The key thing when it comes to snack­ing is to pur­chase pre-por­tioned snacks, she said.

“You can change the fla­vor pro­file and end up with some­thing that’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent,” said And­ing.

“Your brain needs high-qual­ity food,” she said.

“If you’re go­ing to get al­monds, for ex­am­ple, which are a great food but high in calo­ries, you should get the in­di­vid­ual por­tions of al­monds rather than a can of al­monds. Forc­ing por­tion con­trol can help higher calo­rie snacks such as nuts and trail mix be­come mod­er­ate calo­rie snacks,” she said.

And­ing sug­gests eat­ing a mi­crowave­able, low-fat bag of pop­corn, which is a whole grain. Con­sider dress­ing up the pop­corn once it comes out of the mi­crowave. Spray with a non-stick cook­ing spray and sprin­kle with parme­san cheese. Ca­jun spice is another great way to fla­vor pop­corn for those who en­joy a kick.

Other snacks And­ing sug­gests keep­ing in the dorm room in­clude hum­mus with veg­eta­bles and Greek yogurt with fruit and quar­ter tea­spoon of dark cho­co­late syrup.

And­ing says to mod­er­ate foods that have added fat, such as olive oil or nuts, be­cause they have added calo­ries.

“Don’t as­sume you can eat an un­lim­ited amount of some­thing be­cause it is good for you,” she said.

Be­cause many clubs and or­ga­ni­za­tions have free food at events at the be­gin­ning of the school year, And­ing said to skip the free food if you al­ready have eaten din­ner. If you know they are of­fer­ing food and want to eat it, then skip din­ner.

Another cau­tion­ary sug­ges­tion from And­ing is to be aware of liq­uid calo­ries, whether they are from so­das, sports drinks, al­co­hol or other caf­feinated drinks such as lat­tes. Try diet so­das and con­sider skip­ping whole milk and whipped cream in lat­tes and drink wa­ter when­ever pos­si­ble.

Fi­nally, And­ing makes some sug­ges­tions for foods that will help aca­demic per­for­mance.

Break­fasts should in­clude a qual­ity car­bo­hy­drate such as oat­meal or shred­ded wheat, com­bined with a pro­tein such as eggs, yogurt or Cana­dian ba­con. Pro­teins help the timely re­lease of car­bo­hy­drates in the body.

“Don’t for­get that you need car­bo­hy­drates to fuel your brain, so don’t skip break­fast,” she said. -This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided cour­tesy of Bay­lor School of Medicine

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