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Forget the Freshman 15

Posted by: | June 19, 2009 | No Comment |


By Ryan Dempsey, Broadside Staff Writer

workoutOne of the hardest things to avoid freshman year is gaining weight. It is something that many stress about and many try so hard to avoid. The best way to fight off the weight is to first know the resources available.

For most students, it is a lot harder living in a room with just a microwave, a fridge and a meal plan than it is living at home. Many of the students like to eat foods that are already prepared and foods that will stretch the dollar, which usually means eating less healthy options. Balancing a healthy diet can be difficult, but doable. 

The first tip is to set a schedule of when you plan on eating. There is nothing worse than deciding to cram your face full of chili cheese fries at Ike’s at 2 a.m. before passing out at 3 a.m.  

By setting a schedule of when you plan to have your meals, you reduce the randomness of eating whatever, whenever. 

My general rule of thumb is to eat your last meal or snack at least three hours before you go to bed. This gives your body time to start digesting the food, a process that slows during sleep.

Next, pay attention to your options. Eating at an all-you-can eat buffet for one swipe of your ID sounds great, until you have to spend a few hundred dollars on a new wardrobe when nothing fits.

 Before jumping in line and picking the first foods you see, take a look around. There is actually a salad bar and a sandwich bar, which are much better for you than a big juicy cheeseburger and a gooey slice of pizza.  Sure, eating other foods is fine, but just make sure it’s in moderation. 

In places like the Johnson Center, look at all the options. A Burger King Whopper with cheese may sound better than a six-inch turkey sub on whole wheat bread, but 450 calories and 21 grams of fat is a lot better than 770 calories and 48 grams of fat. 

Exercise is the other major part of the puzzle. George Mason University provides a ton of ways to get involved and exercise. Besides just using fitness equipment at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Skyline, PE Building and the Field House, Mason has basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, an outdoor track and an indoor swimming pool. 

You can also sign up for free classes at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. There, you can take a range of aerobics courses, yoga, Pilates, martial arts, Capoeira and Zumba. If those do not interest you, get involved with a Mason club or intramural sport. 

If you are still not satisfied, are a full-time student and haven’t signed up for 16 credits, sign up for a PE class for fun. The classes include archery, yoga and bowling and can be a great way to exercise.

With the knowledge of healthful food options and regular exercise, you are sure to keep off the extra pounds and stay in shape!

under: College Life