Tips for staying fit and eating right in college

Staying fit and eating right in college is just as vital for a student as maintaining good grades.

The “Freshman 15,” gaining an extra 15 pounds during freshmen year, has become almost a right of passage among new college students and many parents have come to expect the weight gain when their student comes home during Thanksgiving break.

In college students are balancing a new schedule as well as dining in a buffet-style cafeteria, subjecting themselves to larger portions, unbalanced meals, and added sweets and fats.

Though the Freshman 15 seems harmless, those extra fifteen pounds can result in more weight gain throughout the next four years. They can also increase the student’s risk for overweight related health issues.

Aside from the physical issues, a once confident individual may grow to become self-conscious about themselves after rapid weight gain. It’s beneficial for students to maintain a healthy weight and little things can be done to keep them on the right healthy track.

A student can benefit from meeting with a nutritionist who will explain a healthy daily caloric intake as well as healthy habits for college. A nutritionist will be able to explain to the student the impact of rapid weight gain and the side effects it can have on a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Once a student is educated on proper daily nutrition, help them take steps in following a healthy lifestyle in college. Encourage them to get involved in sport club activities, or join the campus gym. The ultimate goal is to help your student see fitness as daily habit.

Another tip is to use gift cards as healthy incentives. The occasional gift card to a local sandwich shop or healthy restaurant can be a small push to help your student toward a nutritious meal. And when visiting your student at their campus, take a trip to the grocery store and buy them nutritious foods that will last them awhile once you leave.

Little steps go a long way in helping your child maintain a healthy lifestyle in college. Helping to educate them on proper nutrition will impact their decisions towards being healthy. They can still lead a fun college life, but having health in the back of their mind, will help them make wiser meal decisions.

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