Do you remember the “Freshman 15”? This is an expression that refers to the average weight gain during the first or freshman year at college. The weight gain is commonly caused by unhealthy food choices, not exercising regularly, late night eating and excessive junk food and alcohol consumption. Let’s not let these unhealthy habits make a comeback while practicing social distancing and staying home. Here are 5 tips to avoid the “Quarantine 15”:
- Create a Schedule and Get Into a New Routine
This includes when you are eating or exercising. Creating a schedule for your daily tasks and activities that you’re able to stick to will help you to form healthy habits. Make a list to help structure your day. Be specific where you need to be. For example, you might want to write out a schedule for your meals and snacks to help stay on track.
- Commit to Make Exercise a Priority
Log your workouts and find an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Setting a goal is key to keeping your exercise routine on track. Utilize a fitness app like SugarWOD to log and track your workouts. Having an accountability partner increases your probability of achieving a goal by 65%. Thus the likelihood of getting new habits to stick dramatically increases when you set a time to report back to someone on your progress.
- Sleep 8 Hours Per Night
Adequate sleep is vital to immune healthy, weight loss and hunger management. Limit electronic device usage like smartphones and computers in the evening. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day (after 3 or 4 pm). Try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at consistent times to ensure adequate nightly sleep.
- Eat Meat, Veggies, Nuts & Seeds, Some Fruit, Little Starch and No Sugar
Eat real food and load up your plate with veggies first. Utilizing the Plate Method is one of the easiest and most effective methods for improving your diet by eating a balanced meal of high-quality whole foods. Eat ½ of your plate of non-starchy veggies first, then eat ¼ of your plate protein, and lastly eat ¼ plate of starch. If you are still hungry go back for more non-starchy veggies.
- Stay Hydrated
Don’t drink your calories, eat them – stick with water! Drinking sufficient water assists the digestive system eliminate fats from the body more efficiently. Staying adequately hydrated also decreases appetite. In fact, it is common to mistake thirst for hunger, so if you feel like snacking, try drinking a glass of water first.
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Director of Nutrition Education
Healthy Steps Nutrition