The National College Health Risk Behavior Survey suggests that as many as 35% of college students may be overweight or obese, so the questions is how to lose weight in college ?
You might feel that the whole world is going against you when you see the scale tip a couple of pounds heavier than usual.
And you thought you would at least lose weight from all the stress-fueled deadlines and hefty lectures from the classes you’ve taken–like, seriously?
Yeah, it’s frustrating. Trust me. I’ve been there. And it was not a pretty sight to see how the buttons of my jeans were practically “screaming” to stay in place. Now, don’t worry! Before you get into another mental breakdown and throw a fit, this article will help you.
We’re going to cover everything you need to know on how to get you back into shape.
I mean, you already have enough baggage from the onslaught of projects and deadlines; you won’t let some extra weight drag you down now, would you? It is time to revamp your life and start with a fresh new perspective!
Trust me on this one; you would end up with a lot of good once you start your college student weight loss goal.
So tune in and read on.
The Dreaded Freshman 15; Is It Real?
Before we get into it, for those who don’t know the term, “Freshman 15” is a commonly used term indicating that students are most likely to gain around 15 pounds after their first year in college.
Technically the number of pounds in the term itself is not portrayed as definite. Still, research does show that there are a fair number of students who do gain weight after their first year in college but only up to around 5 pounds at most. But of course, this is not going to be the case for everyone. You might gain weight at any point in college, and being a freshman is not the sole exception.
Of course, there is some truth as to why it happens, so let me explain.
Young adults are very eager individuals. Especially at the beginning of college, because they are finally given the right amount of independence and live their own lives away from their parents. When you’re a freshman, you are as excited to explore this new part of your life.
Some would go into a “live in the moment” type of mindset and spend a generous amount of time socializing, partying, and perhaps heavy drinking in the first part of their year.
Others would succumb to the immense amount of pressure from their academics, so they turn to stress eating to cope.
Whichever year you are in college, this would eventually sum up neglecting your overall physical and mental health, and that is not okay.
You have to make changes, starting with yourself.
Here are 25 tips on How to Lose weight that will surely help you:
Okay, Let’s Get into How to Lose Weight in College
1. Take Accountability
It’s the most common and most straightforward principle that everyone should go by. You’re in college now. You need to be 10x the amount more responsible than you previously were. Take accountability for your actions, admit to your shortcomings, and find the best possible solutions to improve your life and weight.
Since you are here right now, then it is a great achievement by itself by starting to seek help.
2. Be Organized: Plan Ahead
Since you are about to reroute your entire lifestyle, it is crucial to be meticulous about it. Plan ahead. Being in college can be understandably busy. All those hectic schedules have contributed a fraction of loss for your “me time.”
If you find some of the days in your class schedule overwhelming, try to reschedule some parts of that day to other days of the week. That way, it would give your time a little more room to breathe. Plus, this would set yourself up for the workout and college weight loss plan you’ll construct.
3. Set Goals that Works with your Schedule
It is essential to set yourself up in the right direction and set your goals straight. Try and list all the reasons why you want to lose your weight in the first place; you can post them on your wall as a simple reminder as to why you are doing this.
It’s best to set weekly goals for your weight too, which would keep you all the more motivated. You may also list down the following food you’ll be eating for, let’s say, until next week. Devising a meal plan can help you stay focused on what you should and will be eating for your journey.
Remember to create a workout schedule that doesn’t bump shoulders with your class schedule, either. If you need more help, you can download handy scheduling apps on your mobile device.
4. Be Food Conscious: Watch what you eat.
Dieting is the most critical factor when it comes to weight loss. So prepare to start eating healthy and eating less than you usually would in a day. When you’re about to stock up new groceries, remember to check the nutrition facts in every product label you might come across.
Be cautious of those fad “diet foods” that claim to contain zero calories, but the amount of sugar or sodium in their products is unhealthily high. Again, check the label.
Also, eliminate all the bad carbs in your diet. Switch the sweets and the chips for whole natural foods that are rich in fiber and vitamins. Besides, there are tons of healthier options out there; you just have to find the best one that is good for you. You don’t have to quit eating delicious food. Anything in moderation is okay.
5. Create a Meal Plan
One of the most effective ways to keep on track is to devise a meal plan that would prevent the temptation of eating anything more than what you already scheduled to taste for yourself.
It is also easier to find the right food to buy when you’re in the grocery. Remember, when creating a meal plan, make sure you hit all the right macros and achieve a well-balanced diet that would help keep you energized to ace your classes and do your workouts in a great vibe.
6. Download a Fitness App/Calorie Counter
There are many fitness apps or calorie counter apps that you can download for free at the prominent age of the internet. Our mobile devices have become an extension of ourselves, so what better way than tracking our calorie intake or the number of steps we take each day on our phone?
7. Create a Fitness Journal
There’s a personal touch when we write our thoughts and feelings on paper. It will also keep you in the right mindset with your experiences in your fitness journey. Losing weight while excelling in college can be a tough thing to balance. Whenever you feel pressured, writing would give you the right amount of time to reflect on what you can improve on and record each achievement you have from your weight loss.
8. Eat a Well-Balanced Breakfast
It’s the glaringly obvious mistake every college student does, and that is skipping breakfast. One of the reasons may be because you’re late for your first class or you stayed up too late at night so you couldn’t be bothered to make yourself a proper meal in the morning.
But really, you don’t have to make a full-blown meal out of your breakfast. It is straightforward and takes fewer minutes to whip yourself up some oatmeal with fruits and nuts on top, or you can opt for a simple egg sandwich with lettuce and tomato. Sandwiches can be eaten on the go if you’re in such a hurry too.
9. Stay Hydrated
If you haven’t heard of the importance of water enough times already, I’ll do it again.
Do keep yourself hydrated. It would do wonders for your skin, but it is excellent for your digestion. It also improves blood circulation in your body. Since you’re dieting, drinking a glass or two before every meal can make you feel fuller, you will have no trouble adjusting to eating less than what you previously do. If you can’t drink water as often, other liquids such as fruit juices, or even 0-calorie soda can be an alternative.
10. Get Enough Sleep
As impossible as it may seem in some points of your schedule, you should try to get enough sleep as much as possible with your time. Sleeping is our body’s natural way of recovering from stress. Getting enough sleep would also improve your mood significantly, and your body’s overall health. If you have some time between classes and you don’t have much else to do, feel free to give yourself a break and take a nap. Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause you to “compensate” with food the following day?
11. Don’t Procrastinate: Avoid Cramming!
It’s about time to get rid of this nasty habit. And I know how you get those days where you can’t help but feel lazy to get things done, but it does you no good in delaying what needs to be over with. That’s why we discussed the value of being organized on the first hand of this article. Use your time wisely, folks.
12. Prep Your Meals For Lunch
You are busy, I know. And we went over the whole breakfast ordeal in the last segment, so how on earth will you manage to make your meal for your lunch too? Not only will this tip save you calories, it can also save you money!
Let me tell you; there are a ton of “Meal Prep for a Week” videos on youtube you can look up which you can do in under an hour. YouYou prep your meal for 7 days all at once and store them in Tupperware in the fridge. Each morning you can reheat it quickly before going to class.
Why subject yourself to all this trouble? Well, first of all, you barely know what is in your cafeteria food. If you made your food, it would spare yourself from second-guessing the exact nutrients whichever food they’ll be serving.
Prepping your meals would also be a sure way to prevent any sudden trips to a local fast food joint that would severely damage your diet and is one of the best ways to lose weight in college.
Remember, it is vital to keep yourself as consistent with your diet as possible.
13. Avoid Midnight Snacking
It’s hard to resist getting a tasty treat during your midnight study sessions; or even when it’s a Friday when you’re binge-watching on Netflix late at night. But if you want to lose weight, you have to avoid midnight snacking as much as possible. If you feel hunger pangs, best to avoid it and drink water to fill you up. Or better yet, try to avoid staying up too late at night, in general, get some early sleep.
14. Avoid Fast Food
We all know how unhealthy fast food can get. It does not need any significant explanation judging the fact at just how greasy fast-food is. However, it is sometimes convenient for most college students who are busy and on the go, so it is part of the typical college student diet, but just so we are clear if you want to lose weight fast, it is best to avoid it.
15. Avoid Energy Drinks
Sometimes, when we are a few steps away from burning out, it feels nice to boost energy drinks, especially while studying. It gets your blood running and mind racing; it does more harm than good for your body, especially when you are trying to lose weight since an energy drink is a can filled with caffeine, sugar, and bad carbs. Also, drinking too much of it will cause you palpitations, dizziness, and anxiety.
If you want a healthier option to give you an extra buzz, you drink black coffee or tea.
16. Limit or Eliminate Your Alcohol Intake
No matter how much you want to overlook it, alcohol and weight gain go hand in hand. So if you’re going to lose weight in college, you are better off avoiding it. Parties or social drinking are sometimes an unavoidable factor in College life, but like all things, please do it as minimally as possible and in moderation.
Either way, you’ll lose weight faster without it, so keep that in mind.
17. Eat Healthy Snacks
If you love snacking, there are healthier options than the occasional bag of chips and a stack of Oreos. You can try eating healthy nuts, unbuttered popcorn, whole wheat crackers, or even fruits. Find healthy stuff you can enjoy to make dieting a lot more bearable.
18. Do Not Starve Yourself
I see many people who are so far into the pressure of losing weight that they practically starve themselves—just don’t. It is such a self-destructive thing to do. It will lead you to terrible eating disorders or even ulcers if you are not very careful. If you think starving yourself is a short-cut, well, you are dead wrong.
Food is fundamental if you want to lose weight as it helps give you the energy you need to function and burn fat. Dieting isn’t an easy thing to do, but it isn’t a fast process either. You just got to go easy on yourself and don’t rush.
19. Find Time to Work Out (Go to The Gym)
Diet and exercise always go hand in hand. As busy as you might get, a simple 30-minute workout can already benefit you. Aside from the potential fat burning, it would also put you in a better mood and make you feel more energized to be as productive as you can be.
You are free to visit your college gym or any gym around your area. I swear whenever I hit the gym, I feel more pumped to workout, but it’s not so bad to workout at home either. It would be easier to fall into a routine that way as well.
20. Find a Fitness Buddy
Won’t it be more fun if you have a friend there to be with you? It can be a great bonding experience, and you will find more motivation to go up and about since you’ll have someone there with you. You can also find support in each other, so feel free to convince one of your friends or even your partner to join you on your workouts!
21. Do Yoga and Meditation
I love doing yoga and meditation. When I was in college, it had been a huge outlet to release all the tension in my body. Unwind my mind from all the pressure and heavy thoughts from all the deadlines. So it is nice to find some inner peace once in a while. After 30 minutes to an hour, it feels like your mind has gone into a clean slate, and you can’t help but feel fresh and happy.
23. Try to Find More Ways to be Active
Sometimes we get so consumed in social media these days that our phones are the very next thing we head to after studying. It’s nice to simply take a break from it and get up and try to do something productive. Like, if you haven’t cleaned your room in a while, you can go ahead and do so or any other chore for the matter. You’d get something done and burn calories altogether. Just standing in front of your desk instead of sitting down can also help shed extra calories.
24. Stay Consistent
Everything you did will be all for nothing if you don’t stay consistent with your diet and workout. The key to success is by not giving up, so you just have to keep ongoing. And it just doesn’t stop once you’ve reached your goal. Remember, you are doing this for a lifestyle change as well. So this would still be a continuous process. If you bounce back to old habits, it would only put all the hard work you’ve put in to waste.
25. Get Professional Advice
If you are still relatively new to this, it is advisable to get a consultation from a dietician or a fitness expert to get more accurate pointers. They can especially help you create a diet plan and even monitor your whole fitness journey and guide you.
Don’t Let College Pressure Consume You: Take Time to Breathe
Being a college student does get quite exhausting and draining, and you just have to find the right balance in your headspace to wade through the tides.
Stress can play such a huge factor as to why most students turn to emotional eating. Find someone to talk to if you’re struggling with anything.
Staying in Shape: 5 Strategies to Avoid Weight Gain During College
Of course, once you have finally achieved your goal weight, your journey just doesn’t stop there. You have to remain consistent and find ways on how to maintain your healthy body.
Here are 5 simple tips on how to stay in shape in college:
- Continue setting goals. Every day is a new opportunity to be productive.
- Don’t take any chances and get way in over your head about your weight loss. Just because you lost weight doesn’t mean you can break boundaries and overeat again.
- Stay consistent with the exercise; introduce new or even challenging routines to follow and keep you in shape.
- Take the extra mile: Find more ways on how you can improve yourself. Don’t settle for a typical lifestyle.
- Mentor someone who needs help with their weight loss journey. This way, you are serving as an inspiration to them, but it would also motivate you to keep moving forward. Helping others can be very rewarding.
College isn’t a race. Losing weight isn’t one either; both are far from being comfortable, but nothing ever is easy when striving for greatness. Now that you’ve read all of these steps, you already have plenty enough knowledge to get you a heads start at your weight loss journey.
Just remember, be disciplined, be well organized, and stay persistent.
Go at your own pace, and success will follow.