Avoiding the Freshman-15, (and the sophomore, Junior, Senior ones too!)
For many, spring break is right around the corner, the last six months you’ve spent yourself acclimating to your new environment. Healthy eating is probably top of mind for you. While the cafeteria at your school may offer many delicious meal options, it is up to you to make healthy choices and let’s face it sometimes fast food, chips, pizza are the go-to fuel for the all-nighters and before you know the freshman, the infamous freshman-15 have piled on.
Now that you’re on your own, it is also up to you to keep healthy snacks in your available to help fuel your body and your brain on those late study nights.
The following list of 100 calorie superfood snacks will give you the energy you need to keep studying and make you feel good about your choices.
Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Measure ½ cup of low-fat Greek yogurt (no sugar added) and top with 1/3 cup of blueberries.
Hummus and Raw Veggies – Stick to 100 calories by eating 2 tablespoons of hummus with 1 cup of fresh vegetables.
Hard Boiled Eggs – Great source of protein! Grab a couple from the cafeteria on your way out from breakfast and keep in your fridge for a go-to snack. Easy to boil and readily available already cooked and peeled for you in most grocery stores.
Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter – Stick to 100 calories by enjoying one slice of whole grain bread and top with ½ tablespoon of almond butter.
Raw Nuts – A handful of raw almonds (about 15) is approximately 75 calories and a great source of healthy fat and fiber.
Whole Grain Toast with Avocado – Avocados are full of essential vitamins and healthy fats! Spread ¼ fresh avocado on your toast for a quick superfood meal under 100 calories.
Fresh Fruit – Fruit is a fast and easy low-calorie snack. This is also something you can grab from your school cafeteria and save for later. Stick with low sugar, high fiber options like berries and apples.
Green Protein Smoothie – This one is probably not a snack you can make in your dorm room but definitely a great option if you have access to a smoothie bar on campus. Choose a smoothie made with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, lots of greens such as kale or spinach and green apples for a natural sweetener that’s not over the top. Stay away from all-fruit smoothies, many are made with sweetened purees, juices and fruits with high sugar content such as bananas. Adding whey protein powder makes an excellent, well-rounded snack.
Peanut Butter on Celery – Spread 1 tablespoon over a few pieces of celery to keep the calories at 100. You can opt for the new whipped peanut butter, which has a more light and airy texture.
Oats with Fruit – Oats don’t have to just be a breakfast food. Cook ¼ cup dry oats and top with ¼ cup of strawberries, blueberries, or ¼ sliced banana.
One of the most important factors in eating and living a healthy lifestyle is PLANNING!
If you’re pulling a long night cramming for finals, or putting the finishing touches on a research paper, you’re probably going to hit a wall at some point and crash, if not fueled correctly. If you plan ahead and stock up on healthy snacks, you’ll have the energy to keep going and avoid the dreaded trip to the closest vending machine. Instead, a trip to grocery store, grabbing three to four healthy option, won’t break the back and will keep you fueled and on your A-game all night long.
Planning on healthy snacks you’ll enjoy, will certainly help you avoid indulging in sugary and salty snacks to fuel late-night study sessions. In addition to eating healthy snacks, incorporating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep will go a long way in keeping the freshman-15 in check.
If you lack a general nutrition knowledge, you may want to consider talking to someone on the student health services staff. Many schools have nutrition counselors who can not only educate you on basic principles of nutrition but can also assist you in making healthy food choices in the campus cafeteria.
Putting on the freshman-15 doesn’t have to be inevitable! Developing healthy habits now will keep off the excess weight and keep you physically and mentally healthy now and later in life.