If you polled students at any college or university, chances are one of their top complaints would be connected to diet. Everyone's heard of the "Freshman 15," and even when students are trying to eat well, it can be a challenge when time-intensive studies—and a thriving social life—translate into less-than-ideal food choices.
"Add to the mix the easy availability of fast food restaurants in the vicinity of most campuses (and sometimes on campus itself!), and the result can frequently be weight gain among the student population," say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new book TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH).
Dian and Tom offer the following tips for health-conscious college students:
• Eat fruits and veggies at every opportunity.
• Skip the "nutrition" bars—they are fat/sugar combos that do not exist in Nature, and will pack on pounds fast. They won't fill you up, but you'll be consuming 200+ calories per bar.
• Drink water—especially first thing in the morning. You are dehydrated!
• Walk as often as you can—and load up your backpack! The extra weight will build leg and butt muscles that are the greatest calorie burners.
• For every beer, drink of wine, shot, or whatever your alcoholic beverage of choice—drink an eight-ounce glass of water! This will help keep you hydrated and satiated, and slow the effects of alcohol on your metabolism.
• Eat a large salad at least once daily, and skip the creamy dressings that make that salad go from skinny to fat.
• Don't worry if you are not "working out." Walking, cleaning your room, dancing, playing any sport—all count as activities and burn calories. You don't need to be in a gym.