by Jillian Torre

1. Stay away from the grill

Why is it that college dining halls always have delicious greasy food that seems to call out your name? Well unfortunately, that food is bad for you! Frequently opting for burgers and fries, or pizza and garlic bread, will help that Freshman 15 come on quicker than first semester midterms.

The easiest way to keep those foods off your plate is to stay away. Don’t even stroll over to the grill when you are surveying your options. Once you see those fries and smell the grilled cheese, it will be that much harder to avoid the temptation. However, don’t completely deprive yourself of these less-healthy options either, getting a grilled cheese or fries once in moderation will not make or break your diet and will keep you from over-indulging.

2. Get Creative

Dining hall food can get old fast. It is important to be creative with your food. Don’t only use the ingredients from the salad bar when making a salad. Walk around the dining hall and see what you can add.

On taco day, try making a taco salad by using the ingredients from the taco bar and the salad bar. The same thing goes for the deli. If you like sandwiches, try new combinations. Eventually you will get tired of the same food everyday, and that’s when you’ll turn to the greasy and fatty foods.

3. Free Gym

When else in your life will you have a free, yeah that’s right FREE, gym membership? Never! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to fall upon a job that will let you charge your gym membership, but more than likely when you graduate college you’ll have to pay more than you would like in gym fees. Either that, or you’ll be running outside.

Use these years and take advantage of the Kaplan Recreation Center! Try out the intramurals and classes too!  Classes are a great way to work out and meet new people. Don’t let your free gym days pass you by, take advantage of our campus gym now!

4. Social Life

It’s hard to think of your social life as something that can help prevent weight gain, but it can.  Most friendships in college center around food, and some friendships may be built on drinking. But friendships can be built on being active together as well. Find friends to workout with; it’s always fun to workout with a buddy.

Even non-strenuous activities are still a way to keep active. Organize a bowling night with a group of friends, or spend a Saturday walking around Beacon. Even going out to a club on the weekend can burn tons of calories when shaking it on the dance floor!

5. Dorm Room Snacks

The biggest culprit of the Freshman 15 is snacking. When you get back to your room late at night, we all want nothing more than to crawl into bed with Easy Mac and watch the most recent episode of your favorite show. Try to stock your dorm with healthy snacks. Grab fresh fruits from the dining hall on your way out. Buy healthier or “not as bad” foods like popcorn, string cheese, and peanut butter instead of candy, pop tarts, or Oreos. Bottom line: what foods you keep in your dorm room to snack on is a vital component to staying healthy on campus.

Check back with The Healthy Choice Voice in the following weeks to get more great tips on how to stay healthy in college.