I know, I know. There are a ton of these “cheat sheets to slim your stomach” recipes out there. I’ve read them, and tried living them. I’d like to briefly come out with some serious honesty here. I am eighteen years old, 5’4″, and 120 pounds, and just absolutely terrified of gaining the freshman (sophomore, junior, senior and beyond) 15. Studying on your butt, sitting in class, and working away on homework and computations (not to mention the urge to relax when your done) is hard to do without getting an extra bit of love handles here and there. So how is it done? How do you do it?

Really, the key to staying slim is staying healthy, so read on for your “cheat sheets to healthier stomach” tips.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration. One thing that nutritionists note is that your stomach can’t tell if it’s hungry or thirsty. It will growl just the same. So if your stomach is putting up complaints, drink a large glass of water first and wait a few minutes before eating anything. Chances are that your hunger might go away after the water. Continue this habit throughout your day: drink a glass of water before every meal, and carry a water bottle with you when you go to class. You’ll take more trips to the bathroom but the effort will balance out in other areas of your life! Your skin will become clearer and younger looking, your hair will look shinier, it will refresh your kidneys after a night out with the girls and, get this – it will re-energize your mind, body and muscles.

Real life use: Whenever I’m at a party or even just relaxing in front of the television by myself I pour myself two glasses: one with soda (or juice or anything) and the other with water. Subconsciously, I switch to water without realizing it after I put down the soda for the first time. You don’t naturally switch? It still works because, let’s face it, if you don’t have to get up you won’t. The water will be there when you run out of your first drink, and the water is way closer then your next refill.

Plan Your Meals. Off campus, or on campus… you have options for food choices and specificity always works. Stop telling yourself that you are going to eat healthy tonight, and start telling yourself that you are going to have, “Whole-grain spaghetti and a side salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar. I will not eat the breadstick.” Actually, that is an excellent meal: whole-grains, raw vegetables, cooked tomatoes, (depending if there is meat in the sauce: protein) and healthy fats. Not so much your shtick? At least remember what you ate prior that day. Had pancakes for breakfast and pasta for lunch? Skip the carbs for dinner and focus on your missing food groups like protein, fruits and vegetables.

Real life use: I fantasize about my meals on the drive home from work. I go through my head and make a list of the foods I have at home and put it all together mentally. When I get home, I put my thoughts into action and completely ignore everything in my cupboards that I don’t need.

Sweat. Everyday. Can’t hit the gym? Do a push-up-sit-up-jumping-jacks-lunges circuit in your room. Run in place until you feel the heat. Start a dance competition with a buddy. Just do something and don’t stop until your face feels hot, you have labored breathing, or you break a sweat. The goal is to get that heart beat up.

Fun Fact: intermittent work outs can boost your metabolism for hours after the workout. Go for a light jog and after a song on your iPod ends full-out run for 30 seconds before slowing back down to your original pace.

Don’t be a Dictator. If you avoid fatty foods and have not slipped even once chances are you will binge. I eat 1/2 the fat ice cream and hot fudge whenever I feel the craving, but just tell yourself, “One scoop and then I’m done.”

Fun fact: Dreyers 1/2 the fat mud tracks ice cream has less calories, fat and sugar than frozen yogurt, and most other flavors are similar in the same counts… making my “guilty pleasure” less than 200 calories a pop (which is about the same as a fun-sized almond joy candy).

What do you think?

Got any of your own tools to staying healthy? Have any questions about how you can eat healthier without worrying about a strict diet? Just leave a comment below.

1 Comment

  1. avatar sophia says:

    i not only avoided the freshman 15 but also lost about 5 pounds. i guess this is because i became so busy in college and had to walk to all these places and stay up late, and i never have been much of a snacker. i guess freshman year hasn’t been bad for me in the light of body shape at all ^_^

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