On Jan. 1, students of all ages and majors hopped on the “New Year, New Me” bandwagon. Your New Year’s resolution could have been anything from saving more money to quitting fighting with your little brother. According to Statistic Brain, the top New Year’s resolution was losing weight, but only 8 percent of people are predicted to follow through with this goal.
With only six weeks until summer, many students are wishing they hadn’t given up on their weight loss goals by the second week of January, but it’s not too late to turn your habits around and make a lifestyle change. Six weeks is a substantial amount of time that can help you gear up for bikini season.
There is no denying that it’s easy to make poor eating choices on a meal plan. Ordering a pizza from the Den sounds significantly better than a salad on most days and, unfortunately, the lines are right next to each other, making the temptation even stronger. The key is to start small and make little changes that lead up to big differences.
Julie Negron, APU’s new dietitian, stressed the importance of knowing the correct portion size. Too much of anything can be harmful to your body, so it’s extremely crucial to know how much is too much. Negron will be hosting an event, “Portion Distortion,” on March 25 from 6-8 p.m. in the LAPC.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages students to set healthy and realistic goals. There is no magic pill that will make you skinny overnight, and starving yourself will kill your metabolism and deprive your body of the nutrients that it needs to function properly.
When you continually fail to give your body what it needs, your cravings will go through the roof. When this happens, you will most likely binge eat food that is unhealthy. The main problem of this is with your metabolism. Because it has been slowed down from deprivation, it won’t be able to handle all of the sugar, turning it to fat, according to Livestrong. And there you’ll be, right back at the start.
With that said, it’s important to go about losing weight the correct way: eating a balanced diet while exercising regularly. Freshman applied exercise science major Brittany Gisin said she maintains her weight by exercising every day and choosing healthy food at APU’s dining facilities. When she eats at Mexicali, she chooses a bowl instead of a burrito, and she orders a salad over a pizza at the Cougar’s Den.
“I try to keep healthy food in my dorm room, and I like to have healthy snacks on me,” Gisin said.
She also noted that she tries to eat an assortment of healthy foods, not always sticking to the same food groups.
Learning to read nutrition labels is an important step to understanding what you are consuming. Oftentimes, counting calories will get you nowhere. When it boils down to it, sugar is what turns to fat in the human body, so that is the first thing to look at on a label. Under the carbohydrates listen on a label, you will find dietary fiber and sugars. Dietary fibers are what your body can’t digest while sugars turn into fat, according to Mayo Clinic.
A few easy ways to cut out unnecessary carbs in your diet is to quit eating so much bread. Instead of getting a sandwich, have it lettuce-wrapped! When choosing a protein or snack bar, make sure you check carbs from sugar. Clif and Quest bars may have a similar total carbohydrate number, but Clif’s sugar level is through the roof while Quest’s is very minimal. Again, little changes can make a big difference.
An important aspect of weight loss is exercise.
“You need to plan out your week and intentionally set aside time to work out. If you do that, you’ll actually work out,” Gisin said.
There is always time in the day to work out; it just needs to be an intentional decision to do so. It may take getting up an hour earlier, but it all depends on how badly you want to see a change.
In the end, you get out what you put in. Eat a balanced diet, read nutrition labels and work out on a regular basis. It’s extremely important to remain patient in the process. Six weeks until summer – you can do it!