For those of you striking out on your own for the first time or heading to college the actual grocery bill is probably the least of your worries. This is your chance to make a life for yourself. For many that life will include all night cram sessions, a heavier class load, stress, and all sorts of recreational eating and drinking you used to hide from your parents. You're worried about what you're going to wear, who you're going to meet, how much fun you're going to have, and grades... DAMMIT WORRY ABOUT THE GRADES!
Most of you are familiar with the term "Freshman Fifteen". It's a common phrase discussing the average weight gain of a high school senior following their freshman year at college. Some of you will be lucky to keep that number at 15. Remember that recreational eating and drinking I mentioned? What I'm about to share with you is not just for the girls. Trust me. I've seen guys leave for college in high school sport shape and return with chins that meet the collar bone with nary a curve between. Let's take a look...
1. Weight is about calories in vs. calories out. If you consume more calories than your body burns you will gain weight.
2. If you eat high fat low substance foods you don't do yourself any favors. Cheetos are not a meal. They aren't even a good substitute for a side dish. The average vending machine Big Grab bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos has 3.5 servings. If you eat that whole bag you're looking at:
38.5 g fat
Given that a 100 pound body burns 1 calories a minute in the process of watching TV, laying around watching TV and eating Cheetos will have to lay still for 9 hours to burn off just the Cheetos. What else did you eat?
3. Getting off your ass prevents that Freshman Fifteen. Walk when you have a chance.
4. Choose healthier options over the cheap stuff. We all know fast food and vending machine options are easier, but you'll be hungrier sooner and want more calories if you choose incorrectly the first time.
5. Today isn't tomorrow. If you fall of the health band wagon today get your ass back on tomorrow. Why ruin a good week of healthy eating with a single day?
6. Everything in moderation only works if you consider the "everything" part. You can't just eat in moderation without working out in moderation. If you're going to power consume, whether it's liquid or solid, you need to power exert. Your body is built to burn a certain amount of calories just existing. What you do above and beyond that is generally up to you.
These are not just solid tips for new college students. These rules of fitness apply to all walks of life. Even if you're not going off to college, you might be going off to high school with your kids. I guarantee you that you're going to be checking out the other parents. They will be checking out you as well. Step it up. Be healthy, have more energy, look amazing!
Here are a some great ideas for changing up that grilling regimen!
1. Substitute bison or turkey for ground beef. Both options are lower in fat and cholesterol.
2. Substitute avocado for mayo. It's loaded with flavor and has few fat and calories than mayo. It also has ZERO cholesterol and only 4 mg of natural sodium vs. the 209 mg in 2 tbs of mayo.
3. Use herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the meat without throwing on more salt or seasoning salts.
4. Using fat free cheese or veggie shreds? Split your burger patty meat in half. Make two thin patties and seal the cheese between the two, sealing the edges. The FF cheese/shreds will melt better and will be enhanced by the flavor of the meat.
5. Grilling veggies is great for people with a pristine grill. For those who don't have a grill, spray a cooling rack with fat free non-stick olive oil spray. Beneath it place a shallow cookie sheet. You can broil veggies if you watch them carefully. Season as you would on a grill, pop them in, and keep a close eye. Flip them when they are half way to the tenderness you're looking for.
Go out there and enjoy the last few vestiges of summer. Get your grill on! If you're headed for the dorms or this is your first year of life on your own, remember that you are the master of your own closet. If you want those pants to fit next year you're the only one in control of it. Get off your ass... and save a beer for me. Send pics of the keg stands. Party responsibly. Get a cab. Just say no. No glove no love, etc.