Fighting the freshmen flab

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The doors to the Alumni Dining Commons are the gateway to a world of delicious aromas, mouth watering entrees and an endless supply of creamy soft-serve treats. This passage offers a path to limitless possibilities, including the possibility of the dreaded “Freshmen Fifteen”.

Fortunately, students are not forced to accept this fate. The delicious fare at the ADC is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. There are countless ways to partake in the wide variety that on-campus dining has to offer, without sacrificing personal health.

Moderation, Moderation
Moderation is the most important tactic in the fight against the freshmen flab. The fact that there are 17 kinds of dessert does not mean that it is wise to sample each in one sitting. It is important to develop self-discipline, to understand when to indulge and when to say no.

Be mindful of portion sizes and eat until you are content. When eating at home, most students would only consume what fits on an average sized dinner plate, with the exception of a possible second helping. Here, we have an entire tray that is yearning to be filled with delectable foods. Try to stick with the same habits you followed at home. Just because five different meals are offered with limitless helpings does not mean that they should all be eaten at every meal.

Practicing moderation is not the same as following a restrictive diet. Feel free to satisfy your cravings every now and then. There is nothing shameful in savoring every bite of a freshly baked cookie. The key is to limit these indulgences to a few times per week, rather than at every meal.

Food for thought
It is important to remember that the body requires food to function well. The food we eat affects the way we feel, function and even focus in our classes. Consider the food that you use to fuel your body. Does it offer vitamins and other important nutrients? Will it leave you feeling lethargic or energized?

The ADC offers many healthy options, including fresh fruit, cooked veggies, cottage cheese, sandwich fixings, lean chicken, fresh wraps, a superb salad bar and sugar-free desserts.

When filling your plate, aim for balanced nutrition. Try to include protein, such as chicken, fish, cottage cheese or even some beef at each meal. Despite popular myth, carbohydrates are essential for good health and provide energy, so add some whole grains. Feel free to fill up on as many vegetables as you wish.

Be creative
There is no reason for meals to be monotonous. Countless options provide plenty of opportunities to try new things and to be creative with meals. Add vegetables to your pasta. Place chicken on a salad. Create an exceptional sub or wrap at the sandwich station, using the salad bar for extra toppings. Toss a fruit salad. Add peanut butter to a banana. Avoid falling into a mealtime rut by mixing it up and trying something new. Create your own meal that provides you with the vitamins and energy that you know your body needs.

Mealtimes are meant to be enjoyed. Simply consider your nutritional needs, practice moderation and do not be afraid to splurge once in a while. Take advantage of the wide array of healthful entrees the ADC has to offer.