7 ways to avoid piling on the pounds at uni
A comprehensive list of do-nots (or do maybe once a semester) to keep you slim and trim whilst at uni.
A night out drinking your whole daily allowance of calories in alcoholic beverages, nicely soaked up by a greasy post night out snack and eventually followed by a hangover-curing assortment of crap the next day is likely to start taking its toll on your figure. Because let’s be honest, it’s not really a one off occurrence now is it?
There’s only so far our young, fast metabolisms can be stretched. So if you’d like to have fun at uni without developing any sort of spare tyre, bingo wing or other unsightly (and oddly named) fatty addition to your body, here is our mini guide of do-nots for next semester...
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1. Resist ready meals
Cheaper than a takeaway and quicker than home cooked grub, ready meals are a much loved phenomenon among students. The question is, have you ever stopped to check out the nutrition label on the packet? Because if you do, the shock is likely to induce the heart attack that would have no doubt come as a result of regular ready meal consumption.
With some clocking up more than 1000 calories and 14g of saturated fat, it's safe to say they are not tasty enough to be worth it. And neither are you lazy enough to be unable to knock up a quick meal yourself, with ten times more nutritional value. Download your FREE student cookbook and get a standard 5 meals that you will master in no time and probably be able to beat the beep of the microwave with!
2. Mind mixers
It would be a bit of a big ask to ban or significantly reduce your intake of alcohol, as we all know it’s a vital ingredient of student life. So we’ll go for the next best thing and point out the dangers of fizzy mixers which, when consumed in large quantities several times a week, are bound to have some sort of negative health effect. That’s aside from the fact your dentist is likely to have a fit upon your next visit.
There are luckily some great alternatives to sugary cola, fruit juices or the even more deadly energy drink. Try mixing spirits with water and a dash of squash. It may sound ridiculous but squash takes the harsh taste away from hard liquors, without the added calories and sugar content.
Sparkling flavoured water is also a great mixer with flavours from strawberry and vanilla to lemon and lime and it’s available in most supermarkets. It also has the added advantage of being cheap as chips (but avoid those too, while you’re at it).
3. Ditch duvet days
The freedom of uni can be invigorating. There’s no one to tell you to get out of bed, get dressed, do your work etc. which often leads to pyjama days and film marathons. As much as I’d love to tell you that stretching for the remote is enough to burn away all the popcorn, it isn’t.
With all those activities on offer at uni, why wouldn’t you want to take up something new?! Whether it’s a completely random martial art or simply running at the gym, make the most of the facilities available to you and you might even be able to squeeze in a treat or two with all that exercise.
For inspiration check out 15 ways for lazy students to get fit for free.
4. Avoid all nighters
Where possible, try to sleep for at least seven hours a night. Research has proven that people who get enough sleep during the night are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those deprived of sleep i.e. the ones that procrastinate all day long and then realise at midnight they should probably start the assignment due the next day.
Studying a bit every day and having a regular bedtime could be very beneficial, not to mention the fact that your body doesn’t have to suffer the ongoing bombardment of energy drinks and their million-letter-long chemicals which cannot be healthy...
5. Cut campus comfort food
I know this might not seem revolutionary, but ever thought about packing your own lunch before trotting off to lectures instead of buying stuff on campus every day? You might see it as a bit primary school but it will undoubtedly be healthier than the baguettes and carb-loaded meals on offer on campus, as well as help to protect your precious student loan!
6. Say bye to the bus
Fair enough if you live a good few miles away from uni, but anything less than a half an hour walk and it’s just plain lazy I’m afraid! It’s a great way to perk you up in the morning, leaving you feeling nice and fresh for that early morning lecture you love to attend. And saving a couple of hundred quid a year on bus fair isn't too shabby either...
7. Shun sneaky snacks
If you’re the person that packs boxes upon boxes of snacks to take to uni and keep under your bed, you may want to think again. Having constant temptation in your room is only going to lead to random binges and unnecessary eating, which would not occur if it wasn’t there.
Try not to keep food in your bedroom, then when you really are hungry you will make the effort to go all the way to the kitchen rather than becoming a mindless snacker.
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