Fending off the ‘Freshman Fifteen’

Eating healthy has become difficult nowadays. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are popping up all over the place and they’re radically changing our diets. Being at university makes keeping a balanced diet even more challenging, since you’re on your own and suddenly have to cook for yourself. But don’t despair – dodging the dreaded ‘Freshman 15’ is possible if you avoid over-indulgence and plan meals responsibly.

Price Chopper, only a short walk from campus, is the usually go-to grocery store for the on-campus student. If Price Choppers isn’t your thing, you can hop on a bus and head down to Wal-Mart or Zehr’s to do some quality grocery shopping there. One common tip for the responsible grocery shopper: get what’s fresh. Most grocery stores organize their products in similar ways, with fresh food (produce, deli, bakery) along the perimeter of the interior and all the packaged stuff plopped down right in the middle. Stay away from that middle whenever you can! The good stuff is usually fresh – vegetables, fruits, and so on. Some simple and healthy meals might include: whole wheat pasta with half a chicken breast and pasta sauce, or a pizza with whole wheat crust, low fat cheese and your choice of fresh ingredients.

Even if you’re on the run and need a quick bite to eat, you still have healthy options. William’s located in Market Square and Coffee Culture in Harmony Square both offer a wide range of sandwiches and wraps on whole wheat grain bread. Just avoid the temptation to buy a decadent dessert – they’re going to completely ruin your diet. If you’ve got about half an hour or so before your next class, take a walk down to Subway and grab a six-inch sub. Just hold off on the extra cheese and dressings.

For dinner, you can head to Sushi Jack’s located in Harmony Square for some pretty healthy and delicious food. If you’re not big on sushi, hop on a bus to My Thai for some take-out. I was lucky in my first year to avoid the Freshman 15 completely due to the fact that I’m very picky about what I eat. I enjoy eating whole foods and avoid the really sugary or salty stuff like candy and chips. There are tons of possibilities to eat healthy in Brantford, so you don’t have to worry about not eating properly, or not eating at all! My advice: eat lots of fruits and green vegetables and ignore all snacking temptations.

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