Welcome to college! The next 4 years will be the best years of your life. There’s nothing like leaving home for the first time, jumping into the bliss of independence and making bad decisions. You’ll be able to stay up as late as you want, over sleep your alarm, and consume way too many empty calories while tailgating the football games. College seems amazing! You have access to all the food you want and no parental supervision….I mean come on who wouldn’t want to have a late night slice of pizza, three servings of ice cream at traditions or even a warm chocolate chip cookie when you’re finished with lunch. But if you’re not careful the dreaded freshman 15 can catch up to you real quick and those brand new jeans you just bought, to look good at the game next weekend, will no longer button. So here is some advice on how to avoid gaining those extra 15 pounds no one wants to admit to gaining.
Hire someone to smack that cookie out of your hand you pick up at the dining hall after every meal. Since most students have no self control over the delicious sweets that are put in front of them, you can put someone else in charge of keeping your diet more healthy.
Set an alarm for 5 minutes before a huge exam. This way when you wake up late and freak out that you’re not going to make it to your exam on time it forces you to run to class. You’ll realize how out of shape you are and get yourself back into the gym.
Speaking of the gym, you may join a club sport to play recreationally since you use to play in high school. After practice you’re going to want to sit down and eat with your friends. Remember starting left bench is not the same as actually playing in high school. You can’t expect to eat the same and lose weight.
In high school you were probably use to your parents cooking you dinner every night, making sure it was somewhat healthy…well in college they’re not here to cook your meals. So if you live close enough, go home to have them feed you. That way you won’t have to worry about consuming 1,000 calories from a loaded potato pizza from the PAD.
If you don’t live close enough, it’s time to start paying attention to what you are eating. Everything has calories. Maybe you should rethink your order of an asiago cheese bagel with cream cheese, a cookie and a large buckeye mocha latte. If you eat that every morning I can promise that you will not be able to button your pants in a couple of weeks.
Dining halls have so much delicious carb heavy food. Who wouldn’t want to eat pasta, with broccoli cheese soup and churro cupcake every single day? I can tell you it feels really good walking around feeling extremely full and bloated…But maybe try adding some plants into your diet. A good fresh salad (not smothered in ranch, bacon and cheese) or a side of vegetables instead of french fries can taste delicious and help combat that disgusting bloat you’ve been feeling for the last 4 days.
Remember that water is your best friend. The first sign of thirst is hunger. You may have no insight as to whether you’re hungry or thirsty. Next time your stomach is growling after you consumed gross take out Chinese, try drinking a full glass of water. You maybe more thirsty than hungry (since we all know Chinese food is filled with salt and MSG).
Water is also essential for keeping our body healthy. Granted a nice refreshing pop or juice can taste delicious at times but depriving your body of water can do more harm than good. Water has this magical power to make you feel full, especially when bored. Try increasing your water intake to 8 glasses a day. Rule of thumb is you want your urine be light yellow to clear. So when you go to the bathroom next and your urine is bright to dark yellow, you know you’re not drinking enough water.
It is inevitable to not feel stressed while taking 12 credits and going out every night. I mean why would you start studying for a test now when you can put it off until the night before and cram. Try to eliminate getting too stressed out. An increase in stress can lead to stress eating as well as increased hormones. This can ultimately lead to weight gain and acne you haven’t seen since you hit puberty.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep to be productive. It may not be a good idea to go see “IT” if you know you’re not going to sleep for the next 10 days. Many times when you’re over exhausted you start grabbing for sugary substances to keep you awake. This does not help with trying to avoid gaining weight.
But when you don’t sleep enough, energy drinks always sound like a great idea. Next time you grab one why don’t you flip the can around and look at the calories. With over 200 calories in a Monster energy drink, you may want to rethink grabbing those empty calories. Opt for some black coffee or tea. But if you have to have that energy drink maybe try grabbing for one of the sugar free or low calorie ones.
When all else fails just go out and buy bigger clothes. Your student loans will really appreciate being spent on new clothing that one day you’ll have to payback at 5% interest.
Remember as a student it is really easy to fall into a bad routine since it’s a lot of people’s first time away from home. While many people joke about gaining the freshman 15, it happens to the best of us. Just be conscious about what you consume. You are probably not working out as vigorously as you did in high school, so you can’t eat the same way. College can be a stressful at times. Find ways to cope with stress whether it’s meditation, exercise or a hobby. It is best if you don’t turn to food during the stressful times. And if all else fails, go talk to someone about getting healthier. Take advantage of the registered dietitian at Student Health Services. They are here to help discuss your diet and encourage you to make the lifestyle changes you want to make. And if scheduling an appointment with the registered dietitian doesn’t fit into your schedule there are other options available on campus at the wellness center in the RPAC. You do not have to gain the freshman 15…it is up to you.
I was browsing the internet when a statement caught my eye and it stated “Do you want to
relieve stress related symptoms, promote a sense of well being and peace of mind”? I was
intrigued and thought I would love to relieve stress and also learn ways to help my patients too.
I clicked on the link and was taken to a course description titled “Mindfulness-Based Stress
Reduction program (MSBR) that was being offered for 8 weeks over the summer.
I signed up for the program without really knowing what the course was going to be about.
The first night of class I was in a room with 15 other participants who were of different ages,
backgrounds and occupations with our instructor Kevin who was a licensed social worker. We
were given the book “ Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn along with a workbook and a
CD. He had us imagine that we had a rock in our hand and walked up to a well and dropped it
in and then he went around the room and asked us what that symbolized to us. I remember
that I had said that it symbolized throwing away the stressful feelings and discomfort. He also
asked us not to set a goal or expectations for the course.
The program focused on attitudinal qualities that would relieve stress including: non-judging,
patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving and acceptance. Non-judging is being an
impartial witness to our own experience and not having a reaction to the experience. Patience
is allowing letting things unfold in good time and make a connection to the present. Beginner’s
mind is not allowing our beliefs and thinking from seeing things as they really are. Trust is to
listen and trust our own being through meditation. Non-striving is about trying less and
through meditation we are non-doing. Acceptance is seeing things as they are in the present
and not trying to force things to the way we want them to be which causes more stress and
prevents positive change.
We had daily meditations on our CD that guided us through body scan which focused our mind
on each body part starting with the head and then ending at our toes or sitting or laying
meditations or meditative yoga. We had a log in our workbook to document our feelings and
reactions to different situations that may have given us distress or pleasure. We had a retreat
day after our sixth week in which we did not speak during that time. Our instructor gave us
directions during the day and guided us through different types of mediation. We ate our lunch
mindfully and took our time tasting and chewing our food more times than we would normally
and did not pick up the fork before we swallowed our bite. I was a little anxious as well as
some of the other participants of not talking or using our phones for a whole day and staying
focus on the present, but it actually was easier than I thought and at the end of the day I felt a
sense of peace.
This type of course is not for everyone, but it is evidenced based and taught internationally.
The course has taught me a way of being. It is not a philosophy, it is a be practiced by being
mindful and carrying out the meditation practices daily. It takes commitment and is to be
practiced daily in order for it to be available when needed.
At the end of the eight weeks, I am better at being more mindful and at mediation, but it is a
work in progress. After the eight week course I had learned that my initial response to the first
question of dropping the rock into the well throwing away stress thoughts and feelings was not
mindfulness, it is about learning to live with all the thoughts or feelings good and bad and
acknowledging them and not reacting to them. “ Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It is
the way it is. And how we relate with this truth is what makes all the difference. “. Virginia Satir
All students, staff, and faculty are invited to bring unused or expired medicines to be disposed of in a safe, legal, and environmentally-friendly way. This service is entirely free of charge and is completely anonymous. No questions asked! We will take any expired, damaged or unused medications (even if they are a controlled substance like narcotic pain medication or ADD medication).
Please note: Do not remove medication labels before drop-off. Syringes, needles, and thermometers will not be accepted.
Our goal is to address a vital public safety and public health issue by removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs from your backpacks and medicine cabinets.
Since 2007, more Ohians have died from unintentional drug overdosing than motor vehicle accidents.
More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs for the first time to get high, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
These expired medicines can be as bad for our environment as they are for our health. Measurable quantities of some common medications are showing up in lakes, reservoirs, and municipal water supplies, thought to be due in large part to improper flushing of medications down sinks and toilets.
So make the right choice and join us for our 5th Annual Medication Disposal Day! It’s a great way to keep yourself healthy and our campus safe!
This event is jointly sponsored by Student Health Services (Office of Student Life), Department of Public Safety, and Generation Rx.
Candace Haugtvedt, RPh, PhD Student Health Services The Ohio State University
So how does one start to eat healthier? No matter what your end goals are changing what you are doing is where you have to start. One way to start is by using the website ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Its start you on a basic eating concept that can be applied in the dining halls or at home. You quarter your plate each quarter containing one of the following: vegetables, fruit, protein and grain or starchy vegetables. To the right of the plate there is serving of dairy which is designed to remind you to have a calcium source. Eating this way naturally balances out your meal and controls your calories. The website coaches you on what foods fit into each area. For vegetables, there are recommendations for how many servings of green and red and orange vegetables over the week and how to incorporated starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn. Under protein, you can find meat and meatless sources to select in your diet. This is also a discreet method to evaluate your plate.
MyPlate on Campus
Wondering about size of plate or how high you can stack your food? This is where you use common sense. Women can use a lunch or smaller dinner plate (8-9 inches) and men can use a larger dinner plate (10-11 inches). Beware our plate size has grown for around 8-9 inches up to 13 inches in some restaurants. You have to keep your plate from looking like the first trip at Thanksgiving. Normally, a plate would be a 1-3 inches high depending on the food.
Remember to eat the vegetables and fruit first and stop when you are comfortably full.
Dieting is a word that should not exist! It’s depressing to say the least. Our mind begins to focus on what we can’t have. Then, we mess up, give up and we try again. If you have struggled with your body weight all of your life, the cycle is frustrating. Perhaps you’re someone who has never had a weight problem but seems to have gained weight in college and is unsure of how to go about losing weight.
Everyone seems to want to start with the 1200 calorie diet and hopes for the best. In about 3 days, it’s not going well. Why? Because 1200 calories is too low for almost everyone but if you go on line that is what you will find. The websites suggest this will permit fast weight loss which everyone wants!
Weight loss is about being healthier. If you can match your food intake to your body’s needs, weight loss will happen. The trick – figuring out what works for your body. If done correctly, you aren’t dieting; you are eating well for your body and you continue to eat that way when you’ve reached your goal weight.
Some people need to reduce portion size, others need to manage carbohydrates, some eat out less, and others move more. The list goes on with changes in habits or food that need that you need to incorporate. A dietitian is the best way to get personalized help. Student Life Student Health Services has a dietitian on staff that can help with your weight loss goals.
So how to you start on this adventure on your own: keep a food log for a week.
You put in your dorm time, but now you are free. Free to find an apartment and free from the food plan and you are certain this will save you money. Think carefully about what lies ahead in this department and ask yourself some questions.
Where is the closest
Adjusting from meal plan to apartment plan
full grocery store?
Do I know who much groceries cost?
How will I get there? Do I have a backup plan if the first one does not work?
Do I know how to menu plan so I can create a grocery list?
What, if anything, do I know how to cook from scratch or a box?
What will be my budget for food including groceries and eat out?
How big is the refrigerator and how will we divide the space?
Will my roommates and I keep food individual or will we make group meals?
Over the summer, before you move into that apartment, practice grocery shopping and acquire a sense for cost. Think about meal planning. Learn what to keep on hand in your college pantry. Practice packing lunches over summer if you will do that in the fall. Build a library of 15 minute meals for when you are pressured for time. Research college friendly cooking. Here’s a great book to get you started:
Does this Pepto Bismol lineup describe you? Everyone has times in life when their GI tract seems to revolt: upset stomach, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and the list goes on. Sometimes the symptoms are severe and you need to get to a doctor but often you can try a few things yourself. Before you panic and think you have colon cancer or celiac disease, try some simple steps to see if you can improve your situation.
If you have recently taken antibiotics, you may have diarrhea or if you get it every time you take them, start taking a probiotic when you start the antibiotics. You will be amazed at how much better it goes. For this, a basic probiotic from the store will work.
Constipation is an issue no one likes to bring up but it can make life very uncomfortable. Often the cause is low fiber or not enough water or a combination of both. College students often average only 10 grams of fiber a day and it should be between 25 and 35 grams for good health. Water intake can be low if you don’t carry a water bottle or you don’t like water.
There several action steps that can be taken to improve reflux, IBS, and other GI issues as well but talking to a dietitian to personalize your plan is best.
If you have the stomach flu (not really the flu, by the way), which means you have been experiencing nausea and potentially vomiting, no matter how hungry you might be, do not try to eat or drink anything for at least 60 (sixty) minutes after vomiting. You need to start small and slow. Try small sips of water or ice chips. Limit yourself to just 1 (one) teaspoon every 3 (three) minutes until you have consumed about 1/2 (one-half) a cup of water. Then wait 15 (fifteen) minutes before trying more fluids. If your nausea has not increased and you do not vomit, you can then try other “clear” liquids. Clear as in you can see through them. This would include:
fruit juices that do not contain pulp and are transparent such as grape juice, apple juice, and cranberry juice
Tea – sugar or honey can be added, but no milk
broth, but nothing solid
Popsicles, Jell-O and clear hard candy can also be tried
This DOES NOT include:
juices that are acidic or contain pulp such as orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juis and all fruit nectors
alcohol (that includes beer and wine)
After 3 (three) to 4 (four) hours, if your nausea had diminished and you have not vomited, you can then try eating some dry foods. Again, start small and slow and think bland or boring. Saltines (soda crackers), pretzels, and dry plain toast are good options.
After another 3 (three) to 4 (four) hours with no vomiting or worsening of your nausea you can advance to more substantial food, but again small and slow and boring. Try some soup with rice or noodles, plain rice, baked potato (no toppings), or bread products (no toppings).
If it has been 24 hours with no incidence of nausea or vomiting you can then progress to a more substantial bland diet and include items such as skinless chicken breast, banana, or applesauce. Best to avoid fatty, greasy, and spicy foods, as well as milk products. Give it a day or two for your stomach to recover before resuming your regular diet.
If you find that your nausea and vomiting is not going away and it has been more than 24 (twenty-four) hours since it’s onslaught , schedule an appointment with your doctor.
In college life can be crazy, each week brings new challenges and one’s eating habits get put to the back burner for a lot of people. When someone asks us what we had for dinner we always answer with the main dish: lasagna, pizza, ham and cheese
There are vegetable and fruit options available.
sandwich, or chicken breast. Do you ever tell someone the vegetables or fruit you are having first? “I am having broccoli with chicken breast for dinner.”
Start thinking about what vegetable and /fruit you are going to have with your meal first. You will begin having more because you will become mindful of these foods. Stores now have more individual vegetable and fruit portions which you can put on your shopping list, especially in the freezer section. If you are living in an apartment off campus and on the meal plan, there are vegetable and fruit based items you can add as sides and if you don’t see any ask.
Eating better is about progress not perfection because eating perfect every day is not realistic. If you work on one healthy habit each month by the end of 12 months you will be amazed at how much you have changed.
Going to the dietitian can be exciting for some and terrifying for others. The Student Life Student Health Services dietitian has experience with college students and the health issues they may have related to eating. She is able to coach you with understanding that you are on the meal plan or a budget. Her advice is realistic based on where you are in life right now which is college and all the demands that go with life.
She has helped our students: manage diabetes, learn how to eat for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, lower cholesterol, lose weight, deal with food allergies, adjust for gluten intolerance, eat vegetarian and make progress at being healthier with their eating habits.
Appointments can be scheduled by going on line or calling. You don’t need to have a referral but you should check with your insurance to make sure you are covered. The dietitian is covered by the Comprehensive Student Health Insurance plan.