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50 Weight Loss Tips for College Students

Last Updated Sep 13, 2010 11:41 PM EDT

You've probably heard of the Freshmen 15, but lots of other college students gain weight too.

If you don't like the numbers flashing on your scale, here are 50 weight loss tips:
  1. Don't use a cafeteria tray - you can pile too much food on it. Only eat what you can carry to the table with your own two hands.
  2. Avoid the cafeteria's self-serve ice cream. A Dairy Queen self-serve ice cream cone is 280 calories.
  3. Avoid yogurt toppings. A medium scoop of yogurt is 113 calorie, but that doesn't include all the brownie chunks, sprinkles, gloppy fruit sauce and M&M's that college students dump on it.
  4. Stop binge drinking. Five 8-ounce margaritas equal up to 2,500 calories. Five 12-ounce beers equal up to 800 calories. Five shots of liquor add up to 1,000 calories.
  5. Don't play Beer Pong, Flip Cup and other drinking games -- you'll drink more than you think.
  6. Post this warning on your dorm mini fridge: To loose one pound of weight, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume.
  7. Don't eat anything straight out of a bag or carton.
  8. Avoid dorm vending machines. You don't need a Kit Kat bar at 1 a.m.
  9. Visit Rachel & Ramen for healthy cooking tips from a student attending College of William & Mary.
  10. Start a food journal and write down everything you eat.
  11. Use an online calorie counter.
  12. Wear a pedometer, which counts your footsteps.
  13. Air pop popcorn instead of using caloric microwave popcorn.
  14. Avoid mega, super and large sizes.
  15. Drink 100% fruit juices. Orange, grapefruit and pineapple juices are healthier than apple, grape or pear juice.
  16. Get enough sleep.
  17. Drink lots of water.
  18. Bored with water? Try flavored water, seltzer water or unsalted club soda.
  19. Never eat second helpings.
  20. Use a salad plate for your dinner plate.
  21. Eat breakfast. Eating in the morning makes you less hungry later and reduces the temptation to pork out at lunch.
  22. Eating breakfast will jump start your metabolism and give you more energy during the day.
  23. Avoid fast food. Duh.
  24. Only eat a serving size:
  25. A serving size of meat is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards.
  26. A serving size of cheese (one ounce) is about the size of four dice.
  27. One teaspoon of butter is about the size of your thumb tip.
  28. Get emotional support. Have your friends support you if you're trying to lose weight.
  29. Set realistic goals. It's better to aim to lose one or two pounds a week rather than decide you want to lost 30 pounds as soon as possible.
  30. Write down your food goals and how you hope to achieve them.
  31. Eat slower. You're more likely to stop eating when you're full if you eat slowly.
  32. Get off your butt. Sign up for an intramural squad.
  33. Visit the gym. College health centers are often gorgeous and they are usually FREE. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
  34. Eat healthy snacks like:
  35. Edamames - delicious soybeans you can heat up in microwave.
  36. Quarter cup of nuts.
  37. Raw veggies and hummus.
  38. Frozen grapes, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries.
  39. Graham crackers.
  40. Pretzels.
  41. Peanut butter with apple slices.
  42. Frozen fruit bars with no sugar.
  43. Rice cakes made from whole grain rice.
  44. Forget weight-loss pills. They can be dangerous and the effects are short lived.
  45. Eat less pasta.
  46. Don't assume that you can eat more because you're drinking a diet soda.
  47. Ditto for sugar substitutes.
  48. Don't eat late at night.
  49. Set a time to weigh yourself each day or week and stick to that time.
  50. Don't hate yourself for messing up from time to time. It's going to happen.
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
Weight loss image by Jude Doyland. CC 2.0.