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Fit U, Fit You Series – Part II: How To Avoid Dining Hall Pit Falls

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.


Welcome back to the Fit U, Fit You Series. In case you missed it, take a look at Part I: Avoiding the Freshman 15.

Ready for more? Let’s go.

70% of students will gain weight during their 4 years at college. Meaning, weight gain goes beyond the freshman 15…it keeps adding up. Northeastern is a five year school so I can only imagine the stats for us. Not pretty.

Among the top reasons why students gain weight is the dining hall. You walk into Stetson at any time of the day and you can get a slice of pizza. Seriously, go in at 8AM and there will be pizza. Frankly, it’s irresponsible of the school to even give the option of pizza that early but they do, so it is up to you to make the fit decision not to eat it.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to eat healthy in the dining hall. Let’s talk a walk through the day, shall we?

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. If you load up on sugary foods like muffins, cereal, and pancakes, you’ll soon find yourself fatigued and craving more sugary foods. Instead, incorporate some protein into your breakfast. You can find protein in eggs, egg whites, sausage, bacon. *Be wary of breakfast meats as they tend to be high in calories due to their high fat content.*

A well balanced breakfast will also include some carbs. Oatmeal is a great choice. Because of its high fiber content, oatmeal will make you feel fuller than if you were to have a more sugar-centric carb like cereal.  Have a piece of fruit for extra nutrients and vitamins or just save it for a later snack if you’re already feeling full.

The difference between having a big breakfast complete with protein, carbs, and nutrients and having a big breakfast of waffles and bacon is that you will feel energized and ready to take on the day instead of being ready for a 10AM nap. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Lunchtime. Pass Popeyes…The West End offers huge delicious salads! Add in as much veggies as possible (don’t be afraid to ask for a little extra) and top it off with some steak for protein. You can also get chicken or shrimp if you’re into that kinda thing. By lunchtime, your energy might be running low so you’re going to want to include some healthy fat into your meal. Use olive oil & vinegar for your dressing instead of creamy dressings like ranch or caeser.  Olive oil is filled with the healthy fat needed to create energy in your body.

I like to consider IV the Disney World of Northeastern. They have so many options and make it easy to eat healthy. Head on over to the grill and get a turkey burger or a piece of chicken If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, skip the bun. Top it with whatever you like! If you walk around IV, you’ll notice how many vegetable options there are so just take your pick. And with the new Zone 7 they’ve opened, they make it even easier for you if you’re gluten-free, vegan, etc. Even if you’re not, take a look at what they have on the menu…you can bet it’ll be healthy and delicious.

A swipe into the dining hall doesn’t give you a swipe to eat everything in sight. Would you go to a restaurant and order 3 entrees? Probably not. So don’t fill your tray with pizza, tacos, and a sub. Choose your meal and make the most out of it. I guarantee you if you get a little creative in the dining hall you will enjoy your meal so much more. 

Stay tuned for more of the Fit U, Fit You Series!


Follow me on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! For more fitness tips and healthy recipes, check out my website, Fit University!

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Shannon Clark


Shannon is a third year communication studies and business student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She has always been interested in writing and journalism, and Her Campus seemed like the perfect outlet for that! She has been part of Her Campus Northeastern since her freshman year, and has recently been elected as co-correspondent. She is excited for a great semester!