Developing a Healthy Diet as a Freshman

Let's face the facts; college is not a breeding ground for healthy food and good eating habits. Sure, there are healthy foods around, but we all know we hit that pasta bar twice as much as the salad bar. Coming into college my diet seemed to consist of Chik-Fil-A lunches, vending machine induced binges and the always dangerous 24-hour Subway. So, when the time came that I decided to get in shape and lose that budding "freshman 15," I resolved – as most do – that I would only eat salads and hit the gym everyday. First problem with that, unless you have a supernatural enthusiasm for exercise and would rather spend your free time in the gym than grabbing lunch with your friends, there is no way you are going to do hit the gym every single day. Second thing, starving yourself and eating salad for EVERY meal is not as healthy as we all like to think.

So before you start clearing our your fridge and running out to Whole Foods for those salads, stop and focus on what you’re eating and how much. Kate Zurlo, a junior Wake Forest University, preaches the importance of having a balanced diet that does consist of (gasp) carbs. Kate explains, “Girls get very caught up in eating less and working out more, but it is so important to fuel your body every day. Our hormones are very much regulated by having enough fuel for our activities and our brain’s main source of fuel is carbohydrates, which should be 50-60 percent of our diets.”

Basically… carbs are not your enemy! I’m not saying you should develop a diet of only bread and cookies, but by avoiding carbs completely you are hurting yourself and developing unhealthy habits. By balancing your diet and focusing on proportion control rather than not eating at all, you can still enjoy that Ben and Jerry’s half-baked ice cream and not have to worry about killing yourself at the gym the next day.

Food is the fuel that keeps us going and most importantly, who doesn't love eating?! So, yes hit that gym once and a while, but most importantly focus on developing healthy eating habits and regulate what and how much you eat instead of immediately jumping from one diet to another.