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New Year, New You

If you are one of the 45% of the Americans who made a New Year’s Resolution this year, there is a good possibility it had something to do with weight loss. Loosing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution made, but unfortunately 75% of people who make this resolution never make it past the first week. The common thought of most people is the crash diet; excessive exercise approach that reverts back to old eating habits once the goal is met. Losing weight is a lifestyle choice, which is easier said that done for most college students, but with these tips it may just be possible to carry out your resolution to the fullest.

Eating Habits
Being on the run constantly, like most college students are, can lead to challenges in picking the right foods. There are many temptations; from fast food restaurants everywhere to free food handouts around campus, but instead of the constant running being a disadvantage, there are many ways you can play this to your favor.  Packing a lunch and scheduling to eat it in between your breaks can help you avoid other unhealthy options. Keeping yourself busy can help take your mind off unhealthy choices and scheduling when you can and cannot have snacks can also help you pull this off.

There are many different types of diets out there, but they all come down to one key factor… calorie counting. A healthy diet ranges somewhere between 1,600-2,500 calories per day, depending on the person, but counting all those calories can be tedious. An easier way to do this is the Weight Watchers point system, which labels different types of food with points. The amount of points you can have depends on different factors, such as your weight, activity level, and height.

There are many different websites you can use to find out how many points you are allowed a day, calculate how many points a food is, and look up points for different restaurant foods. Point counting can actually become a fun way to track your food and you can even have an extra 35 points per week (for those weekend parties and fast food) and still lose weight! Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones pre-prepared meals have the number of points they are worth on the box and are simple ways to make dinner by just heating them in the microwave.

West Virginia University also offers a number of nutrition classes that can give you ideas on what to include in your diet. Human Nutrition and Foods 171 teaches a wide variety of things such as nutrients contained in foods, how to read food labels, and nutritional requirements. It talks about the dangers of nutrition deficiency if you are not eating enough food and hot it can affect you in the long run. The ultimate goal of the class is to teach the importance of nutrition over a lifespan and different dietary needs as one grows and ages. Each age group is different in their nutritional needs and this class helps give a better grasp on what you need to do to be healthy.

Working on Your Fitness
Peanut butter and jelly, jeans and a t-shirt, eating right and working out… just a few examples of things that go hand in hand. Unfortunately, your body is a pretty greedy thing and just eating right isn’t enough for it. You must always have the right workout to go with your diet plan. Don’t like running continuously on a treadmill for a half an hour? Neither do I! There are so many other machines at the gym to use such as the arc trainer, elliptical, stair master and cycles. Tired on the same old songs on your iPod? Try reading a magazine when on these machines (it is much easier than on a treadmill) and make different playlists when you work out!

Don’t know what exercises to do with free weights? Try this one… start with two free weights you feel comfortable with on the floor on each of your sides. Pick them up and lift them close to your chest with your elbows facing down. Then, push them above your head and rise to your toes. Bring them back to your chest and back down to the ground and then start again. This a good free weight workout because it works your whole body.

At WVU there are also many group exercise classes that can be a fun, easy way to get your workout in for the day! There are many offered from 6 in the morning until about 8 at night. I have been to spinning before, which is a fun group exercise with new music to keep you motivated and different types of spins to keep you going throughout the whole class. Sophomore Kelly Fidazzo says that classes such as boot camp and cardio party are great classes to attend. “They are not only a good workout, but offer motivation to work you to full potential of getting physically fit,” she said.

“Cardio party offers a step class with different combinations on steppers along with weight lifting ,and boot camp has 6 different five minute circuit combining strength and cardiovascular training,” Fidazzo said. All Rec classes are free for WVU students and are a great way to tone up.

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