By Brielle O’Brien ’20
The late night Domino’s. Vending machines. And the Sodexo offerings at Sparky’s.
All of it sounds like the “freshman 15” is inevitable. However, I have personally seen that it is possible to drop a couple pounds while eating at places like Sparky’s. If you remember (and strictly stick to) these helpful tips while going into Sparky’s, you’re guaranteed to see results.
Here’s all the do’s and don’t’s for eating clean in a college dining hall.
- Do fill your plate with as many fruits and vegetables as possible, treating meat as a seasoning or side as opposed to the vegetables.Many people are unaware, but when trying to slim down, it’s best to eat fish, chicken, and pork.
- Don’t load your plate with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, sauce, or dressings. While these add flavor they’re loaded with sodium, sugar, and calories. For salads, try using lemon or vinaigrette. For fish, chicken, and pork, use lemon, pepper, or any other seasoning available to you.
- Do drink as much water as possible, cutting out all those sugary fountain drinks. This is a major key that will make a huge difference when trying to lose weight. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day to keep you hydrated and your energy levels balanced.
- Don’t go for foods or drinks that claim to be “reduced fat,” “fat-free,” or “skim.” The original version is essentially better for you considering the ingredients they put in these “fat-free” foods are either more harmful to your body or higher in sodium or sugar.
- Do consider the six or less rule when picking out snacks to keep in your dorm room. If you look on the ingredients section of a snack and it has more than six ingredients then do not eat it. If you do decide cheat however, make sure the product has less than 15 grams of sugar in the whole serving, not just ¼ or ½ serving.
- Don’t count calories. This is one of the best things about eating clean. When you eat food that’s better for your body then you can eat as much as you want and you’re hungry less often. Eating 200 calories of strawberries breakdowns easier in your body and faster than eating an 100 calorie chocolate chip cookie because the unnatural sugar takes longer to break down and builds fat.
- Do take advantage of the healthy grains served here on campus. Quinoa is available almost every time I’ve been at Sparky’s and is now being served at the salad bar in the den as well.
- Don’t get Sparky’s pasta everyday. It’s perfectly okay to have multigrain or wheat toast for breakfast or as a tuna/chicken salad sandwich bread, but steer clear of the pasta.
- Do eat a breakfast loaded with fruits, veggies, and/or protein such as eggs. It’s such common knowledge that their should be no excuses. Save fruit from dinner at Sparky’s for the next morning’s breakfast. Grab a spinach, tomato, and feta omelette at Sparky’s. Stop at the Den for a smoothie.
- Don’t eat protein or power bars at all. Nothing in these bars are natural or healthy.