Everybody knows that college and weight gain are almost synonymous. The late night snacks, copious amounts of food in the dining hall, drinking beer, and spending hours sitting in the library rather than exercising all result in your waistband seemingly shrinking overnight. While finding a balance and maintaining weight at any school is not the easiest thing, living in downtown Charleston makes living a healthy lifestyle that much more difficult. Between the bars on Upper King to Kickin’ Chicken being open so late, how does one possibly keep a beach bod to go to Folly on the weekend? Though maintaining weight is not at all easy at College of Charleston, hopefully these 8 tips will help!
1. Constantly walking
Seriously, we live in downtown Charleston, named the best city in the world last year and the best city in America for the past two years in a row. We all know how gorgeous this town is, and how fun it is to view all of the beautiful architecture! In a bad mood? Walk down to the battery and sit by the water or look at the mansions! Going to frat parties or bars? Don’t Uber everywhere! Not only will you burn some of the calories you drank, but you’ll also save some money. Just be sure to stay in groups! If you and your friends are going out to get food, consider eating somewhere further away and feel less guilty about diner and dessert!
2. Invest in a fitness tracker
Whether you get a FitBit, Apple Watch, or some other deviation of the two, consider getting something that tracks how many steps you have in the day, how intensely you exercised, and how well you slept. The American Heart Association recommends that we walk 10,000 steps a day, and wearing a tracker can help motivate you to get those steps in! It’s also nice to see how great of a workout you had and how well (or poorly) you slept the night before.
3. Drink Water on a regular basis
We all know the benefits of staying hydrated. Your complexion is clearer, your immune system is stronger, and you overall feel better when you drink plenty of water. Did you also know that drinking plenty of water will make you less hungry? When you’re dehydrated, your body is emptier than it should be and can mimic symptoms of hunger, causing you to overeat. Not only will chugging water make you skinnier, it will also improve your overall health.
4. Grocery Shopping
If you’re a freshman, going to the dining hall is a dangerous game to play. Sure there are plenty of healthy options available, but let’s be real, the ice cream and French fries are far more enticing than the salad bar some days. Also, the freedom of having as much food as you can eat can cause people to take far more food than they need. Consider creating a healthy shopping list and going to Harris Teeter to buy foods that you know you’ll like and are healthy! Better yet, if you are too lazy to walk to Harris Teeter, rather than Uber, you can order Public online. They will deliver directly to wherever you live, and if you don’t have a car, their delivery option is cheaper than an Uber.
5. Exercise whenever you can
This sounds so obvious, and it is, but exercise has so many health benefits. It helps you maintain weight and get that bod you’ve always dreamed of. Exercise is also proven to make you happier and healthier overall! I know many of us don’t love to run of lift weights, but find a regimen that works for you and that you like. Even a few times a week will keep you healthy and help you maintain your weight.
6. Watch what you drink
Beer, vodka sodas, margaritas, four lokos, sugary mixers. Not only do all of these give you wicked hangovers, but they also make the numbers on the scale rise. Consider using club soda or something else low cal to mix with your drinks. Also try to have a water after every single drink- you will stay hydrated and get much less of a hangover the next day.
7. Avoid eating junk foods
I’m sure we all know what I’m talking about. After a long night on Upper King, few things sound better than Kickin’ Chicken, Gilroys, or even the little street food carts on the side of the street. Alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated and crave water and salty food as a result. That, along with lowered inhibitions makes fried Mac and Cheese sound far better than a salad. Once and a while, going out for “drunk food” is awesome, but getting unhealthy food after drinking should be the exception, not the rule. Both your wallet and your cute clothes will thank you.
8. Eat healthy snacks
As counterintuitive as this may sound, snacking can help you keep your weight where it is. Of course, the snacks you have should be for the most part healthy, but numerous studies have shown that snacking on granola, nuts, fruit, dark chocolate, or any other healthy food in between meals can help maintain weight and even promote weightless. The idea behind this is that eating “mini meals” throughout the day will leave you feeling more full so that by the time you eat dinner, you do not feel compelled to over eat. Your metabolism will also have more time to process and break down the foods if you space out your meals rather than consume large quantities all at one time.