Cutting the Calories of College Life
November 20, 2012
It’s often said that starting college is like beginning a brand new chapter of life. Making new friends, studying harder courses and living 200 miles away from home. While all that may seem difficult enough, those are just the obvious examples. What about the change in eating habits, the stress that leads to over eating, and the lack of time to make healthy eating habits? These changes that occur in the first year of college are often referred to as “The Freshman 15”, or the easily gained (not so easy dropped) 15 pounds of weight gain that happens almost instantly in your early college life.
The Freshman 15 problem ties distinctly into the seven dimensions of health. Social wellness is the relationships between friends and family, when you move away to college you often stray from the eating habits of your old relationships and new ones are often developed when you begin to make new relationships. Emotional wellness involves being well with your emotions; the homesickness and stress of college often lead to unhealthy changes in eating habits. Spiritual wellness includes a persons values and morals, even if you were a healthy eater back home, college can alter your ability to be able to make those healthier decisions. Environmental wellness is the quality of your environment, while nice, clean bottles of water was always stocked in your refrigerator at home; it may be too expensive or hard to come by when adjusting to dorm life. Occupational wellness involves getting fulfillment from current jobs while still having time for ourselves. With a full-time college career and a part-time job its hard to have time to sit down and have a healthy dinner, the drive thru Steak ‘N Shake down the road would be much less time consuming. Intellectual wellness can be referred to being open minded to new ideas and experiences, which can lead college students to new experiences that also add calories to our daily intake. Last but not least is physical wellness, the actual wellness of our bodies. Which goes overall to say in college we need to watch what we eat and workout daily to keep ourselves in shape and in at a healthy daily calorie intake.
Changing the amount of calories I eat a day will help me stray from the horrifying “Freshman 15”, while also changing my overall health for the better. Not only will this behavior change benefit my physical wellness but also my spiritual through a better feeling about my choices. A better occupational wellness because of my physical change and getting more accomplished. Emotional wellness benefits because of a self-confidence increase. Greater intellectual wellness because I will create a better understanding of the importance of my physical wellness. An improved social wellness because of the healthy impact I will be able to make on my friends. And an environmental wellness change because healthier eating choices often are made from more environmental factors.
Changing my overall eating habits will not only to prevent the Freshman 15 but to also better my physical wellness and promote a more successful college career from now until I graduate. My goal is to lower my daily calorie intake to 1400 calories a day by the end of the six week period.
To make sure my goal is a successful I will lower my daily calorie intake in moderation. The first week 1800 calories a day, 1700 the second week, 1600 the third week, 1500 the forth week, 1450 the third and 1400 on the sixth and final week of my project. I will keep track of my food intake on a daily chart and calculate my total calories daily.
There will be many barriers throughout my tracking such as time restraints that will keep me from making healthy choices, stressful and joyful times that will make me crave chocolate, and special events and holidays that will tempt me terribly. However to overcome these barriers I will make specific eating times in...