Choosing healthier options better in the long run

College offers many temptations. You’re on your own and free to eat whatever and whenever you want. The options are endless. You can stack up the portions in the dining hall or choose from the numerus fast foods locations, like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, or grab a meal in the Guillot University Center.

When adding all this freedom to the many life changes, stresses and higher expectations of college life, it is no wonder the normal college student gains weight. Studies have shown that it’s typical for the average student to gain three to 10 pounds during their first two years of college, most of which students gain during the first semester of freshman year.

UNA has a great dining hall, Towers Café, which serves well-balanced meals every day. Towers lets students eat at regularly scheduled times, have healthier portions and less fatty options. To forego the freshman 15, students can also eat healthier snacks like fruit and vegetables while studying or watching TV, get plenty of exercise and replace empty-calorie soft drinks with water. Taking time to slow down and enjoy a meal with a friend could also make a difference.

Food choices impact your life daily and affect the energy you have to tackle those hard days of studying, preparing and working hard. Your choices now also affect how you form eating habits for the future. By starting today to make those decisions on healthier foods, you create a lifetime of good eating habits and can avoid any unwanted weight gain.