I have been at university for three months now and before moving here people had warned me about weight gain, it’s also reported in articles with headlines such as;
‘The average student gains two STONE in the first year of university – with the main reason for ‘freshers’ flab’ being stress’ – Mail Online.
‘Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year’ – Independent Online
I think it must have been around two weeks in that I realised I wasn’t eating the best meals and decided to start doing something about it.
My sleeping pattern was and still is rather messed up, but I’m working on it. I was finding myself short of any energy and then turning to sugar in hopes that it would give me a boost. This did help, but then my skin was getting worse because I was having too much sugar and not enough nutrients.
I decided to start eating meat again after getting dizzy-fainting spells (Vitamins weren’t quite doing the job, I was eating quorn too, but it wasn’t working out). Eating meat definitely helped, but I still wasn’t feeling great. I started reading a book that I’ve had for ages and flicked through before called ‘The Body Book – Cameron Diaz with Sandra Bark‘. In a nutshell, the book states basic nutrition but discusses exactly what we need and why diets are never the way to go.
With this in mind, I decided to eat more vegetables, make sure I had bags of nuts accessible for snacking as well as fruit. I already eat quite a lot of vegetables, so this was easy, I just changed what I eat with them by reducing the amount of processed food I ate. I don’t like the idea of processed foods, so I try to avoid them anyway, but lunches are usually something along the lines of a meal-deal from Boots or skipped completely – neither of which is good for me. I switched my lunches to salads and made sure I included some carbs and protein in every lunch I made.
I don’t like the idea of not knowing what is in my food, so have decided to make most things from scratch – this actually turned out to be much tastier too.
I still need to sort out my sleeping pattern and I’m getting there, but I regularly fall into the late-night Netflix trap or just get trapped in my thoughts, usually stressy ones.
Now that I am eating better, I should have more energy. I also decided to eat better breakfasts, this included trying out ‘overnight oats’ – which I tried out for the first time last night, ate them this morning and it’s safe to say I have a staple breakfast choice that can be varied easily by changing what fruit, nuts and preserves I choose to put in. The overnight oats I had this morning were actually delicious and I may do a post on my favourite recipes once I’ve tried out a few!
I also made my own apple and raspberry crumble recently, which was delicious, even more so knowing exactly how much (or how little) sugar was actually in it – definitely making this again!
As it’s Christmas next week, I seriously doubt I will be able to eat as healthy, but I shall try and stick to it to the best of my ability as I actually look forward to my meals a lot more since starting this whole being healthy thing.
It’s safe to say I have avoided this whole university weight gain thing, probably because of my lack of alcohol intake since moving here as well as eating habits.
Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ll ever have – unless you believe in reincarnation, but it’s still the only one you’ll have in this lifetime.