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Is it impossible to diet in college?
For most students the phrases “college” and “healthy eating” never go hand in hand. We have hectic schedules, extra-curricular events and internships combined with the natural rush of college life- who has time to implement both?
Not everyone has the extra time to spend hours working off calories at the gym, but the majority of us make time anyhow. Each school has a different dining service, and you get stuck having to choose only what they offer. That is wherein most of the problems lie.
Here at Quinnipiac University, we either have the Café or The Bobcat Den. One does have the option of choosing what they want to eat every day, but is it possible to diet at college if you’re only given a limited variety?
“I think it is pretty close to impossible to diet in college because the only food you really have available to eat is from the cafe” said student Brianna Sereno. “You do not know how healthy the cafe food is, and any food that does not need to be cooked is most likely not good for you. If you are able to cook every meal for yourself then it would be possible to diet, but otherwise, you are stuck eating what is only available to you- [and that] limits your diet possibilities.”
There is a large amount of people across campus who all feel the same way. No one can really be sure how healthy the food is that they eat from café or the den. What is the healthy college student to do in this situation? Plan ahead, and know your calorie intake amounts.
The café has plenty of healthy options, such as the salad bar, but two a day can become quite monotonous and boring. The vast choice of candy, ice cream, cookies and other delicious deserts can also be a threat to each student, especially after a long, stressful day. Even though you are away at school without anyone telling you to not go for that triple thick smoothie, make the word “moderation” your new best friend.
However there are students who do make a conscious effort, and they say it is easy to diet at college. Their motto: will-power.
“I don’t think it’s impossible to diet in college,” Gabby Simone, a junior accounting major says. “In the “real world” outside of Quinnipiac, if you get bored and want a quick bite to eat, you go to a fast food place. At Quinnipiac, if you get bored and want a quick bite to eat you go to the cafe. What’s great is [that] even though there are those “fast food” options at the cafe you also always have the salad bar, fruits, yogurt, etc. available for you. When it comes down to it, it’s really how much will power you have.”
It can be very easy to go right for the snacks and junk food but it’s up to the individual to choose the healthy options. Bypassing all the unhealthy food could actually be easier than many think if they truly want to eat better and stay fit. Back in your room, it’s quite simple to store cookies, soda and candy, but if the effort is made, it’s also easy to store healthy snack options.
One thing that really seems to affect people’s food choices is their inability to be prepared and make time for a meal. Many students run around non-stop and tend to just grab something easy and prepackaged. You can’t expect to maintain a diet if you don’t make the effort to be healthy.
Danielle DiCarlo, a junior said, “It’s definitely hard if you don’t have will power…which is me most of the time. Here it’s been hard adjusting to the cafe because I don’t have a kitchen this year, but it’s gotten a lot easier and is definitely not impossible.” It seems a lot of students believe that if you just trust yourself and make the right choices, it can be done. “The hardest thing is definitely will power because there are both unhealthy and healthy options in the cafe, but it’s hard to choose the healthy option,” said Danielle.
The issues with dieting on campus don’t lay in the hands of the dining services alone. We had to depend on ourselves and make the better choices for each one of us. Of course there will always be the weekend partying, which can really hit us hard, and the late night snacking that you just can’t avoid. However, if we truly want to see a difference in ourselves, we need to just take one step at a time and make the difference. If all else fails, Quinnipiac’s fitness center is always open for activity.
Amanda Martin, a junior said, “It is hard, but you have to want the end result. I did it last year and lost about 15 pounds. I feel that if you do make healthier choices though, it isn’t extremely hard; you just have to have will-power and stride for what you want the end result to be.”