Adjusting to ‘dorm life’

Some tips to a healthy lifestyle in residence.

College life opens up many new and exciting freedoms for young adults. You are finally on your own and you should be excited to start this new chapter! But let’s remember during this chaotic educational experience to stop and reflect on what our bodies are telling us.

“Dorm life” can shock your healthy routine and throw you into a downward spiral of bad food choices and lack of overall physical activity. Meal plans force you to eat the food provided, you have limited space in those closet-sized dorms, and the roommate may not always appreciate with your early morning workout.

But fret not: the freshman fifteen is an elective experience, if you so choose. 

The American College of Sports Medicine found that both male and female college students eat approximately 500 additional calories between the hours of 8 pm and 4 am. That’s the time when our noses are pressed to our books, and we feel a study break should be rewarded by a quick chip or cookie pit stop. Instead of reaching for salty and sugary options (that really only leave you feeling unfulfilled and craving more) we should snatch foods that are low in calories but contain an amino acid called tryptophan (that releases the feel-good hormone). Things like bananas, oats, poultry, and honey all contain this magic amino acid that will get you through that Anthropology paper and on your way to catching some much needed sleep. 

Try some of these super easy and nutritional snacks:

1/4 cup plain oatmeal (74 calories) with one extra small mashed banana (73 calories) = 147 calories

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (100 calories) sprinkled with 1/8 cup granola (60 calories) = 160 calories

1 slice whole-wheat toast (100 calories) topped with half an ounce shredded mozzarella cheese (36 calories) = 136 calories

A small handful of unsalted, raw nuts (almonds, peanuts, even pumpkin seeds) for some good proteins.

As a rule, keep snacks before bedtime limited to around 150 calories or less. Carbohydrates will release that amino acid called tryptophan, which will give you a mood boost but still allow you to sleep when that holy time comes. Try and choose whole grain options, as these will provide you with more fibre and vitamins. Also, remember to get up every once and awhile and take a brisk walk down the hall and back to get those endorphins rolling again and keep you awake! The body always appreciates physical activity.

Stay healthy folks!

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