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Is it possible to stay slim as a "normal" freshman in college?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I don't mean to stereotype college students, but I'd say I have a fairly average lifestyle as a college student. I wake up late in the morning and eat a big breakfast, usually whatever the dorm food is (eggs, bacon, sausage, or some days I'll go with just cereal, OJ, and a muffin). For lunch and dinner it's just more dorm food since I have no money to buy my own food. And then since I go to bed rather late I usually eat a snack late at night as well (which I know is quite bad, but I'm hungry) I drink alcohol. Sometimes casually, sometimes in ridiculous excess. I'll have anywhere from 20-40 drinks over the course of 4 days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday period). It's usually just two days of the week, but depending on my courseload and the time I have to do work, I may drink all 4 nights. I go to the gym every day. I lift for a half hour and run for a half hour. As far as athletics, not all that much besides intramural sports once a week. I don't quite have a gut. Actually I have kind of a weird body. I look fairly muscular and defined everywhere but my gut. I know 6'1, 170 lbs sounds pretty slim, but I have a bit of a tummy coming along. I'm going to go ahead and say that my problems are dorm food and the alcohol I drink. I'm going to try to cut down on alcohol a few weeks before finals and then I'll probably cut it out entirely over summer since I'm back home. As far as dorm food, I really can't do that much about it. Having yogurt and cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and soup for dinner is just not even close to enough or satisfying at all. So do I just suck it up and say, "Fuck it, the first two years of college I'll put on 10 or 15 lbs and then lose it my next two years"?
post #2 of 37
Absolutely do not say 'fuck it, i'll lose weight later.' Coming from someone who went to college skinny and had that basic attitude, that's just ridiculous. Just work now and slim down or stay as you are.

Living in the dorms isn't necessarily going to make you fat. Just watch what you eat. Don't eat any ungodly amounts of food, but don't starve yourself. Definitely keep working out and doing cardio.

The biggest thing for you is probably the alcohol. 40 drinks a week---that's kinda nuts man. Are you channeling Connemara?

Drink a little less, start eating better, and keep working out. You shouldn't have any problem staying a good size.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalypse later View Post
I drink alcohol. Sometimes casually, sometimes in ridiculous excess. I'll have anywhere from 20-40 drinks over the course of 4 days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday period). It's usually just two days of the week, but depending on my courseload and the time I have to do work, I may drink all 4 nights.

I go to the gym every day. I lift for a half hour and run for a half hour. As far as athletics, not all that much besides intramural sports once a week.

Don't say "Fuck it". It's MUCH harder to take off than it is to prevent it from going on. The general rule of thumb is calories in=calories out. If you're taking a lot in, you must stay very active and keep them burning off. Mapmyrun.com has a calorie calculator for your runs which can be helpful. If you're going to take on 10 drinks in a night (I've been there...) that's going to be 50-100% of your daily caloric intake. You're going to have to go for a good hour and a half run to cancel that out.

Keep in mind the better shape you're in, the more muscle you'll have. More muscle requires more calories during rest periods so even if you're not working out you're still burning more calories. Just stay on top of it and you'll be alright.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
I think my biggest problem is that I simply eat too much and eat the wrong stuff, and I drink too much alcohol.

Here's a bit more detail if you guys can offer anymore insight:

Breakfast (on average):

-Bowl of Cheerios
-Plate full of scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns (note that it's one plate total, not three seperate plates)
-Orange Juice

Lunch (on average):

-Whatever the main entree is (varies largely, but usually something like chicken or beef with vegetables and a roll)
-A grilled item (burger, hot dog, grilled cheese, etc) or "Bar" item (Pasta, Gryo, Asian)
-Milk

Dinner (on average):
-Whatever the main entree is (varies largely like lunch)
-A grilled item or "bar" item
-Milk

Late snack (on average):
-Usually something incredibly unhealthy like mozzerella sticks, chicken nuggets, etc.
-Dessert
-Milk

And then throughout the day I drink a ton of water. I don't drink soda anymore unless it's for a mixed drink.

As far as alcohol goes, I know I drink way too much. I should really just cut down to 3-4 drinks per night that I go out and try to cut down on the beer especially. Maybe I can leave one night to get smashed.

With 3 days of lifting and three days of running (usually 1 hour per lifting day and 45 minutes per running day), do you guys think that's too much food/alcohol to keep me slim?
post #5 of 37
A gin and tonic has 280 calories, while mixed drinks with soda or other things can have many more calories. A shot of alcohol by itself has about 150 calories in general. If you're really consuming 40 drinks per week, that's at least 6000 calories, or close to 1000 extra calories per day from alcohol. That would require probably an hour and a half of running a day to burn off, assuming you ran every day. Regarding the food, it's probably calorie rich if it's typical processed dorm food, but I doubt that's where your problems lie. It's almost certainly in the alcohol, although if you specifically picked healthy things to eat in the cafeteria it would probably help. When I was in undergrad I actually ate healthier than I did otherwise because I would just get plates full of chicken breasts and bowls of spinach but then again my cafeteria was pretty good in terms of food options, and I know some places don't have nice buffet style cafeterias with lots of choices.
post #6 of 37
boost your activity level - i avoided putting on too much fat by playing 5-10 hours of full court basketball a week, plus 2 to 4 weightlifting sessions. i also drank a lot, but more in the 10-20 drinks/week range - the 40 drink/week things were saved for the big party weekends.

i ate an ungodly amount of unhealthy things during college, but i tried to balance it by getting a salad at both lunch and dinner, and by making sure i got additional vegetables and fruit. but then, i was trying to put on weight during my college days (i showed up my freshman year at 6'1", 135 and a 31 or 32 waist, and graduated around 180 and a 35~36 waist). some of it was muscle and some was fat.

and yeah, it's easier to keep it off than to lose it. i've been stuck at 35 to 36 for quite some time, even as i've added 20 more pounds of muscle, and would prefer being at 34 or so. but it's tough to lose that last bit of fat.
post #7 of 37
Best advice is cut back a lot on the booze, eat smarter with smaller portions, continue working out especially with a strong cardio componant and you find it a lot easier to keep the paunch off.

Believe if you start now with decent habits on the health front, the prevention beats the pound of cure any day of the week.

It's a lot harder to lose weight when you get older with a slowing metabolism even if you do work out on a regular basis. I am fighting to a stalemate with the last 10-15 pounds.
post #8 of 37
Man, I lost a good 6-8 pounds after my first semester away from home.. Guess Im not normal.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117 View Post
A gin and tonic has 280 calories, while mixed drinks with soda or other things can have many more calories. A shot of alcohol by itself has about 150 calories in general. If you're really consuming 40 drinks per week, that's at least 6000 calories, or close to 1000 extra calories per day from alcohol. That would require probably an hour and a half of running a day to burn off, assuming you ran every day. Regarding the food, it's probably calorie rich if it's typical processed dorm food, but I doubt that's where your problems lie. It's almost certainly in the alcohol, although if you specifically picked healthy things to eat in the cafeteria it would probably help. When I was in undergrad I actually ate healthier than I did otherwise because I would just get plates full of chicken breasts and bowls of spinach but then again my cafeteria was pretty good in terms of food options, and I know some places don't have nice buffet style cafeterias with lots of choices.
Actually, a 1.5oz shot of alcohol has closer to 70 calories. A beer comes in around 140. If you drink rum and coke, get your coke diet at least. But basically, stop drinking so damn much. For your social life and general ability to adjust to college, find your buzz point and stay there. Or at least don't drink savagely on a Wednesday. Especially as a college freshman, there's no good reason to be developing a habit of 40 beers a week, starting on a Wednesday. That's a serious amount of calories, an addition to being serious other things too. A friend of mine had a similar routine to yours and put on a good 80 pounds in a year and a half. As far as your diet, consult the FDA's food pyramid and stick with it. Dorm food offers many healthy choices. Most of the decisions are easy-- don't eat pasta unless it's whole wheat, same for bread, and stay away from sugar and fried food. Eat a spinach salad with your dinner. Have two hard-boiled eggs for lunch instead of a burger. Become well-aquianted with the salad bar. Instead of calorie-laden dressing, use the oil and vinegar instead. A lot of dining halls I've been in had peanut butter and jelly so if you wanted to make your own sandwiches, you could do that. If you aren't a big salad person, get a chicken breast from the grill, cut it up and put it in your salad for a grilled chicken salad. As far as things you're doing right, it's great that you're drinking milk. Try to work in another serving of fruit or vegetables, like an apple or orange, with every meal. Also have a glass of water with every meal. Eat carrots and squash when you can. If there are decent fish offerings, eat them. If you can find them and they're good, eat bean dishes in lieu of meat every now and then. Lifestyle-wise, walk everywhere you can.
post #10 of 37
College without alcohol sounds like an awesome time. Let's all read the bible now.
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I realize I drink a bit too much. I should probably just stick to 2-3 nights a week of drinking rather than 3-4. Maybe doing shots of vodka or something before beer would be better. I think I'll cut my beers down from 10 a night to maybe 4-5.

Plus I realize that I eat way too much. I kind of wonder why I always feel bloated, why I'm always gurgling, and why I feel like I need to die after lunch sometimes. I'm going to eat less and more often.

Maybe that will help.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-val View Post
Actually, a 1.5oz shot of alcohol has closer to 70 calories. A beer comes in around 140. If you drink rum and coke, get your coke diet at least.

It depends on the liquor, This link seems to suggest that 1 oz of most 80 proof liquor is about 100 calories but flavored liquors are generally significantly more. My guess would be that the vast majority of drinks consumed at a college party have significantly more than 1.5 oz of liquor in them, also.
post #13 of 37
It seems like you are getting two entrees at most meals (full fare + a grill item), my advice would be to cut back one of those items and add fruit/vegetables in it's place.

As for the bad things that you will not be able to cut out (drinking and late night junkfood) try to mitigate the damage - drink light beer, use diet soda as a mixer, and try to choose the lesser of the junk foods.
post #14 of 37
also - light beer is right around 100-110 calories per bottle. pretty much as low as you can get calorie/booze wise. In addition it will take you a lot longer to drink those beers v. mixed drinks/shots so you are likely to drink less.
post #15 of 37
One of the best parts of my day everyday is going to the gym...I get out tons of stress and see several hundred amazingly beautiful girls working out. Two girls I've dated in the last three years I met downtown by bringing up seeing them often at the gym and my current gf of two years is the latest. The gym should be your best friend in college.

Edit: i see you go to the gym...you should lift more than an hour though and should add in some basketball or intramurals maybe at the same time or in place of cardio. It is fun, you meet tons of people, and will keep you in shape.
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