Ways to watch your diet while living on campus

PHOTO CREDIT @BETHSDAILYPLATE INSTAGRAM

PHOTO CREDIT @BETHSDAILYPLATE INSTAGRAM

Kasey Campbell, Staff Writer

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The “freshman 15” is every college students’ biggest fear, and although it may sound like a myth, many can confirm it is very real. With an unlimited array of dining hall food options, off-campus restaurants and late-night snacks, it can be hard to stay slim in college. The combined factors of stress, sleep patterns, eating habits and lack of exercise can contribute to weight changes in college. Luckily, one can follow these tips to live a healthy lifestyle, even on a college budget, and avoid those pesky pounds.

The number one culprit of the “freshman 15” is food. With two dining halls filled with delicious food and various off-campus restaurants, it can be difficult to eat the right things. Vitanza Commons offers various healthy options, including salads, fresh veggies, protein and more. LaPenta Marketplace has a smoothie bar complete with acai bowls.

“I absolutely love the variety of healthy food offered at Iona,” senior Megan Cannon said. “It makes it so much easier to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Along with on-campus dining, a handful of local restaurants participate in Iona’s meal plan like RocBody Fitness, The Mirage, Gemelli’s Pizzeria and more. These restaurants offer healthy options complete with meals for vegan and vegetarian eaters – it is just a matter of making the conscious decision to order the right things.

Working out is extremely important for your physical and mental health. The Hynes Athletic Center is a great resource for students. It has a cardio room, weight room and swimming pool. Students can use the gym at no charge and keep their bodies in shape while doing so. Iona is also home to over 50 clubs and activities, including fitness clubs and intramural sports for students to work up a sweat. Finding a friend to work out with is a great way to stay motivated about going to the gym.

“I love the variety of fitness options that Iona has because I can work out when I want in whichever way I want,” says junior Cara Melchiorri.

Aside from working out and eating right, one of the most important ways to avoid the “freshman 15” is keeping a routine schedule. This includes getting enough sleep, not eating at absurd hours of the night and of course, managing stress. If one lacks any of these, it could put a damper on not only their physical health but their mental health as well.

“I try my best to manage my schoolwork and social life by setting times for each,” junior Janine Piccerill says. “If I put time aside for school during the day, I am able to get enough sleep at night.”

A great way to keep a handle on your stress levels is by being organized and managing your time well. College kids are known to be sleep-deprived and often more stressed than the average person, but creating a routine for oneself can help with that.

College is a constant whirlwind of ups and downs, but that does not mean that one should neglect their own health. If you can follow these steps, then you can be sure that you will avoid the feared “freshman 15.”