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“A lot of people wake up and don’t feel hungry or don’t have time to eat,” Okner said. However, eating a healthy breakfast can help you keep off the pounds by reducing your hunger throughout the day.
For the days you wake up too late for breakfast, a fridge stocked with healthy snacks can be invaluable. In addition, this can also make sure you get your nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, Wentworth said. Not only are these foods full of nutrients, but their fiber will also curb cravings.
If you’re tracking your calories-in and calories-out, a heart rate monitor can be a very useful tool. While cardio machines can give you a broad estimate of what you burn, a heart rate monitor more accurately tracks your exertion. Many heartrate monitors also come with pedometers so that you can make sure you're fitting in the 10,000 steps per day recommended to stay healthy.
“Kids sometimes come to school and take themselves way too seriously,” Wentworth said. “They think they have to become an adult overnight and not have fun.” By remembering to keep things lighthearted and laugh, she added, you can help ward off some of the stress that can lead to weight gain.
Many schools offer a variety of outdoor trips, Okner said. These may include kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking or other activities. This is not only a great way to mix up your exercise regimen, but also to get out of the college campus bubble and meet new people.
At the beginning of the school year, treat your workout like a formal commitment and put it on your calendar.
“It’s easy to take things off your plate, but it’s hard to add them on,” Wentworth said. Once you get started with classes, friends and other obligations, it could seem impossible to fit in a trip to the gym.
Sleep helps you control your appetite, Okner said. In fact, a recent study linked sleep deprivation to junk food cravings. Because getting enough sleep in a noisy dorm can be a challenge, Wentworth recommends you have an eye pillow, ear plugs and a fan to drown out sound.
At many schools, there are personal trainers on staff at the recreation centers, Okner said. The student rate to work with one of these professionals is far cheaper than you'll find at any nearby gym and you can't beat the personalized attention if you're trying to reach a fitness goal (or just trying to stay in shape).
“Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re really thirsty,” Wentworth said. By carrying a water bottle around, you’re more likely to stay hydrated and therefore be able to tell the difference. Women should drink 2.7 liters of water every day, while men need 3.7 liters, Wentworth said.