But who can blame us? It’s the year of living alone and having ultimate freedom for the first time. It’s the ye
ar you drink nearly every night – or if you’re somewhat focused on uni – every weekend, knocking back endless amounts of high calorific shots and downing pints of sex on the beach. Its the year that when you finally have a night in away from alcohol and partying, you spend the night munching on sweets, licking Ben & Jerry’s off your only clean spoon and slurping fizzy pop during a Disney film night or American Pie marathon. Its the year of late nights and all nighters – especially when we remember about that 3,000 word essay in for the following day and yet to be completed – where high energy drinks (again more calories and sugar) are a must have. Its the year we get thrown into the deep end and are expected to cook, clean, wash and iron for the first time, and that’s way too much hassle when you try balancing a fabulous social life and completing your degree, so to take at least one off the list we result to microwave ready meals and takeaways – the two huge ‘SINS’ in the ‘healthy living’ world.
So how can we have a trim tum in those little black dresses at Christmas parties? Simple. Here are my top eight tips that can allow you to keep you’re social life and the extra dreaded pounds off.
- WATER. Drinking 8 glasses of water a d
ay helps you keep off the pounds as not only does it make you feel fuller, it boosts you metabolism significantly. Drinking just 450 ml of chilled water can boost your metabolism by 24% in the morning, allowing you to burn fat without even exercising, sounds impossibly amazing right?
- GREEN TEA. Green tea again aids weight loss through increasing the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to heighten levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories. It’s recommended that you need to drink at least 3 cups a day to see any results.
- CUT OUT SIMPLE (BAD) CARBS. Unfortunately, we cant stay trim or loose weight without changing our diet slightly *sighs again*. However, something so simple as to swapping simple carbs – also known as ‘bad’ carbs – such as; white bread, white pasta, sweets, biscuits and cereals etc for complex carbs – also known as ‘good’ carbs – such as; oatmeal, sweet potatoes, vegetables, beans and anything whole grain.
- SWAP COCKTAILS FOR GIN AND SLIMLIME TONIC. If you are a party animal and making the most of your first year advantages where your grade doesn’t actually count and a pass is a just a pass, then alcohol intake could be a huge contributor if you are gaining those uni pounds. When I first heard about the amount of calories in drinks I was shocked at how many are actually in alcoholic drinks. Did you know that just ONE glass of wine (and not in our typically huge uni measures) has similar calories to a slice of cake (around 200 calories). But its not just wine, just ONE SHOT of tequila totals up to around 69 calories, a full strength beer comes out at around 150-250 calories and a Pina Colada can total up to a shocking 700 calories or more, that’s the equivalent of both a burger and chips put together. Try swapping these calorie dense drinks for less fattening ones such as a vodka and soda, gin and slimline tonic, or even a light beer such as Coors Light.
- NO DRUNK OR HANGOVER FOOD. Its a well known fact that food tastes way better when your both drunk and hungover, but after already consuming double of your recommended calorie intake in alcoholic drinks, its probably not a great idea if you want to keep the pounds off. So although they may seem tempting when your drunk and your will power is low or when you wake up on the bathroom floor smelling of sick, try sticking to lots of water and eating complex carbs as they will soak up the alcohol an
d line your stomach without consuming too much fat.
- LIMITED TAKEAWAYS OR MICROWAVE MEALS. I’m not expecting anyone to read this and never eat a
takeaway or microwave meal ever again as I can’t even say I do that myself. However, in my first year of uni, I practically lived off these two, telling myself things like; “it’s just easier”, “I can’t cook”, “I don’t have time to cook”and “they can’t be that bad for me?”, leading me to weight gain, having really bad skin and feeling lethargic (which is where the energy drinks come in and again more calories). Both microwave meals and takeaways are high in most things bad suc
h as calories, fat, salt, etc, yet low in most things good i.e. minerals and fiber etc and to answer my question, yes they were bad for me, very bad. So now I’ve managed to loose the uni weight I gained in my first year by cutting down from these every day to just once a week. So for example; I have my desired takeaway every Saturday night while watching X Factor – so I still enjoy and treat myself, without gaining weight and effecting my health.
- SWAP ENERGY DRINKS FOR COFFEE. In uni, energy drinks can seem like a godsend when your trying to power through your morning lectures or those rather freq
uent all nighters you pull the day before your essay deadline day that was three months away the last time you checked. However, these don’t give you wings and again come with a lot of calories and sugar. Try swa
pping energy drinks for a strong coffee, and sug
ar for a zero calorie sweetener. This will ensure your caffeine fix without gaining the pounds. It will also save you from crashing at the end of it all.
- SWAP YOUR SNACK CHOICES. Finally, my last tip is to swap sugary snacks like ice cream and chocolate with healthier treats like low calorie pop corn
or frozen grapes. Yeh, it can seem annoying when all you can hear is your friends munching on crisps and stabbing their extremely solid Ben and Jerry’s with their spoon during your flat film night – but it will be worth it. And anyway, how bad can skinny popcorn be?