Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Learning to eat right with every bite

Try being a 19-year-old girl working in a store where your co-workers are predominantly 20-year-old guys. Also bring in the fact that you have just finished your freshman year providentially avoiding the often-feared “freshman fifteen.”

This may sound like a good start, but in reality it’s a bad combination! I admit to not eating as healthily as I could have last year. The only way I avoided that myth was by excessively working out, and to tell the truth, I was sick of that way of life. At the beginning of the summer, I vowed to myself it was time to go on a real “diet.”

Keep in mind the typical 12 o’clock scene of the break room at my summer job. There is me, this sort-of quiet girl who would sit there eating rolled-up lunchmeat (no bread, of course), string cheese, olives, and a cup of fat- and sugar-free strawberry kiwi Jell-O.

Looking around me, all I could see and smell were cheeseburgers and fries from McDonalds, and burritos from Taco Bell, that the boys would bring in for lunch. Sometimes the boys would even get the guts to whisper “What are you eating?” to me. For a while there, I was oblivious to their comments and kept to myself, but after awhile (and after passing on about 100 strawberry milkshake offers) I finally got a grasp on something: I didn’t need to go on a diet.

So after my realization, I sat down to think about what I was doing and how my “diet” was starting to irritate me. This is why I have come to the conclusion that a “lifestyle change” is a more reasonably and politically correct solution then going on a “diet.”

Here is an example of a typical day in my lifestyle change. Let me note that breakfast is vital if you are going to succeed in this plan of mine, and according to Dr. Elisabeth Somer in an article on WebMD.com; people who skip breakfast have an increase in weight problems and decrease in energy throughout the day.

Breakfast: one cup of low-fat raspberry yogurt and a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Lunch: turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with a little bit of lettuce, oil and vinegar. Add string cheese and the fat and sugar free Jell-O on the side. Afternoon snack: grapes or some kind of fruit. Dinner: grilled chicken off the Foreman grill on a bed of fresh lettuce, with diced tomatoes and low fat Balsamic Vinaigrette. Dessert: fat- and sugar-free vanilla pudding with reduced-fat vanilla wafers.

Before you start making assumptions that I’m again going into some crazy trance of a diet, let me tell you that fat- and sugar-free products aren’t as bad as they seem!

After a couple weeks of experimenting with my lifestyle change and continuing my regular hour of exercise, five days a week, I felt like I had more energy compared to when I was depriving myself of foods I had always loved. Foods like pasta, gelato, chocolate chip cookies and other sweets weren’t completely absent, they were just kept to a limit.

It seems like everyone these days tries to completely eliminate “bad” food like I used to. In the cafeteria, I have become used to hearing girls (and guys too!) say they “can’t eat that.” The truth is, eating dessert will not kill you, but you can make it healthier by limiting your servings. When you do choose to go all-out, choose lower-fat ingredients (if they are available) if you are still that worried about it.

Deprivation is where diets fail, but with regular, healthy eating and exercise, everything is cool. At first, eating healthily and eating sweets in moderation may seem hard to do, but with some good self-motivation and an open mind, anything is possible.

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