Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slim down and save money
Let's face it. Most college students don't rake in the big dollars. Most live on cold pizza and oodles of noodles. Because of this, many college students that want to lose weight feel discouraged when they find that the average commercial diet includes a hefty $300-$400 per month food plan.

I'm telling you right now, I've been there. I was going to the grocery store every two weeks and spending at least a hundred dollars on groceries. To top that off, it was difficult to control my portion sizes because there are not many recipes out there for less than four servings, and if you're like me, you can't eat just one serving.
So what can you do?

Step 1: Try healthy frozen dinners.
Many nutritionists say that some frozen dinners (Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, or other meals under 400 calories) help control portion size and calorie intake. When I found this out, my mind went back to the olden days of growing up with the nasty dinners of reconstituted potatoes and rock hard Salisbury steak. However, since then, frozen dinners have come a long way.  Today they are much tastier and very inexpensive, ranging anywhere from 89 cents to three dollars a piece.

Step 2: Why eat three when you can have five?
Our metabolism is a strange little creature.  When you eat more often and consume smaller portions, not only do you allow your metabolism to burn more calories, you allow it to regulate your hunger, which keeps you from binging on junk food between meals.
Step 3: Stop feeling guilty about the occasional treat.
So you want that brownie? Go ahead and have it. Just don't have an entire pan of brownies. If you give in to a little temptation now and then, it will keep you from letting the flood gates open when you're having a bad day.

Step 4: Water, water and more water.
This is the hardest step for most people. Most people are accustomed to flavored beverages, so drinking eight glasses of water each day can be a pain, at first. If you're one of those people that doesn't like water, try using Crystal Light. Crystal Light is a flavored drink (it also comes in convenient drink mixes) with only 5 calories a serving.

Step 5: Commit to at 30 minutes of cardio activity at least 5 days a week.
Make sure you change it up when you are at the gym. Don't just stay on one machine for the full 30 minutes.  Consult a trainer and split it up two or three routines so your workout will fly by. Change your pace with a minute of intense workout and two minutes of less intense workout.

Don't have a gym membership?  You probably don't need one.  Check out the gym at your college or university, for FREE!  They generally have all the equipment you need for a full work-out.  Alternatively, work your way into a running regime. I recommend the book, "Running for Dummies."  It has a great plan for working your way up being able to run for 30 minutes a day without killing yourself.

Step 6: Stick with it and remember you are not on the Biggest Loser.
Wouldn't it be great to lose eight pounds a week? Well, the Biggest Losers have the benefit of no job or school commitments while competing on the show, and unfortunately you don't.  One to two pounds a week, is a healthy weight loss goal.

Originally published by BDO ( is the World's largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.

Article by: By De'Laney Rowland, BDO Staff Writer

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