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BROga: A Downward Facing Blog

Yoga.

Gentlemen, you might think this post isn’t for you… However, I’m here this week to change your preconceived notions about the practice. Let’s call it BROga.

I’ll admit it, the idea used to scare me. My first time was weird and uncomfortable, but the more I practiced, the more secure I felt.

Try new things, guys! Unfamiliar physical activity confuses your body; this is a GOOD thing. Activating different or unused muscles helps your body grow and become stronger.

Your body is an instrument, and you should play with it! (Not like that, you pervs…)

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Anyway, moving on.

Before I delve into the whole yoga process and its benefits, I’ll give you first-timers some need-to-know background. Listen up newbies.

  • Yoga is an ancient practice that has existed for centuries. It is not a fad. And although people may practice “religiously” and certain aspects of yoga are meant to be meditative and spiritual, it is NOT a religion.
  • Do not sit in the front row. Let’s face it: you’re going to suck at anything when you are trying it out for the first few times. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, and don’t make yourself a spectacle. Grab a spot near the back or off to the side.
  • Take a breather if you need to. No shame in catching your breath and grabbing some air. Many instructors will instruct you to take rest in “child’s pose.” Consider this your opportunity to puss out while still looking like you kind of know what you’re doing.
  • “Block” if you want to. Grab one or two of the wooden or foam blocks for support. Blocks are not just for “beginners”, but also for those of us who aren’t as flexible as others (No shame in that).
  • Hydrate, especially if you are considering trying hot yoga. It gets extremely hot (over 95 degrees) and very slippery. Have at least a bottle or two of water before your class, and drink profusely afterwards to replace all of the water you lost during the class. It’s very important!
  • Make sure you bring a towel with you. It gets pretty hot and steamy in there, and you’ll want to avoid slipping on a sweaty mat.
  • Wear comfortable clothes. (Less is more!)

I’m very big on “hot” yoga, specifically Bikram Yoga. Classes are often titled “Power Core” or “Sculpt” yoga, which usually offer variations of the Bikram sequence.

First, let’s address what Hot Yoga entails. It’s basically yoga in a sauna. The room is heated to anywhere from 95 to 105 degrees. Bikram is a series of 26 postures, each performed twice. Hot Yoga is excellent for burning calories and losing weight. One can burn up to 600 calories in a single class! Practicing regularly also helps you build up a shit ton of stamina. The hot, steamy environment improves muscle pliability, making you more flexible. For those of you who can’t touch your toes, try hot yoga. You’ll get closer and closer every time, I promise.

Guys, for simplicity’s sake, I’m not even going to get into the Ashtanga sequence. Too many poses. Let’s just master Bikram first. Baby steps to child’s pose.

Thanks.

Power (core) Yoga can be done in a heated or normal environment. I like taking it hot because it not only burns more calories but it loosens up your muscles and joints so you don’t pull anything (take caution, however, because you might feel more flexible than you actually are…don’t push it too far). It feels amazing though. “Core” yoga is Bikram with a little more emphasis on the core muscles (abs). Yoga classes might be titled differently from place to place, but I’m sure they are all beneficial in some way.Eagle-Pose[1]

The next yoga class that I LOVE to take is “sculpt”. Sculpt is yoga-based, but definitely less traditional and may not be offered everywhere. Sculpt basically incorporates yoga with weights. Usually it is not done in a hot room (wouldn’t want to slip and drop your dumbbells). You use lighter weights to help sculpt your body with your poses. It’s a great core and balance workout as well. Try it out. I’m sure every guy will love it. Adds some masculinity to the class.

Now that I’ve told you about some of my favorite yoga classes to take, let’s go over some of the benefits that yoga has to offer us men.

  • First off, yoga works the entire body. It activates every muscle, joint and organ. Yoga poses are designed to help oxygenate the blood, which creates more energy when you finish the exercise as opposed to depleting the body of it. You work every system.
  • Next, yoga has its benefits in the bedroom as well (read my previous blog, “Sex and the Gym” (for reference). For example, Eagle pose is a posture that sends blood and oxygen to the sexual organs. Chicks dig good balance. There are dozens of poses that would come in handy when you’re trying to impress a female.
  • No man is too big or too small to participate in yoga. Yoga will push your personal boundaries by increasing your flexibility, endurance, and muscle tone. I promise you it will only help.
  • Soreness? What’s that? Yoga significantly decreases muscle soreness. When muscles fatigues, they build up with lactic acid, creating soreness. Yoga stretches and releases this tension. Runners especially feel this particular benefit of yoga.
  • Distracted? Try yoga. Yoga is known to train your focus. With its mixture of mediation and breathing exercises, yoga targets the brain and helps relax the body and the mind.
  • Yoga, especially hot yoga, flushes your system. The high heat in a hot yoga class helps your body shed toxins and helps enhance your immune system. It creates an “artificial fever” in the body, releasing unwanted substances through sweat.
  • Last but certainly not least, yoga balances the mind. It brings one into a sense of mental clarity and focus. Yoga takes you into a different world where you feel more grounded and self-aware. This awareness helps you feel at ease and allows you to cope with the stressors of everyday life.

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There’s really nothing more I can say to convince you that yoga…excuse me, BROga…is worth trying. Just one warning, once you fall in love with hot yoga, DON’T ABUSE IT. Too much exposure to high heat is not good for the body. Limit your newfound obsession to once or twice a week.

And if for no other reason, yoga is a great place to meet chicks… or at the very least, stare at them in spandex 😉

Until next time…

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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SEX and the GYM

So I have a pretty good feeling that this is going to be my most popular blog thus far. This week, I’m going to channel my inner Sue Johanson (a renowned sex therapist… for those of you who didn’t know) and write about everybody’s favorite subject…

From much experience and expertise in the subject (wink) I’m going to educate you prudes about some great workouts and diets to improve and spice up your sex life, whether you’re lacking in that area or you’d just like to incorporate some new techniques.

Listen up, because I’ve received some pretty positive feedback.

…Unless you’ve been faking it.

Rude.

But back to the topic at hand…SEX

Sex should be fun for both parties involved.

Gentlemen… if you’re out of shape in this area, please, for your own sake and the sake of your partner(s), please pick up the slack.

Work out and eat right to improve your stamina. I’m about to drop some serious knowledge, so listen up, boys and girls.

The most desirable attribute women seek in their partner is “confidence”. As a gym rat, you already know that improving your physique will help you feel better about yourself, in turn allowing you to exude a sense of self-assuredness that women find wildly attractive.

A generally big guy might turn a few heads, but there’s so much more to having a sexy physique than just the “show” muscles. A sculpted upper back, for example, is an awfully sexy feature (I’ve been told this, so it must be true.)

My token “Better Sex Workout Plan” mainly focuses on the glutes and hamstrings, body parts that help keep your balance and provide a foundation for the rest of your physique. This plan runs on a 3-day circuit that has been compiled from Men’s Health and Fitness forums. Its been proven to work. Each workout should be done per week with a day of rest in between. It should take about 50-60 minutes to complete.

Let’s get started.

Day 1:

  • Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps. Start light and work your way up to your max. Try to max out at 1-3 reps. You will notice an increase in strength over time.
  • Inclined Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Set a bench to a 25-35 degree angle and lie back with dumbbells over your chest. Increase weight by 5-10 lbs each set.
  • Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps. From a standing position, squeeze your core and press weights from over your shoulders to over your head. Increase weight per set.
  • Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Lie on a bench using a weighted bar or EZ-curl bar. Increase weight each set or use your max weight for all sets.
  • Ab Wheel Rollout (my personal favorite): 4 sets of 10-12 reps. ENGAGE YOUR CORE!
  • Conditioning: Run or sprint on treadmill with incline. Walk back down and rest for a minute or two between sets. Run for 40-50 yards and rest. Repeat 6-8 times.

Day 2:

  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 5-7 reps
  • One-arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 10 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Face Pull (another personal favorite): 2 sets of 15 reps. Attach a rope handle to the top pulley on a cable machine. Pull the rope toward your face and squeeze your upper back. Hold for one second and release.
  • Lat Pull-down: 4 sets of 8-10 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Conditioning: Burpees. 5 sets for 20-40 seconds. (If you don’t know what these are, look them up. This is basic stuff…)

Day 3:

  • Squats: 4 sets of 8 reps.
  • Hip Thrust: 3 sets of 10 reps. Sit on the floor with a bench in front of you or a ball.Put your legs on the bench/ball and thrust your hips up (to a reverse-plank position) and hold for a few seconds. Squeeze your glutes until your body forms a straight line. FEEL THE BURN!
  • Dumbbell Step-up: 2 sets of 15 reps. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and place one foot on a bench so your thigh is parallel to floor. Step up but leave one leg hanging off. Switch.
  • Cable Pull-Through (love this): 3 sets of 8 reps. Attach a rope handle to the low pulley or cable machine and straddle it. Face away and bend forward. Pull the handle through your legs and thrust your hips forward (you can also use a kettle bell weight).
  • Hanging Leg Raise: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (or until you literally can’t do anymore.)
  • Conditioning: Jump rope for 20-30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 8-10 minutes.

ENJOY!

Moving on, I’ll go over some foods proven to help you perform better in the sack.

EAT YOUR GREENS. Spinach and other dark green veggies are imperative to your sexual performance. Spinach is a great source of magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels. (Get it? More efficient blood-flow to where it counts = greater arousal for both men and women.) Try also broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and Bok Choy.

Unsweetened tea is a great antioxidant and promotes blood flow to areas all over the body for increased sexual power as well as brainpower. Antioxidants are proven to enhance memory, mood, and focus. So ladies, serve your man a glass of your finest tea before hanky time to ensure he’ll be ready to go!

Fruits such as peaches, grapefruit, and oranges are packed with vitamin C. According to research at the University of Texas Medical Branch, “vitamin C improves sperm count and sperm motilit

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y.” (If you’re looking to have “really effective” sex, try incorporating some of these items into your diet. Most of us will probably shy away for obvious reasons…)

Several studies have found that the antioxidants in red wine may trigger the production of nitric oxide in the blood. The presence of nitric oxide allows relaxation of arterial walls, and you guessed it… increased blood flow to the genitals! I recommend limiting yourself to a glass or two; you don’t want to go and reverse the effects, if you catch my drift.

Protein, as I mention in nearly every post, is of the utmost importance. It boosts your metabolism and helps build muscle. I recommend lean meats, fish, and beans. BUT OF COURSE POWDER IS ACCEPTED

Oatmeal and whole grains boost testosterone production in the bloodstream. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that plays a significant role in sex drive and orgasm strength in both men and women. Some whole grains contain L-arginine, “which is an amino acid that enhances the effect of nitric oxide on the relaxation of blood vessel walls.”

Dark chocolate contains a compound called phenyl ethylamine that releases the same endorphins triggered by sex, According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, consuming foods containing this compound may ultimately increase the feelings of attraction between two people.

Lastly I’ll mention strawberries. Research suggests, “The color red is psychologically associated with sex and love. Strawberries also include B vitamins that help prevent birth defects and vitamin C, which is a potential libido booster.” TIP: Try dipping them in dark chocolate… what’s sexier than that?542044_3208478767290_252219459_n

Have fun with these tips, stay safe, and of course… make me proud.

Until next time,

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

Sources: Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, AndrewBrauny.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Thanksgiving Fat to a December 6-pack.

In light of Thanksgiving, I am going to explain how you can shed that overstuffed belly in order to look your best for December vacation, that’s if you choose to go on a much needed beach vaca (It’s what I’ll be doing… These abs need some sun).

In order to shed that turkey weight, you fatty, you’re going to want to get back into the gym as soon as possible. Start nice and slow and get back into the grind of things. I know its tough because it’s the winter and therefore little motivation to workout and look good. I get it… It’s a drag to venture to the gym in the cold. I hate it as well, but I do it because I want to keep in shape and look good for when beach season eventually comes around. I use that as my motivation. Take a pre-workout with a shit ton of caffeine if you have to. I don’t care how you motivate yourself, just do it!

You need to workout for 35-50 minutes in order to lose weight, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) research. Any exercise that gets your heart pounding will burn calories and aid in accomplishing your goal. Choose between walking, running, dancing, or cycling and commit to it. Keep track of your time and goals and stick to your schedule!

Next, you want to incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Choose something basic that targets different muscle groups each day. I like to work isolated muscle groups each day. It gives me more time to focus on each muscle group individually and enhances my goal results. Consistent strength training increases muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolism… that, my friends, is a “scientific fact!”

You definitely want to GET RID of all the holiday junk food you have stashed in your house and substitute it for more nutritious food choices. Focus on low-fat, low-sodium foods. The majority of your diet should be fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. AVOID high-fat, high-sugar, pre-packaged or processed items. Cutting down to smaller portions of your current diet is another easy way to make a change. It’s suggested that you should eat 5-7 smaller meals a day, rather then 3-4 big meals. This pattern is proven to increase your metabolism. Just be careful what you put in that mouth of yours. Follow my diet plan and you’ll be beach-ready in no time!

The last step is to cut out ALL of that high-calorie beverage shit. HUGE weight gainers are all of those celebratory beverages and holiday cocktails that are all usually extremely high in calories and sugar (eggnog, dessert wines, etc.) These drinks add up calorically and show up almost immediately as fat around your mid section, so there’s no hiding it. I will notice if you’ve been cheating, so don’t even try.

You have my permission to cheat a bit from time to time, but don’t insult me by abusing the privilege.

Additionally, these high-calorie, high-sugar drinks add little to no nutritional value to your diet. Replace all of this crap with WATER. Staying properly hydrated helps to decrease bloating and provides aid for your weight loss goals.

BUT… if you MUST drink, try some of these low-calorie, low-sugar options.

White/Red Wine: about 70 calories per serving with less than 1 gram of carbs and no fat.

Pabst Extra Light Low Alcohol:  67 calories per 12-oz serving (“Best low-calorie beer”)

Miller Genuine Draft 64: Just 64 calories per 12-oz serving (“One of the lowest calorie beers available”)

Bourbon: 64 calories per 1-oz serving. Recognize that you are adding a ton of calories if you add a mixer. Instead, use diet soda, tonic water, or another low-calorie mixer (that is, if you’re a wimp and can’t drink it straight).

If none of the aforementioned options appeal to you (listen up ladies and girly-men), you can also choose from the wide variety of beverages offered by SkinnyGirl:

White wine: 100 calories per 1 serving

Margarita: 38 calories per 1.5 fl oz

Sangria: 132 calories per 1 serving

Vodka: 75 calories per 1.5 fl oz

White Cranberry Cosmo: 34 calories per 1 serving

White Peach Margarita: 37 calories per 1 serving

Anyway, enjoy the holidays and remember to cut down your portions and stay away from those sugary drinks!

Have fun!

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Brauny’s Take 6: CHEF Braun

Are you a healthy eater?

Do you cook yourself meals everyday?

Well if you do both of these, like me, then I permit you to continue reading. If not, you’re a terrible person and you don’t deserve to read any further.

I’m kidding…

This week I’m going to talk about easy and healthy recipes to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day, I cook two meals for myself: the same breakfast and various dinners. Both meals are healthy and extremely easy to compose.

First meal of the day: breakfast. Every single morning I prepare egg whites and a piece of whole wheat or rye toast with almond butter and jelly on it. (TIP: Rye is actually preferable because there are no traces of white flour in the dough.) I follow with Greek yogurt and granola, sometimes a protein shake to top it all off. It’s a very filling breakfast and effectively sets up my metabolism for the rest of the day. When I’m in a rush, I have a bowl of puffins with a banana and Greek yogurt. It’s still very good and filling, but not my number 1 choice. Breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up in the morning. I usually eat breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30AM during the week, which turns into noon or 1PM on the weekends (let’s be realistic here.)

Some easy and healthy snacks for in-between meals include protein bars, shakes, fresh fruit, and my absolute favorite: hummus with pita chips or celery. Celery is great because it is comprised of nearly 98% water, but serves as a pretty filling snack. Most of these items can be taken with you as you start your day, whether you’re on your way to work or to do whatever else you unemployed losers do with yourselves.

Now on to lunch. Lunch is pretty much the same every day for me. It consists of either of the following things: A salad topped with grilled chicken, or a whole wheat/rye sandwich with tuna or chicken. Depends on the day, how I’m feeling, and what I’m in the mood for. I usually eat lunch between 11:30AM and 12:30PM. Because I eat breakfast so early, I get hungry for lunch on the earlier side. Lunch shouldn’t be that big because it’s sandwiched (pun intended!) in-between two small snacks. Keep it light and fresh. Simpler is better when it comes to lunch, but make sure there is some sort of PROTEIN present. Did you not hear me…I Love PROTEIN. Protein is important to keep you going until your next meal.

Dinner time! Dinner is my favorite meal because it’s when I get to go CRAZY! I usually eat dinner right after I work out, so I am super hungry. I love to experiment. I usually stop by Whole Foods on my way home from the gym to pick out a few key ingredients and get really creative.

Now I usually don’t release my dinner recipes to the public, but I’ll share three of my favorites here. Be thankful!

The first is an all-time favorite. It’s grilled salmon—with a sweet and spicy twist.

½ teaspoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of chili powder (or use cayenne pepper for even healthier choice)

a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper

Combine spices in a small bowl

Rub mixture over a 4-6 ounce salmon filet. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. This is a very filling dinner, but feel free to add a few sides. I usually include sautéed veggies and some quinoa for the perfect finish. This dish is only 184 calories but it has 23 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, and only 1.1 grams of saturated fat (7g fat). It’s a very healthy meal for after a workout. Try it! Tell me what you think.

The next recipe is another classic: Balsamic Grilled Chicken, inspired by the balsamic steak from of my favorite restaurant, Acqua al 2 in Florence.

Start with at least 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Use 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil,

½ teaspoon of salt,

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

For the balsamic sauce:

3 tablespoons of chopped basil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of chopped shallots

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of honey

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

Turn on the grill or stove top before preparing the chicken, allowing adequate time for the surface to become hot. To prepare the chicken, pound it lightly. Grill the chicken for a total of 12 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. To prepare the sauce, combine all the listed ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil to mix them all, and then drip the sauce over the cooked chicken. This is a great meal that doesn’t require more than 20-25 minutes to compose. It’s packed with 40 grams of protein, 348 total calories, only 3 grams of saturated fat (19 g fat) and only 2.8 grams of carbs. This meal is also great over a salad or over quinoa or brown rice. Play around with it a little. It’s fun to be creative in the kitchen. ENJOY!

The next recipe is extremely easy. I make it all the time when I’m not in the mood to devote 25 minutes to making a meal. It’s very simple. All you will need is eggplant, portabella caps, and teriyaki sauce. Slice the eggplant into a few thin slices and marinate them in a bag filled with the teriyaki sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Do the same with the mushroom caps, then throw everything on the grill for 8-10 minutes. You can make a nice eggplant-portobello burger with a slice of rye or whole wheat bread. Throw some lettuce, tomatoes and onions on there to complete the burger complexion and add some sides to the mix as well. May I suggest some quinoa or veggies? It’s a quick, easy dinner that’s full of nutrients. I promise you’ll LOVE IT!

That’s all for this week.

Enjoy your meals!

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

~@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Brauny Take: Gym Etiquette

So this week I’m going to talk a little bit about gym attire and etiquette.

Now, I know some of you don’t want to admit it, but you do care about how you look and act at the gym. I know I do. I like to look good and show as much skin as possible.

Juuust Kidding!

Anyways, you want to cover the right amount of skin. You want your shorts to be just above your knee. You want your shirts a good length and covering your nipples (guys). I’m sick of seeing these cut off tanks that look like they were done by a 3 year old. Cut them nicely and even so your nipples aren’t popping out.

(Ladies ……Your excused)

High socks are ok, as long as you’re fine with looking like an idiot.

I always wear hats, sweatbands or bandanas because I hate it when sweat gets in my eyes. Not a great feeling. You can make them very fashionable. Pick up a cheap hat from Urban Outfitters, Lids or even Lulu and make it your own. That’s what I do.

I also hate wearing regular cotton tanks. I might sound like a girl, but they are so f*#!’ing heavy and sticky when I sweat. I need a good material shirt to workout in. Something that’s light and easy to move around in, something that’s dry-fit. I’m a big fan of Lulu Lemon. However, I do own stock in them so it’s not all bad when I spend countless dollars on their ridiculously priced apparel. I also never forget to wear my CP tank! (shameless shout out)

Sneakers are probably the most important piece to the entire wardrobe. It’s your foundation. It provides you with comfort and support. You want your sneakers to be snug and comfortable with plenty of ankle support. I have a few pairs of sneakers for different things.

I have my spin sneakers that have clips.

I have my cross fit/workout shoes that have less support in the soles but more padding around the ankle.

And I have my running shoes, which have a Nike+ chip inside them to track my calories, steps and miles. They are extremely comfortable and are great for running outside.

You can’t go wrong with any cross trainer. It’s all about personal preference and which one feels most comfortable to you.

Now, besides looking the part, you also need to play the part.

Etiquette is VERY important at the gym. You need to be courteous and polite to others. Share the equipment and machines. If you take longer then 45 seconds in-between sets, let others work in with you. It’s the right thing to do.

If you don’t, then you’re an a$$.

Also, wipe down the seat when you’re done. Nobody wants to sit in your sweat. It’s nasty!

Don’t forget to remove the weights when you’re done, its common courtesy. Don’t make other people take off YOUR weights. Its just plain rude!

Something that really bothers me in the gym is when people fill up their entire water bottle at the fountain and it takes them forever! If you see people are waiting behind you, let them drink first and then you can fill up your f*^king bottle. “Don’t be a hog, share the knob” (that phrase is trade marked by Brauny LLC).

Just remember to be courteous and polite to people. Be friendly and fun. Some great relationships are made in the gym. You never know.

Just remember EVERY single rule, and you’ll probably be fine.

I make NO guarantees. J

Well, I’m done….Until next time.

Peace, Love, Protein! @CP

~@ajbrauny

Coupon Code: Braunytake1106

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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7 Guaranteed Ways to Keep Off the Freshman 15

This great blog is from our good friends at TheBestDegrees.com – Check them out and their great articles on college lifestyle! Thank you guys!

If you are heading to college or are the parent of a soon-to-be college student, then you’ve probably heard of the freshman 15. Although this expression is grossly overused and only about 10% of freshman actually gain 15 pounds or more, the issue of college weight gain is real. Booze, junk food, and laziness is a dangerous combination that can lead to weight gain and other health problems. The best way to avoid the freshman 15, or any unwanted weight gain in college, is to eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself. Start your first year of college off right by following these seven healthful tips.

  1. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet:

    One of the easiest ways to keep off the freshman 15 is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This may sound simple in nature, but college students often forgo healthy foods in lieu of fast, cheap, and convenient meals. Even if you can’t afford organic produce or grass-fed meats, you can still eat well on a tight college budget. Think variety and color when you’re shopping for groceries or dining out. If you eat nutrient-dense foods most of the week, you’ll feel healthier and fuller and even leave some wiggle room for the occasional pizza or ice cream splurge.

  2. Cut back on empty calories:

    It doesn’t take much for the pounds to add up when you’re consuming lots of empty calories every day. Many of the foods and drinks college students consume contain empty calories, which offer very little or no nutritional value. Pizza, sodas, ice cream, alcohol, energy drinks, chips, and cookies are just a few examples of empty calories. While it’s unlikely you’ll eliminate these delicious foods and drinks from your diet entirely, it is advised that you limit your intake of empty calories and save them as occasional treats.

  3. Dine smart:

    College dining halls are filled with just about every food imaginable. But just because you have endless options doesn’t mean you should indulge in everything the dining hall has to offer. Be conscious of your portions and pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Stay away from foods that are fried, battered, or smothered, and opt for baked, broiled, or steamed meats. Make sure your meal includes plenty of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.

  4. Be active:

    College can turn any student into a lazy bum. A sedentary lifestyle of sitting and not exercising, combined with junk food and overeating can cause weight gain in no time. The truth is, college students have a lot of downtime that can, and should, be spent being active. Find something you enjoy doing and do it as often as possible, whether it’s running, yoga, or intramural flag football. Another easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is to walk or bike to class instead of driving or catching the campus bus.

  5. Avoid late-night snacking:

    College students are notorious for giving into their late-night cravings for pizza, French fries, and Taco Bell’s “fourth meal.” As if the late-night snack choices weren’t bad enough, most students are chowing down after binge drinking for hours on end. This messy combination can result in serious indigestion and noticeable weight gain. If hunger strikes late at night and you must eat something before going to bed, opt for healthy, filling snacks like hummus and veggies, mixed nuts, or oatmeal and fruit.

  6. Pay attention to portions:

    It’s not always what you eat, but how much you eat that matters. Portion control is crucial for managing your calorie intake and keeping your weight in check. When you fill up your plate, try to keep the portions small, or only eat as much as you need to satisfy your hunger and bring the leftovers home. Remember, keep your foods varied, your portions small, and don’t overdo it on any one food.

  7. Get plenty of sleep:

    College students are known for staying up late and sleeping till noon and using naps as a way to make up for lost sleep. Skipping out on the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep per night can be disastrous for your mental and physical health. Not only does sleep deprivation affect alertness, immune function, and stress, but it also can cause you to gain weight. Those who are sleep deprived are more likely to engage in unhealthy late-night snacking and may experience a spike in their appetite due to sleep-related hormonal changes.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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