Meshach Roberts | Staff Writer
College students often fear gaining the “freshman 15,” but Thanksgiving might just be the culprit of those extra few pounds. According to Forbes, during the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner a person eats about 3000 calories, which is over a third more than the recommended daily calorie intake for the average woman. This does not include eating breakfast on that day or a late night turkey snack. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy great food while staying healthy.
After weary nights of studying and eating ramen noodles, most students appreciate a much needed break. Shauntia Ennels, a first-year, five-year MBA major from Glen Burnie, Maryland, stated “I’m excited to go home and spend time with my family. It’s a holiday and holidays are supposed to be spent with family not spent doing homework.” Thanksgiving is a time where many students are finally able to go back home and be reunited with their family.
Students are excited to have a home cooked meal, one of the luxuries missed during the three months away. However, there are ways to enjoy it while not overindulging. A common practice in many households is to fast until the food is prepared. “I use to, but when I got older I started to eat at least a bowl of cereal in the morning because I didn’t feel like it was necessary to starve just for a meal,” said Tandeka Nunn, a junior sociology major, from Honolulu, Hawaii about fasting before the Thanksgiving meal was ready. This method is one of the worst things one can do. Going to a feast very hungry will cause one to eat considerably more food.
Exercise of course is very important when it comes down to burning calories. Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association, told WebMD, “’Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.” Forming a habit of jogging in the morning could be the difference between gaining or losing that one or two pounds during the holidays.
Even chewing has a large impact on health during the holidays. According to Medical News Today, “the longer you spend chewing the fewer calories you will be consuming per minute. You will feel full more rapidly, compared to gulping everything down quickly.” Savoring food by chewing it slower doesn’t only make the food taste better but has health benefits.
After working hard during spring and summer to get the perfect beach body the post-holidays serves to many as a reminder or an alert to get back in shape and start up those New Year’s Resolutions again. Many make goals like eating healthier or going to the gym. If these steps are taken, a New Year’s weight loss goal might be easier than expected.