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DUDECAR's Photo DUDECAR SparkPoints: (1,131)
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1/18/12 11:06 A

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My school's main cafeteria isn't that great either and doesn't have enough healthy choices for people looking to lose weight. They usually have chicken and vegetables most nights and have wheat bread, but other than that there aren't a lot of other healthy options. It seems like every day they have fried chicken, fries, and disgusting looking hamburgers. I always walk by this food because I know that once I eat it I will feel bad and it just isn't worth it. I usually get a salad and put chicken ontop. It gives me protein and the fiber from the vegetables (in the salad) fills me up. I just need to make some better choices because sometimes I lose track of my goals and I end up eating what I'm not supposed to be eating.

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HAPPYWAGON's Photo HAPPYWAGON Posts: 69
1/16/12 11:17 P

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My problem is that the cafeteria used to be my main source of social interaction with my college friends, but last semester I didnt eat there as much because I had a job and didn't have a lot of time in between classes and work.. and i ended up gaining even more weight relying on fast food. It'd be nice to know I'm getting my money's worth out of the meal plan (which is automatically included in an on-campus housing plan), but I can see myself skipping on days when they don't have very healthy options or just out of habit. I have a fridge full of food in my apartment, so I won't starve to death otherwise, but I really feel like I'm limiting myself socially by eating at home

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CCLENIN234 SparkPoints: (3,761)
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1/10/12 9:36 P

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The hardest part for me is having the food right there. There is always going to be pizza, bread, fries, etc. so the temptation never goes away. Any tips on how to not give into these foods?

Also, the buffet style kills me because it seems like I am always going back for more food when I know I am full.

PURE_FITNESS12's Photo PURE_FITNESS12 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/11/11 11:21 A

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Ideally, your meal plan should fit you. This could be truly dependin on how your meal plans are set up by your school. Generally you should be able to substitute out the less healthy items like soda, chips, and fried items for fruit, vegetables, and whole grains with a little work or preparation. For myself, I eat a salad at one meal of the day everyday and try to not indulge myself with unhealthy foods until one day at the end of the week. Listen to when your body is full and stop. Know that portion sizes are outrageous too! Lol you must go in with the knowledge of what a serving size for each food group looks like. Grains should be a slice of bread or size of tennis ball (like rice). And always ask if you can have items cooked without oils and butter unless they can substitue for olive oil. 4 oz of meat should visually be the size of your palm (not including your fingers and thumb), vegetables you are safe eating how much you would like, a fruit serving is similar to a small apple or a handful of grapes or half of larger fruit like grapefruit. Fats should be consumed too. But try to be healthy in your choices and choose nuts (handful!) or a tbsp of oil like olive oil or sunflower oil or even coconut oil. Added butter should be the size of your thumb as is the size of a serving of cheese! Very tricky for the cheese :) as always try to choose fresh made vegetables or fruit with every meal. If you notice weight gain then you know you are eating too much so take a little less with each meal. Eat only until you're not hungry. I eat my entree first, protein, vegetable and small carbohydrate serving and save my fruit as a snack between meals so I am full now and not overeating, but have something for in between if I'm hungry. :) hope this helps. Remember, don't be afraid to speak up and ask for things a little different. Read labels and choose items that dont have sugar, dextrose, sucrose, maltose, fructose (or high fructose corn syrup) in the first 3-5 ingredients! On cereals, look for whole grain or secon best- multigrain. Choose real fruit over fruit filled things which are usually only fruit FLAVORED and contain very little of any real fruit. Your lifestyle and healthy living is within reach during college years- you just have to work with what you got and figure out what works best for you within your means! :) Feel free to reply with any questions or comments

*Patience is the key to all success*


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LISHWA's Photo LISHWA Posts: 900
8/1/11 5:44 P

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When they give you fries, or bread with your main dish...tell them to either hold the bread(ours was always fried garlic sticks coated in greese) and fries or swap it for veggies. They tried charging it as a separate dish until we told them "Your job is to provide me with a healthy and nutritious meals. Let me make it healthy." The first time you do this, you might have to talk to the manager (who has to be on duty anyways) but after that, enjoy your salads and veggies free of extra charge. If they don't, go to your student president and say "what can I do?"

Edited by: LISHWA at: 8/11/2011 (17:16)
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CROWNEDROYALTY's Photo CROWNEDROYALTY SparkPoints: (289)
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3/22/11 11:01 P

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I live on campus and my biggest problem with healthy eating is lunch and dinner. For lunch I can alternate between salad and a wheat turkey sandwich. However with dinner I am completely clueless on what to eat. I would love suggestions for both lunch and dinner :-)

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ECDAVENPORT's Photo ECDAVENPORT SparkPoints: (0)
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3/4/11 9:57 P

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I'm not sure about you guys, but my college posts what it's serving for every meal over the course of the week, so I use that to plan out what to eat. However, I understand that a lot of colleges might not do that, so I've used some other tricks:

1) This may sound a little weird, but for the food and drinks that are always there (like certain cereals, peanut butter, beverages, etc.), one day I brought in a couple measuring cups and measured out the serving sizes of the foods I ate most often, putting them on a plate or in a glass. I know that eyeballing portions is a dangerous game, but having even a marginally improved concept of portion sizes when using the dining halls' plates and cups helped me know around how many calories I was eating when I served myself.

2) For me (and this is the same with eating in restaurants now, too), not knowing exactly how they prepare the food is a little scary. For example, at my school's grill, I ordered my usual veggie burger, and was surprised to learn, as I watched them make it, that they did not just grill it like I thought they might, but instead put it in the deep fryer (?!?!). After knowing that they deep-fry veggie burgers, I haven't gone back. Ignorance isn't always bliss...

3) Salad bar! Pile on the fresh veggies, get a small chicken breast to cut up, and go to town! Or, my breakfast of choice is a parfait, layering cheerios, low fat yogurt, and sliced banana in a bowl. I started a trend among my friends; everyone loves it now!

I hope this helps...

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CHARGERBABE2013 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/21/11 7:48 P

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I agree! I am from a small college and we have no one to help or even willing to help those who wish to stay on trach with our nutrition goals. It is so hard to do by myself and since we are so small, our cafeteria is small and offers very little to choose from. I don't know how long I am going to last at this rate!!

GARRETTH91 SparkPoints: (3,398)
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9/3/10 5:17 A

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It seems that a lot of universities now have a nutritionist that you can speak with about how to set up a nutrition plan right for you, or any doctor or nurse at the student health center would be able to help you! good luck!

BETTYHAYES's Photo BETTYHAYES Posts: 5
8/13/10 5:13 P

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this is my dilemma too, I'm going into catered halls in october and have no idea how i'll manage. I'm going to have to have the willpower the strength of a small herd of elephants because there's desert at every meal... eek. Though saying that, it won't be the deserts.. its just the general portion control factor.

But thanks for everyones tips on how to manage it!

I read somewhere about getting into the habit of leaving some food left on your plate to get out of the notion of needing to eat everything on your plate so i'm thinking the 'waste it' not 'waist it' concept will help me along with this



JMAC23 Posts: 265
8/9/10 1:59 P

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Don't feel bad about throwing things away! It's better to "waste" it than "waist" it. (An adaption of someone else's saying on here). Also, if your cafeteria has a place where you can make deli sandwiches or something, those are usually pretty healthy. I often have a turkey wrap with plenty of veggies and mustard instead of mayonaise.




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NESSA236's Photo NESSA236 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/25/10 6:38 A

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It's hard eating healthy when you are in college.
I always have a nice meal every night with my sisters. The hardest part for me is snacking! And if I don't bring something to eat at school, I end up going to get food some where else. I don't usually go into the Cafeteria to get food. I have a few times, but I don't really have the chance with my classes being back to back. I like to bring water and a granola bar, or grapes. Something quiet and eat it in class. Plus it's cheaper to bring your own snack from home. :)

PIKKON's Photo PIKKON Posts: 27
6/29/10 11:11 P

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Great idea Nolo :)

My first year of college I gained a lot of weight from a combo of not eating right and never getting any sleep. The university cafeteria was buffet style and I often found myself stuffing in as much as I could to get my money's worth....so my advice would be to continue as you've been doing make sure that you are going after the healthiest choices-think of it as if you were dining in a restaurant, what foods would you pick off the menu then? Try not to get more than you need but if you have to see if you can either take the food home for later or at the very least you may end up having to throw it away. Don't eat it just to empty your plate!

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NOLO88's Photo NOLO88 Posts: 46
6/27/10 1:55 A

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I don't know about your guys' dining halls, but I work at one of the ones on my campus, and the cooks have no problem looking up the calorie count and anything else on the food that's out on display. Just ask whoever's working if they can get a calorie count for you!

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RGRAPEOLE's Photo RGRAPEOLE Posts: 59
6/24/10 11:26 A

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For me, I try to make healthy decisions. But how are you supposed to track it, if you're not exactly sure what you're eating?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
JAMESMAINE's Photo JAMESMAINE Posts: 28
5/30/10 11:05 P

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Our cafeteria allows for some pretty healthy options, including using meal swipes for individually prepared bagged lunches.

They also have a salad bar stocked with untouched (ie. no added salt or fat) proteins like chicken breasts, turkey, tuna, cottage cheese, etc.

Most likely your cafeteria is run by an independent contractor such as Sodexo, meaning they are there at the will of the student body and the contract managed by your Campus Services Director or equiv. Meaning the Contractor's General Manager for your location for your Cafeteria and Retail locations are willing to work with students to improve options.

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GOTRAE Posts: 3
5/25/10 6:47 P

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I don't have a food plan anymore but when I did, I focused on choosing water instead of soda. Also, although salad is good be careful with the salad dressings because most of them are just as high calorie as any other option in the cafeteria. Another good thing to stay away from is dessert. When you're done eating, leave the cafeteria, don't stay and chat!

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ODIRI2013's Photo ODIRI2013 Posts: 9
5/18/10 11:44 A

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I definately ask myself this a whole lot. I go to UT and once I got there dieting adn eating rigth kind of went out the window.Everything is so conveinant in college lol. But I try to eat salad at least 3 times a week with my meals and limit my pop drinking to maybe one class and some water on the side. This year I defiantely plan to keep good snack on me to keep from over eating not so healthy stuff.

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LOLZTHATSWIM's Photo LOLZTHATSWIM Posts: 673
5/18/10 11:01 A

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I take everyday as a new day personally. For instance-obviously college food isn't prepared the healthiest (most of it). You can just make good choices-instead of getting fried chicken get grilled. Find that salad bar...although if you don't like salad that could be a problem.

Also-as hard as this is, throw away food you don't want or bring it back to your room. My college has absolutely no portion control even after I ask for a smaller piece of something. Therefore-I have no remorse disposing of anything unwanted.

So in short-get rid of what you don't want and look for the healthiest options.

Also-the microwave can make you some of the healthiest options too. I often microwave egg whites or something healthy for a snack or breakfast.


I have started my own blog about my running, cooking and swimming in college. :) lolzthatswim.wordpress.com/


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EMMYLEMMY's Photo EMMYLEMMY Posts: 6
5/9/10 8:58 P

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How do you create and stick to a diet plan when you are relying on a college meal plan, where there is no portion control, no available nutrition information, and know way of knowing what your options are going to be from day to day?!?

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