10 Tips to Trim The Fat Off Your Hips


Published: October 7, 2010

When I first came to college, I was wary of gaining weight. Having heard about the horror stories of incoming freshmen gaining 15 pounds, I was determined to defeat this freshmen trend. After carefully choosing what I ate at the beginning, my diet soon slipped. Thanks to New York City’s wide variety of great food, I often found myself relaxing on my couch, munching on some General Tso’s chicken.

However, the late-night binge eating didn’t last long. Soon I was refocused on beating the freshman 15. Forgoing the regular diet plan, I instead made a personal list of lifestyle changes aimed at losing 10 pounds this semester.

School is hard; we all know that. So why would you want to add more stress by gaining weight and then worrying about it? Just say no to the freshman 15 altogether and lose up to 10 pounds this semester. By following these 10 helpful tips, you can take control of your body and learn to live a healthy life at college.

1. Keep a weekly food log. 

Write down everything you eat—and I do mean everything! Don’t worry; no one has to see it but yourself. After doing this for a week, look back on your eating habits. Weed out the small things you ate that you could have easily avoided. For instance, “I didn’t really want those Hershey’s kisses on Thursday night; I’ll make sure not to eat them unless I truly want one next time.”

2. Ditch the soda.

One 8 oz. cup has about 100 calories of pure sugar, and unless you’re a measuring whiz that pours out exactly 8 oz., chances are you’re drinking way more than the serving size. Although water is the best substitute for it, you can drink flavored lo-cal drinks too. My favorite is Vitaminwater Zero, conveniently sold in the cafeteria.

3. Dressing on the side. 

Many of us think that by eating a salad, we will be staying trim. Unfortunately, most salad dressings are what destroy an otherwise sound meal option. Order the dressing on the side and dip your bites of salad into it.

4. Get off the train one stop early.

If you’re going to 59th, get off at 50th. If you’re going to 34th, get off at 42nd. Ten blocks isn’t that long of a walk. Armed with your iPod or a good friend, you won’t even notice how long it took you to walk where you were going. Do this for one round trip and you’ll walk about 20 blocks, which is almost a full mile. That’s about 100 extra calories burned per day!

5. Take the stairs.

For each minute you walk up stairs, you burn an average of 10 calories. This may not seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly!

6. Eat!

Yes you heard me, eat! Eat at least four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. By eating frequently, you avoid letting your blood sugar level drop too much, which is what makes you ravenous. However, make sure each meal is balanced and has a starch, a protein, a fruit or veggie and doesn’t exceed 500 calories.

7. Stay hydrated.

Most of us don’t get as much water as our body needs on a daily basis. Being dehydrated can trick our body into thinking it is hungry and leads us to eat in order to obtain our water from food. Drinking a glass of water before every meal and every two hours after that, should help curb this. If you’re hungry, drink some water or tea and reassess your hunger level 20 minutes later.

8. Watch your alcohol intake.

While steering clear of it entirely is the best option, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to drink, order vodka with soda, water or tonic and a squeeze of lime. Many popular drinks can have 300 or more calories in them, thanks to the empty calories (calories your body can’t use for energy) of alcohol itself plus those of the mixers. Drinking straight vodka with tonic will cost you only 90 calories per drink.

9. Sleep six to eight hours daily. 

This one may sound dumb, but studies have shown that when you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces gherlin, a hormone that induces appetite. This all equates to eating more late at night. So get your six to eight hours of shut-eye a day.

10. Frozen yogurt to the rescue.

Opting for fro-yo instead of ice cream can save you up to 200 calories per scoop or half-cup serving. Replacing traditional baked goods with it can save you hundreds more. If you want to have some on hand in your freezer, Stonyfield Organics makes some awesome flavors that taste just like ice cream: like their Vanilla Fudge Swirl and Crème Caramel, all for 130 calories or less per serving. If not, take a walk to Pinkberry on 58th between 9th and 8th and order a mini or small cup of your favorite flavor. Limit the toppings to fruit or cereal and you should be safe.