Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Tip of the Week: Avoid Portion Distortion

Click the photo for serving sizes!
It can strike fear in the hearts of many: the dreaded Freshmen 15. Studies have shown that actual weight gain is less than the perceived 15 pounds, but there is evidence to support that freshmen students are more likely to gain weight than their upper-class colleagues.

Many factors can play into college weight gain; maturing bodies, changing schedules, stress, and alcohol use are just a few examples. Another key factor is the availability of an all-you-can-eat buffet. While it may be tempting to load up at FCC- those calories add up! Remember, just because the dining hall is all-you-can-eat, doesn't mean you have to eat all you possibly can.

To avoid the Freshmen 15, practice portion control. Fill half your plate with fibrous fruits or vegetables and use the other half for your protein and carbs. Sit down with one plate at a time. It takes roughly 20 minutes for your brain to process the signals from your stomach that you are full. If you shovel down three plates in a hurry, you may find yourself feeling stuffed! Protein and fiber leave you feeling fuller, longer, so choose those options over simple carbs and fats. Make healthy swaps for a more nutrient-rich meal. Little changes in your dining hall habits can have a big impact on your overall health. Partner your healthy eating with a few trips to the Rec Center, and the Freshmen 15 may elude you!

Test your portion distortion knowledge here!


Mary at Mindless said...

You should read the book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" by Dr. Brian Wansink. Dr. Wansink is the Director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University as well as the inventor of the 100 calorie snack pack. Dr. Wansink says:

"USE THE HALF PLATE RULE: Around the house, the Half-Plate Rule can lead to more-balanced meals, and it can give your children the basic pattern for a healthy meal. Is steak and potatoes a balanced meal? No, it's only half of the plate - you still need a vegetable or salad for the other half."