It’s that special time of year, as the notorious Spring Break “szn” is set to commence. Tis the season for an all out war on tasty foods on college campuses across the country, as girls vie for the perfect bodies of women like Kendall Jenner and Gisele Bündchen. On my very own college campus, girls and guys alike are opting out of foods that are filling and good for the taste buds. Instead, they are going for foods that are good for the 6-pack–even if that means no real food at all. Burritos and fries are going untouched in dining halls on my campus. Gyms and recreation centers are filling up, as the lines at some of Ann Arbor’s top restaurants are thinning out.
Okay, so this might be a bit of an over exaggeration. People are still eating…kind of. With the impending glorious doom of Spring Break season, girls are just choosing to eat less. Sometimes, a lot less. This comes from the warped definition that many people have of what it means to “diet”. For many women, dieting takes the form of consuming foods with fewer calories. A friend of mine has chosen to trade in Friday Fry Day, for Fruitarian Fridays–a day in which she consumes only fruit and yogurt. If you were wondering if that sounds a bit unhealthy, it is.
Even worse, for many girls across the country, dieting takes the form of cutting out calories entirely–by cutting out meals. Instead of consuming foods low in fat, they opt to consume no food at all, for one or more daily meals. While these may seem like the only options to shedding those extra pounds, they aren’t! There is, in fact, a way to enjoy what you eat and to lose weight (at the same time).
So listen up ladies. Here is how to stop dieting, and start eating in moderation (and working out).
In order to effectively lose weight, we must burn more calories than we consume. This is the downfall of solely dieting to lose weight. If you take in more calories than you burn you will actually gain weight. So, if you eat yogurts and low-calorie foods every day, but do nothing to burn any of those calories, you might notice yourself packing on the pounds. The same goes for those dieters that choose to limit themselves to 1 or 2 meals a day, but do nothing to burn the calories (though few) consumed during those meals.
In reality, often the people that you see with the most Instagram-worthy bodies don’t diet at all. Celebs like Kendall Jenner and fitness gurus like Jen Selter and Tracy Anderson all admit that rather than dieting, they simply consume their favorite foods in smaller portions. This means that instead of grabbing a plate of fries, you take jusssst enough to satisfy your taste buds. While it may be tempting to double up on the tater tots and eggs, try to restrict yourself to only eating the intended serving sizes of your favorite foods. Eating in moderation might prove difficult at restaurants that serve 2 to 3 times the serving size, but this is where self-control and to-go boxes come in! Even better, there are plenty of healthy eating restaurants that serve delicious food in healthy proportions! I find it helpful to eat 3 or 4 small meals, rather than trying to eat 2 or 3 large meals.
No matter how few calories you take in, remember to hit the gym to burn them off.
All of the dieting, moderation and healthy eating means nothing without backing it up. So go ahead and eat those fries, just make sure to hit the gym after. Kendall Jenner will approve.