(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- Let’s face it. Most college students don’t rack in the dollars. Most live off of cold pizza and oodles and noodles. Because of this, many college students that want to lose weight feel discouraged when they find out that the average diet boasts a $300-$400 dollar a month food plan.
I'm telling you right now, I've been there. I was going to the grocery store every two weeks and spending at least $100 on groceries. To top that off, it was still difficult to control my portion sizes because there are not many recipes out there that make less than four servings, and if you’re like me, you can't eat just one serving. So what can you do?
Step 1: Try healthy frozen dinners.
Many nutritionists say that some frozen dinners (lean cuisine, healthy choice, or any other meals under 400 calories) help control portion size and calorie intake. When I found this out, my mind went back to the olden days of growing up with the nasty dinners of reconstituted potatoes and rock hard Salisbury steak, but since then, frozen dinners have come a long way. They are much tastier and very inexpensive, with a range of prices from $.89 cents to $3.00.
Step 2: Why eat three when you can have five?
Our metabolism is a strange little creature. In fact our bodies are a strange make up of feelings, processes and chemical reactions. When you eat more often and consume smaller portions not only do you allow your metabolism to burn more calories, you allow it to control your hunger which keeps you from binging on junk food between meals during the day.
Step 3: Stop feeling guilty about the occasional binge.
So, you want that brownie? Go ahead and have it. Just don't have an entire pan of brownies. If you give in to a little temptation now and then, it will keep you from letting the flood gates open when you're having a bad day.
Step 4: Water, water and more water.
This was the hardest step for most people. Most people are accustomed to flavored beverages, so trying to drink at least eight glasses a day can be a pain. If you’re one of those people, try Crystal Light. Crystal Light is a flavored drink (it also comes in convenient drink mixes) with only 5 calories a serving.
Step 5: Commit to at least 30 minutes a day of cardio at least 5 days a week.
Make sure you change it up when you are at the gym. Don't just stay on one machine for the full 30 minutes, split it up between two or three machines and your workout will fly by. Change up your pace with a minute of intense workout and two minutes of less intense workout.
Don't have a gym membership? Work your way into a running regime. I recommend the book “Running for Dummies.” It has a great plan for working your way up being able to run for 30 minutes a day without killing yourself.
Step 6: Stick with it and remember you are not on the Biggest Loser.
Wouldn't it be great to lose eight pounds a week? Well, the Biggest Losers have the benefit of no job or school commitments while competing on the show, and unfortunately you don’t. One to two pounds a week, is a healthy weight loss goal.
BDO (www.BlackDoctor.org) is the World’s largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.