Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
During your first week (or two) at University, all rules go out the window. With nothing to wake up for except your next night out, no one telling you what to do and the freedom to do your own food shopping, it’s likely there won’t be a vegetable in sight. Add in two weeks of excessive alcohol and kebab consumption, and it isn’t surprising that people tend to get comments like “Darling, you look… well” when they return home for Christmas.
Having a great time, making friends and enjoying your newfound freedom is what it’s all about, so I’m not here to tell you to stick to water or to ditch the post night out cheesy chips – that would be ridiculous. However, there are a few ways you can keep a lid on excessive weight gain whilst still having the time of your life.
1. Swap the wine or beer for a spirit and low-calorie mixer.
It’s easy to forget that alcohol contains calories, but according to Drink Aware, a pint of lager can contain around 180 calories whilst a large glass of wine is around the 230 mark. This means that a heavy night of drinking can account for over half your daily calorie intake, so you can imagine how many extra pounds this add up to if you’re out every night for two weeks! Fear not, you can still party to your heart’s content, but try swapping your vino for a G&T. If you opt for slimline tonic, you can be looking at a tipple that’s as low as 60 kcals – result!
2. Get your butt to Sport and Wellbeing.
Now, this is not exactly groundbreaking advice, but the obvious way of keeping the pounds off is to hit the gym. A full membership at the Uni gym is £230, and an off-peak membership is £165. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing more unappealing than slogging away at the treadmill after a night out when you could be in bed with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a Netflix series. However, if you’re anything like me, whilst the cross trainer has a 0% chance of getting you out of bed, a commitment to an exercise class will, especially if you’ve arranged to go with others. Also, going to a fitness class is a really good way of meeting new people! There are loads on offer, you can get a timetable online of from the uni gym, and the classes are included in your membership.
3. Line your stomach with something other than nuggets.
One thing that no one feels like doing when they’re getting ready for a night out is cooking. So, inevitably, with half an hour to go before pre drinks, you just switch the oven on and throw in a few chicken nuggets or a pizza. Obviously, this is fine to do once in a while, but when you’re going out a lot, you might be better having something a little bit healthier. Pasta, the old student classic, is a good bet before you go out drinking, and it’s quick and easy. Switch to wholewheat pasta and have it with lots of veggies and maybe some chicken, and you’ll be saving yourself calories!
Remember, there’s a hell of a lot more to life than fitting in your jeans, but it’s also worth thinking about making choices that are better for your health.
Have the best Fresher’s Week and I look forward to seeing you all at a HIIT class sometime…