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Old 08-18-2010, 02:44 AM   #1  
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Default Any college students out there?

Soooo... im going to be started weight watchers and going back to school next week. One of the main reasons I gained the freshman 15 or in my case the freshman 40 is eating campus food, mcdonalds dollar menu, pizza, and taco bell.

I was wondering if you girls had any tips on how to eat healthy without spenting a crazy amount of money because im going to be having a hard enough time paying rent and weight watchers meetings.

Also I want to be able to still go out with friends because otherwise I would have to sit at home and miss out. I dont know if I could handle the temptation of sitting there with a glass of water watching everyone else eat and have a good time.

So i guess what im really asking is how are yall able to maintain your social lives, without going broke, and still losing weight?
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:12 AM   #2  
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eating healthy and eating cheap is possible.. think fresh veggies and fruit.. really cheap.. for instance i just bought some grapes for 89c per pound.. eating out with friends is a pain in the butt. unless i know where we are going ahead of time i can google the menu and figure out what to order.. like last week i had soup and salad with stuffed mushrooms from olive garden! the soup was only 270 cals per bowl and the mushrooms i cant remember...

drinking though is a whole other ball park.. you dont want to drink on an empty stomach, but you dont want to eat late at night either.. I bring the wheat ritz crackers to munch on and then just get rum and diet coke.. stay away from all the fruity girl drinks.. oh and mikes hard lemonade.. theres a reason they dont put the calories on those things.. even though I think they should have too...

just plan all your meals you'll be fine
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 AM   #3  
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I'm a college student as well, albeit a slightly older one (nontraditional for the win!) I budget out my meals for two weeks at a time, and I spend on average about $50 for two weeks of food. This is what I buy...I eat the same basic things every day.

-3 lbs sliced lean turkey breast
-1 lb chicken breasts
-5 cans tuna in water
-Two loaves of 12 grain-no high fructose corn syrup-no preservative wheat bread
-one package of Lavash (8 servings)
-one large container of oats (for plain oatmeal, I go through about 1 a month)
-2 bunches of bananas
-a bag of some other rotating fruit (usually cherries, apples, oranges, peaches, etc...I change it up every two weeks)
-cucumbers
-broccoli
-spinach
-avacados
-greek yogurt
-low fat cottage cheese
-one pound pumpkin seeds
-one other random healthy snack to add variety

I also drink nothing but water unless I'm going out with friends.

Speaking of going out with friends- I eat a sandwich and some kind of raw fruit/vegetable two hours before I go out to eat with friends. If I've already had quite a few calories for the day, I'll have a bowl of plain oatmeal instead. At the restaurant, I'll get something cheap and relatively good for me, like soup, a side salad w/ low cal dressing, or a small veggie/fruit plate. The salad and plate are the best, as there's lots of things for me to pick at so it takes me a while to eat... plus I'm already full from eating beforehand. As for drinking, just keep it to one or two drinks... it's all about moderation. Count them in your calories, and if you have friends like mine who always want to buy you a drink if there's not one in your hand, hold your glass/bottle even after it's empty. It usually tricks them into thinking you still have a drink, and therefore they won't come at you across the bar to shove another empty calorie drink in your hand.

It takes some getting used to, for sure. You can do it though, it's possible!
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:40 AM   #4  
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I never can understand why people think its more expensive to eat healthy? Its soooo much cheaper. $10 for 1 pizza hut pizza or by your own healthier ingredients and make 3 pizzas for $10. Spend $1.99 for a soda at restaurant or drink unlimited tap water for free ($30 one time fee if you insist on a filter). $1 for Mcdonalds enlgish muffin or $1.50 for a box of walmart freuit oatmeal which makes 5 breakfasts.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:09 AM   #5  
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Speaking of pizza, you could have ingredients for whole wheat pita pizzas on hand. It's less expensive than take out and you have enough ingredients for 4-6 little healthy pizzas!

Pocketless Pitas
Marinara Sauce
Fat free mozz cheese
Any toppings you like. Mushroom, banana pepper rings, tomatoes etc.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #6  
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I'm in college, but I can't really give you too much advice because I also live at home. Although, I do eat lunches in the campus cafeteria sometimes because I don't have time to go home, and they also have an awesome salad bar.

I do tend to buy my own groceries, though - I don't spend a fortune. I mean, I saved so much money when I started dieting because those McDonalds lunches I was buying were like $7 - $10 a day for ONE meal. Whereas, now I buy a couple of Lean Cuisines at $3-$5 a box, some bread/deli meat, a couple of snacks and fruit, my protein shakes, and I'm good to go. It usually comes out cheaper than my fast food diet. Also, I'm getting breakfast, lunch, a few dinners (my parents cook when I'm not at work at night), and snacks out of that. So I save a ton of money. So yeah, it's possible. (:

As far as going out...if you're not doing it all the time, having one high calorie meal a week is not going to kill you. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night with my co worker. It actually keeps you from going into a plateau. But just keep yourself aware of calories - and if it's more often than once a week, maybe eat something beforehand and then maybe get a soup or salad. That way, you're still getting that time with your friends, without killing your diet.

(:
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #7  
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Thanks guys these are some great ides. I think it'll be way easier for me this year because im getting out of the dorm. It was so cheap to eat all the bad stuff because most of it (pizza, chips, sodas, etc) was given out free on campus due to different organizations trying to recruit and local businesses trying to promote their goods.

Let me tell you one day every year every pizza place in the city comes to campus and gives out unlimited pizzas and wings. Then at the end of the day we vote on the best pizza place for the year. Its going to be so hard to resist stuff like that! But im going to try my best.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #8  
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Kinda side note/unrelated - I'm a college student and several years ago I started cooking with a crock pot. You throw it all together and then when you get home, it's ready to go! Saves time. And it makes a lot of servings, so you can just freeze them!
I also find that eating healthy is cheaper, mostly because I was eating out 2 meals a day. Now I can go to the grocery store and it's $50 for a week. However, the first couple weeks it might be more expensive because you'll be getting random stuff that you don't have (spices can get expensive...but you don't have to buy them very often...places like bed bath and beyond or target have spice racks...then if you can find a bulk food store, you can just refill those)...so it might seem like more money at first, but once you get the hang of it, it'll be cheaper. good luck!
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:45 PM   #9  
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The only thing about going shopping once a week is that im worried about the fruits and veggies going bad before i can get to them. It seems like everytime i try to eat better i go and get a bunch of fruits and veggies and by the end of the week i'll have bags of rotten carrots and lettuce and $50 down the drain.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:06 PM   #10  
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I find myself going to the grocery store twice a week. This way you can get all the good stuff (fruits and veggies) and they wont go bad. I do find myself spending more money on groceries than ever before, but I haven't eaten out in 3 weeks so I know I am actually saving LOTS of money.

For you I think it will be very easy saving money if you go to the grocery store instead of eating fast food all the time. Just create a budget for yourself, when you go shopping have an idea of the things you need in order to make healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Also include some snacks. Try shopping at discount grocery stores as well.. It will help a lot.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:14 PM   #11  
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I used to have the same thing with fruits and veggies going bad. I think you have to be realistic about what you're going to eat, and maybe just buy a couple of staple fruits for a while. Try to work those into your regular diet and then some veggies that you can see working in nicely.

And about hanging out with friends, I've started to realize that it isn't any less fun to skip the pizza. I can be perfectly content eating my granola bar or fruit and watching my friends pig out on pizza, because I have decided that those kinds of foods aren't going to do me any good in the long-run.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:32 PM   #12  
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There are a few things that have worked really well for me.
1. I plan before I go to the store. I get the flyer for the grocery store I always shop at emailed to me each week, and I think about what I already have and what I'd like to make and then I make a list. I find that I'm less likely to buy things that aren't on the list, and I'm also less likely to forget something and then have to make another expensive trip to the store!

2. Invest in storage containers!!!! Good, freezer safe containers in a variety of sizes and ziploc bags. This has been my salvation for a couple of reasons. First, I am WAY more likely to pack healthy meals and snacks when I don't have to search and search for something to put them in. Second, freezing things when I make too much (like pasta sauce, for example), or when I buy something I can't or shouldn't eat all of (like bread or bagels) means that I always have something healthy in the freezer AND keeps me from wasting. And third - you mentioned produce. Storing it properly will keep it fresher. Also I always cut up the whole fruit or veggie at once and then store it - it's always easier to convince myself to eat that whole cucumber if it's already cleaned and chopped, and then I don't throw it away.

3. As for going out, everyone has made brilliant suggestions about eating beforehand and planning, etc. I do those things too, depending on who I'm out with. Another thing that I do, though (and this will only work with certain crowds), is share. Sometimes it's legitimately splitting something with someone. In my case, it's going out with my guys and immediately putting a portion of what I ordered on one of their plates. Because they will eat it! Or, if I am eating more than I'd planned, I stop and share it with them. Thank goodness for athlete boys with ridiculous appetites! Another thing that works is agreeing to go to a place you don't like. The aforementioned guys love going to Hooters before going to baseball games, and it works perfectly for me! I enjoy the tackiness, have one drink and a ton of laughs and am completely unfettered by the food, since I don't like chicken wings or curly fries!
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #13  
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If you are worried about not finishing fruits and veggies, don't buy too much and plan for them. I eat a banana everyday with my oatmeal, so I buy 7 (I go for green ones, you can even "cherry pick" the ones you want. get a bunch that are all green, and two that are yellow. You'll have some that are ready to go and some that'll take time to ripen up). I also eat an apple as my afternoon snack at work, so I get 5. They make it through the week. I usually get strawberries to go with my lunch, and that lasts 5 days or so. By the 5th day they don't look like they are in top shape, but they taste great and are fine to eat. I'll also bring cucumber to dip in hummus, so I buy two and separate them into five baggies. I also like steamed veggies, so I get a head of cabbage, a head of cauliflower, and some broccoli. Ziploc makes steam bags, so I cut them all up and put them in five steam bags for my work week. They last fine for the week (I do my shopping on Sunday). If it means you have to shop twice a week, make time and shop twice a week. I went on Sunday and shopped only for produce and that ended up being only $8. Maybe see if you can find a farmer's market in your area, they are usually pretty cheap.
To reiterate what others said, freezing is a savior when it comes to making too much. I typically cook for either myself or me and my boyfriend, so any leftovers are worked into my lunches or they go right into the freezer.
I think you'll have some hit and miss weeks, but you'll learn what you need to buy and how long it will last.
Keep in mind how much you'll be saving. Even if you get food off of the value menu at a fast food joint, that easily adds up to $18 a week. That'll be more than enough for your produce. I may spend more at the grocery store, but if you think long and hard about how much you can/do spend out, you'll realize that you are saving a lot (unless your diet has been ramen noodles!).
I also got a cute cooler (target has loads of these right now) that I can carry to work and school and it just looks like a cute handbag.
There are many reasons and excuses why we don't choose to eat healthy, but if you don't plan for it, you will not eat healthy. Problem solve instead of dwelling on the problems! You can do this! And you can afford it!
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:25 PM   #14  
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I gained 40 lbs total in undergrad! I went from like 125 - 165. 10 lbs a year!

I'm now 26 years old and still trying to lose it in grad school after 3 kids and 5 years. So much easier going on than going off. Isn't that the way it works?
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:39 PM   #15  
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I stayed home for my freshman and sophomore years and then decided to live on campus for the last two. I went from 125ish to 180ish by the time I graduated. Buffet style food is evil! It didn't help that I had to increase my anti-depressant meds either.

Seriously, the healthy food in snack bags are the best bet. I did that when I was on weight watchers in high school.
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