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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to get ripped and stay ripped while on a university hall diet

Here's an essay by my daughter, Mary-Ann, about how to stay healthy and lean while living in a university hostel. Weight gain and generally becoming unhealthy are serious problems faced by many students while living in catered hostels. 

If you have children living in a university hostel, you might want to pass this article onto them.

How to GR and SR while on a University Hall Diet

By Mary-Ann Moller (  sport and exercise nutrition at University of Otago)

Living at a catere
d hall can bring about its challenges when trying to stay on a strict diet.  Not only are you not always provided with the exact meal that you would ideally like, you are also faced with a lot of tempting food that is literally put under your nose at every meal.  However, living in a catered hall definitely has its perks and I believe that with a wee bit of education and self-control, you can eat your way to getting ripped and staying ripped!  Here are a few wee tips and pointers that I have put together for you.

-Firstly, avoid refined carbohydrates (CHOs).  For those of you  that don’t know what these are, these are processed food items usually made from white flour with added sugar.  They come in the form of pasta, white breads, desserts, cakes and slices.  These foods are high in energy and low in nutrients.  Therefore, if you don’t go out and burn this energy off (by exercising), it will get converted and stored as fat!  “A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!”  
-Where possible, replace refined CHOs with unrefined alternatives.  For example, instead of white bread choose the DENSE and WHOLEGRAIN varieties.  As its name suggests, wholegrain breads are the ones where you can actually see the GRAIN.  At my hall, Burgen and Ploughmans is where it’s at!  Instead of white rice, choose brown.  Wholegrain foods have a low Glycaemic Index (GI), which means that they release energy slowly into your blood system.  This prevents you from getting spikes in your blood-sugar levels, which is the cause for sugar cravings and potential binges.
-Try not to overload on the starchy CHOs such as potato and bananas.  Starch is sugar!  You can still enjoy these, but in moderation.  A great alternative for potato is pumpkin, which is low in starch.
-Take a piece of fresh fruit at every meal.  Even if you don’t eat it at the meal, take it for a snack to have later, in between meals when you get hungry.  You should be eating a minimum of 2 pieces of fresh fruit every day.
-Don’t drink the juice.  Fruit juices are incredibly high in sugar.  Just drink water.  You will not miss the juice.
-Steer clear of the hot chocolate machine.  It is just like drinking a cup of sugar.  Save this for the occasional treat. Again, just drink water.
-At every lunch and dinner there is a delicious salad bar.  Load up on the salads!  Fresh veges are the best source of many vitamins and nutrients.  Leafy green veges are high in iron, vitamin K and folate, so load up on the baby spinach leaves and broccoli.  If there is tuna/salmon or hard boiled eggs, eat plenty of these as they are high in protein which you want to eat lots of.
-Avoid anything deep fried.  Pretty obvious why, and what foods these involve.  The most common at my hall is the chips.
-Ditch the jam. You are just spreading sugar (and no nutrients) onto your toast.  If you must have something sweet then go with the honey, this is atleast a natural sugar, but go easy on it.  Hit up the marmite as it his high in iron and B vitamins.
-At most halls you are presented with some form of baked good or dessert at every lunch and dinner, on every day.  There is absolutely no reason why you should be consuming this amount of empty calorie and nutrient deprived food.  Just walk straight past the dessert section of the servery and don’t even look in it’s direction.  You don’t need it.  And you certainly don’t need it if you want to get ripped and stay ripped.  These things should be reserved for the odd treat maybe once or twice a week. You are in control of what you choose to eat!  
-You pretty much want to be trying to follow a diet high in protein and low in CHOs.

Some of the meals at my hall are a bit lacking in the amount of protein required to really get ripped.  Protein is not only essential for building and repairing muscle, but also for weight management.  When you ingest protein, this sends signals to the brain telling you that you are full, this is also known as satiety (the sense of feeling satisfied).  What you want to do is drip small amounts of protein into your diet over the entire day.  This will reduce you getting really hungry and potentially pigging out on something that you shouldn’t.  

Some high protein snack would include things like tuna, meat, eggs, cheese, natural yoghurts.  It would be handy to have your own supply of these types of foods to have either before a meal or in-between meals.  As these types of high protein snacks are not that easy to whip up quickly as you are running between lectures, protein shakes can be a great alternative.  Having up to 3 protein shakes a day can be a great addition to yo
ur hall diet.  Make sure you are making your protein shakes with water and not milk, otherwise you will be taking in a lot of sugar from the lactose in milk.

As with any diet, it must be sustainable.  There is no point in losing weight if you are going to put it back on.  In fact, this kind of yoyo dieting can mess with your metabolism and do you long-term harm.  The best type of weight loss is incredibly slow and is over a long period of time.  Those that lose it the slowest, will be the ones that keep it off.  It is about creating a healthy lifestyle to improve your quality of life. When it comes to health and fitness, there are no quick fixes, but there are long term rewards!

Yours in good health,

About this website
The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.


Anonymous said...

Man thats a awesome article!!! And the girl who wrote it is rather beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Awesome article! and great advice!

Anonymous said...

This is a truly insightful, most informative and well written article. I believe this young woman will go far, and I commend her on such dedication to helping fellow residents and young people alike. However, this advice can be used for all personal to really enhance physical and mental health.
Well done and thank you. All the best!