PSA: I’m not a nutritionist! Or an expert in anything. (Duh) This post is just based on my personal experiences as a D1 athlete/freshman in college.
When I first got to college back in August, I assumed I would have no problem evading the freshman fifteen and all the food temptations that come with being a college student with an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall. “I’m a super healthy runner!” I thought. “I have great self-control when it comes to food. The freshman fifteen is probably a melodramatic myth, anyway.”
For the first couple weeks, I was overwhelmed every time I went to the dining hall. Pasta! Sandwich bar! Salad bar! Cereal, fruit, ice cream, waffles, omelets, homestyle dishes, a “simple servings” bar, the grill… it was so much. I loaded multiple plates because I wanted to be getting my “money’s worth.”
When you’re trying to gain weight
Eventually, I realized that even with running 45 miles a week, walking/biking to class, and cross training, I was still going somewhat overboard with the food. I didn’t need to get a bagel with “whipped spread” after every meal just because they were there. I didn’t need to use up four plates at every meal even when I was full after two. I didn’t need to have ice cream every night just because it was there (and delicious).
Before college, at home, I was pretty independent with my eating. I would eat whatever my mom made for dinner most days, but breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were on me. But even though no one was regulating my eating at home before I came to college, it was still hard to adjust at college because you are 100% in charge of everything you choose to eat.
(Is this what adulthood is like??)
Anyway. It took me a couple months to get into a routine with my meals and snacks, especially when I would get bored and just eat the night away.
I thought I’d show you what’s in my dorm room “kitchen” area to show how two typical college runners snack every day. We both have a meal plan with 14 meals a week, but we usually eat breakfast and snacks and late-night dessert in our room 😉
In our little kitchen area, my roommate and I have a mini fridge, microwave, electric tea kettle, slightly illegal toaster, and a Keurig. The plastic drawers on the right are mine; hers are under her desk.
On any given day, this is about what our fridge looks like inside:
We almost always have yogurt, apples, oranges, string cheese, peanut butter, almond butter and jelly. Carrots and sugar snap peas are usually in the rotation as well. Right now, we also have hummus, pumpkin, blueberries, and a frappuccino that a friend gave me that I’m not sure why I’m keeping because I’m not going to drink…
There’s a small freezer compartment inside the fridge that doesn’t work too well, but we usually keep frozen fruit in there. It currently has a bag of edamame for meee.
Besides the fridge, I have a set of three plastic drawers that are home to my favorite snacks and random foods.
The top drawer has the oatmeal and chia seeds that I eat every day, as well as cocoa powder. The second drawer has Quest bars, almonds, chocolate, random stuff like sugar and my last bag of NatureBox snacks, and the third drawer has unopened peanut butter, almond butter, and jelly, as well as soup, pumpkin pancake mix, canola oil, and cooking spray!
On top of the fridge, we have more random stuff that we use every day like tea, coffee, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and packets of honey (not sure why we have that last one).
As you can see, we don’t really keep many unhealthy snacks in our room. We tend to snack on fruit, peanut butter/almond butter, dark chocolate, oatmeal, string cheese…that sort of thing. We’re not exactly typical college girls (#runnerprobs), but I think the best way to avoid junk at college is to just not buy it/have it in your room!