Staying Fit While Eating on Campus

The term “freshmen 15” is thrown around a little too loosely on college campuses. Unfortunately, this is because too many of us find ourselves caught in this cycle of weight gain. The cause: inadequate diets.

UW-Whitewater’s dining services, provided by Chartwells, actually do a lot to make sure students can eat on campus and stay fit. I don’t live on campus, so I focused solely on meals provided by restaurants in the University Center.

To prove that students can maintain a healthy diet on campus, I examined each restaurant separately to find out what a typical diet might look like.

Let’s start with breakfast. Breakfast in Ike Schaffer Commons, or “U.C. breakfast” as all of my friends call it, is a popular attraction for many students before they head off to their first class of the day. The Commons offers a plethora of typical breakfast foods. From egg sandwiches, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal and more, the Commons breakfast has it all.

The entrees in the Commons have 178 calories on average. According to Livestrong.com , breakfast should make up about 350 to 500 calories in someone’s diet. By these standards, you could have two servings at the buffet-style restaurant.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day because it kick starts metabolism and helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

Moving on to lunch, the average calorie count for a sandwich at Graham St. Café is 429. This may be a little high for someone of average height and weight, but most of the calories, which describe the amount of energy a food provides when you eat it (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/better-choices/amount-calories.html), come from the average of approximately 30 grams of protein per serving.

Protein is essential for the average student’s diet. It promotes brain activity and aids neurotransmitters when they are transferred.

Now for dinner, Yan Can Cook, the ethnic restaurant located in the Commons, serves egg rolls, fried rice, stir fry and more. Such dishes inquire a caloric intake of 290. Studies done at Kansas City State suggest an individual should save 30 percent of their daily calorie intake for dinner time. Dinners at Yan Can Cook are fairly low when it comes to calories, but that just means that you have more room for fruits and veggies to accompany your meal.

The numbers I have provided are very vague, and I gave general numbers to prove the restaurants are providing healthy meals overall. Information about Willie’s 360, Freshens or Uno due Go was not provided by the university.

To find out more about meals offered in Ike Schaffer Commons, Graham St. Café, Yan Can Cook, Esker, Prairie St. or Drumlin, you can visit: http://www.dineoncampus.com/uww/show.cfm?cmd=nutrition.

In addition to providing healthy meals for students, Chartwells has made several changes to help students keep track of the foods they’re eating.

Chartwells recently created an app for Android users and installed a nutrition kiosk, which was described by Marketing Director Ann Rakowiecki as an “iPad app,” in Esker.

The dining service has also teamed up with 411fit.com (a site that allows users to keep journals of their healthy eating. Based on the profiles students create, the site can also provide information about the foods their calories should be coming from, and the types of exercise they should be doing on a weekly basis.

There are a lot of fun and exciting changes on campus to make healthy eating more fun and easy. All you have to do is take the first step to live a better life!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]

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