It’s safe to say when you start uni, the prospect of cooking is pretty damn scary. I’ve been used to my Mum’s fabulous cooking for the past 19 years which was all healthy & not having to bat an eyelid of putting dinner on the table. Then I come to Uni and I’ve come to learn if I want to live off chicken dippers and chips that I may just start looking like one. However, I’m sure everyone is with me when I say it’s bloody easier said than done- I like a chocolate bar (or 3) as much as the next guy!
I’ve also learnt how badly I need to improve my fitness – after playing a measly 1/4 of a netball game yesterday, I was sure I was having a cardiac arrest. So, from the perspective of a non-6 pack baring, avocado and granola eating, skinny minny, I thought I’d give some basic ideas on how to keep your weight gain at bay to my fellow students (and myself!).
Join a gym or sport society
Duh. I understand not everyone wants to sweat their tits off on a treadmill for hours, or go into the weight training section to drown in testosterone, but you can do what you want and when you want, and as much or as little as you want. The flexibility has always been appealing to me personally! Bored? Chuck in half an hour at the gym, you’ll thank yourself later! If money’s an issue, join a society; they’re often free or cheaper than a gym membership and It’s a great way to meet people. Of course, there’s the traditional, simple run around the park or cycle too. If you can’t even be arsed leaving the flat (which is very student-like of you), have a crack at a home workout. There are loads on YouTube; here’s an example of one you could try.
Get some kick-ass gym attire and a good playlist to encourage you to workout
When I know I have a great gym outfit that I feel good in, I want to wear it, and to justify wearing it, I know I need to actually go work out or I would look a bit of a nob walking round in it. Missguided have a great range for girls that are trendy, and won’t leave you out of pocket. In addition to that, sort yourself a high energy playlist! If I listened to the likes of Sam Smith or Adele in the gym, I’d probably want to go home, crawl up in ball and cry instead. Get music you find motivates you. A few on my playlist are people like Disclosure, Kanye West, Hannah Wants etc. If you can’t be arsed scrolling through the 100’s of songs in your library, Spotify have some great workout playlists you can find through the ‘browse’ section.
Freeze extra food & learn portions
It’s extremely convenient to buy unhealthy meals for one, but as is over cooking and saving some for later! Freezers were such a beautiful invention, so use them! E.g Spag Bol; (click here for a recipe) – mince beef is rarely sold in portions small enough for one, so buy 250g (a good amount for 2 portions), cook it all at once, and freeze the rest for a later date. Also, learn portions! I’m forever making enough rice or pasta or serve a family of 4, and attempting to eat it all to prevent wasting money… which is a challenge that can be easily avoided. 1/2 measuring cup/90g of rice, or around 75g of dried pasta usually does the trick for 1. Try remove any unnecessary calories from your diet too, for example alcohol;
Hopefully these ideas will help you out, and without being the pot that calls the kettle black, I’ll sure as hell be trying these out to prevent myself looking like a beached whale by the end of my degree.
Sources – bbcgoodfood.com, justeasyrecipies.co.za, missguided.co.uk & Fitness Blender videos via YouTube.