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cant seem to incorporate diet w/ weekends.

I'm in college...and that means that most of the weekend social events ( which I enjoy and look forward too!) involve beer, jello shots and late night diner runs. I tried to avoid it for a while but I feel like I'm trying to maintain this healthy life style that no one else in my circle is concerned with(for themselves atleast...they are supportive of me but really their own ease about cheese fries gets in the way of my motivation lol). And now I find myself preparing for the binge weekend. Every week I try to restrict and be extreme in my dieting so that on the weekends I can have a guilt free night of beer and diner food. But the trouble is that the weekdays are so rough and the weekends still leave me feeling guilty. I'm in college! I love the lifestyle and I hate the results of bad as it sounds its really hard to chose a salad over a burger at 2am when you're drunk. I know alot of you cant relate to this, and you may question my commitment to a healthier lifestyle if I cant give up partying, but I'm just looking for some guidance. what should be more important having fun or being thin? Do you think the idea of restricting during the week and binging over the weekend cancels out or is it totally self destructive? keep in mind I cant have a low-cal cocktail at a keg party. advice? no harsh words please, we are all hard enough on ourselves.

Fri. Oct 13, 11:58pm

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Well it's hard to have the best of both worlds- but I understand where you're coming from.

First-- don't be too restrictive during the week- if you limit too many calories you could be in starvation mode! If that happens you'll be worse off because all the binging you'll do on the weekends will stay with you. Try to go for 200 less than what you need to maintain your weight and combine simple (I said simple!) exercise... which leads to the next point;

Second-- WALK EVERYWHERE! I don't know how big your campus is, but take advantage of walking to classes, between classes to study halls, parking your car far away or bus in and getting off at the stop before/after your regular stop. Walk walk walk walk walk. I lost 30 lbs in 2 semesters by walking between classes (yes while drinking on the weekends and getting late night cheesy fries and my fav- egg rolls).

Third- bring your own food with you during the week. This will help you control more of what you eat- because you really should try to eat just under what your daily allowance is. The trick is to not eat empty calories during the week. Check out I love it- it will help you identify where your calorie goals should be, keep track of your daily calories, and for the student in you- it will even grade you on your eating performance (summary section). Try it out- you'll love it!

Now here's the mom in me: Please be careful with your binges- too much alcohol can kill and eventually too much fat can too. You asked what was more important- to be thin or have fun... now you know the answer, it’s more important to be healthy. By letting yourself "cheat" over the weekends you could be setting yourself up for problems in the future- such as bad habits (overeating, over indulgence, etc) or they may be serious health problems (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, alcoholism, etc). You want me to say go have fun- I will, but you know that you can have fun and be responsible too. Part of being in college is finding who you are and who you are going to be. No one can help you do this, and if you do end up letting someone else make personal decisions like this for you, you will regret it later. Be safe, have fun, make wise decisions, and always use a condom. You'll be fine!

Saturday, October 14, 2006, 1:23 AM

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Suggestion about the beer...try cutting it 50-50 with diet 7-Up or diet Sprite. The British call this a shandy. Just bring your soda supplies in your bag. Here's an excuse should anyone catch you making it (for some of us, it's the truth): "Alcohol makes me sleepy and I want to stay the distance tonight, so I'm prolonging my endurance".

When you go to the diner and you're not in the mood to make a totally healthy choice, choose something protein-rich like buffalo wings over something carb-heavy like cheese fries (and just pick at your friends' fries if you can't resist completely). Protein uses 30-40% of its own calories to digest while carbs use just 8-10%.

Can you be persuaded to pick up a club sport? It'll help a lot, both right now and down the line...muscle memory is not a myth. Wish I'd known about it when I was your age.

Saturday, October 14, 2006, 12:07 PM

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Sprite??! Ugh! I always thought a shandy was beer and lemonade.

Hey OP, here's something to think about -- it's not that it's so hard to choose a salad before a burger when you are drunk, but that it's hard to choose a salad before a burger when it is 2 in the morning. As part of your establishing healthy habits and losing weight, make sure that you are getting enough sleep most nights of the week. I know that most college students don't -- and I sure didn't!! But we now know that sleep deprivation screws up your body's ability to regulate blood sugar, so that you feel hungrier than you are, and you are more likely to eat carbohydrates and heavy foods when you are tired.

Saturday, October 14, 2006, 12:31 PM

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To 12:31 poster... "lemonade" in the UK means a 7-Up type of soft drink.

Saturday, October 14, 2006, 3:44 PM

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college is tough and you will only be an undergrad once! enjoy yourself or you will regret it later! posters who suggested walking as much as possible around campus are right-exercise more and your weekend freedoms won't affect your weight as much. try to eat healthy during the week-don't cut calories too much-you need the energy to keep your studies up! college life is all about balance and it takes a while till you figure out a system that works for you. good luck!

Sunday, October 15, 2006, 7:12 PM

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Keg beer is usually light, so 12oz probably has about 120 cals. So, try to spread your beer over time, and you're not packing that many extra calories.

At 2am, at a diner, my weakness was always fried eggs, hash browns, and bacon. If you like that too, try poached eggs (cooked in water, not oil, but can still be runny in the middle) over dry (no butter) toast - or dip the toast in the runny egg yolk. An egg is 80 cals, and a slice of dry bread is around the same. So, 2 eggs and 2 pieces of bread is 320 cals, not going to kill you. Each slice of bacon is also around 80 cals, so 1 slice of bacon and you're at 400 calories. Yeah, it adds up fast, but that's a decent amount of food.

Alternately, order french fries and dip in ketchup instead of cheese, and just order the fries, not the burger. A big plate of fries may only set you back 250 calories or so.

Or, if you really want the burger, eat it with a fork and knife, no bun. However many calories are in the burger (depends on the size), you'll eliminate 200 calories by not eating a big bun, or 150 by not eating a smaller bun. And, the burger part still tastes good!

Try to eat lightly during the day, but make sure to eat enough, and don't skip dinner. Drinking on an empty stomach often turns into trouble!!

Monday, October 16, 2006, 2:47 PM

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"Do you think the idea of restricting during the week and binging over the weekend cancels out or is it totally self destructive? keep in mind I cant have a low-cal cocktail at a keg party. advice? no harsh words please, we are all hard enough on ourselves. "

i think it is totally self-destructive. you don't want to get used to this see-saw approach to your health. i think you can effectively cut out some calories during the week and "save up" a few extra hundred for the weekends to enjoy the drinking you do. but keep in mind, tolerance is gradually built up and you may find that when you are a senior, it takes more than a few beers and a shot to get you where you want to be, drunkwise. it's sort of setting yourself up to go overboard with the alcohol. and if you get into a habit of partying every weekend, you may feel slighted when you have to take a weekend job and you can no longer release the stress from the weekdays with carefree drinking. trust me on this point if nothing else-the late night diner runs WILL catch up with you. it's not just current calories to watch out for, it's also high cholesterol, increased blood pressure, heart disease, metabolic issues, and perhaps worst of all, poor eating habits that may leave you feeling unsatisfied when you turn to a healthier diet-we all know that salty, fatty foods are better tasting and switching over to low salt and fat free will be that much harder if you "binge" on them now.

Monday, October 16, 2006, 3:00 PM

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Corrections to 2:47 poster's numbers...

A cooked strip of bacon is actually 40 calories, according to the Oscar Meyer package in my fridge. It's only 70-80 calories before you cook half the fat off.

The only serving of french fries that clocks in at 250 calories is the small size at McDonalds. The typical diner/restaurant portion is more like 400-500 calories.

Monday, October 16, 2006, 8:24 PM

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Healthy in college

Here is my advice,
I had a similar college experience that you have had. I partied, had a good time, ate greasy food, and dranks lots of beer. You are only young once. Don't worry too much about restricting yourself. I don't regret any moment of enjoying myself during my college days and you shouldn't either!
During the week, maybe you can try eating more fruits and veggies. Just with changing that little part of your diet, it can make a difference. Don't stress too much. You will have plenty of time to catch up on your health but it is much harder to met friends once you hit the workforce!

Monday, October 16, 2006, 8:55 PM

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Cut out as much sugar and all soft drinks during the week, including weekends.

Eat what you want- just divided it in 1/2 or better, just eat a 1/3 of what they serve and you will cut out a lot of calories that way.

Ditto what another poster said about walking everywhere you go on campus. These changes may not allow you to lose a lot of weight but they will help you keep from gaining, which will put you in less of a hole to dig out of when college is over.

Ps... be safe!

Monday, October 16, 2006, 9:06 PM

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I graduated college in 2003 and had a life similar to what you explain. Actually my fiance and I still like to "party" sometimes on the weekends. As long as you are in control (without going overboard) I think you will be fine on the weekends. You are only young once!
I agree with the posters who suggested limiting your food intake late at night. Get only the fries instead of a burger and fries. I used to be a late night drunk eater and I will tell you until I broke that habit I did gain weight early on in college. Now I don't eat anything late night like that.
And I am at a very healthy weight (even with some partying on the weekends!), I exercise 5 days per week and drink a ton of water. Just make sure you don't overdo it
Have fun!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 11:45 AM

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I almost feel as if I was born to answer this question. After 4 years of undergrad, I think I finally found the happy medium.

1. Walk everywhere--brilliant and vital move. Walk to the bars, walk home. Walk to class, walk to the store. Even when you are drunk, and it is 20-degrees at 4 in the morning, buddy up and hike home--it will not only sober you up for sleep, but it will help cut into some of those beer calories.

2. Weekend workouts--I swear by "sweating out" a hangover. Even if I have to drag myself to the gym wreaking of gin, I do it. An hour of cardio can 'get rid' of a lot of those added calories.

3. Flavored water--it took me a while to realize that I didn't need 10 beers to get drunk; in fact, I could/can work up a good buzz on 3 beers. Now when I feel myself buzzed, I'll drink flavored water or diet soda. It helps me maintain my drunken state while still feeling social.

4. Late night food--I've finally cut this out completely. I just keep telling myself that I know I'll feel awful in the morning after 3 slices of pizzza + I promise myself a delicious breakfast in the a.m. If you get roped into going along to a diner, drink non-alc bevs and avoid food. Once you get into the habit of not eating late night, it becomes second nature. If you must, only indulge once a weekend verus twice.

5. Eat a late dinner. Eating dinner at 8 or 9 before a night out is KEY. If you eat too early, you'll be more apt to nosh on fries/pizza after last call. Instead, eat a nutritious meal an hour before going out.

I hope this helps. College and a healthy lifestyle can be possible, if you use some planning + restraint. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 9:41 AM

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