The 5 Best Non-Diet Diets for College Kids

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Even though spring break is over for most of us, the “spring break diet” phase is not over. In fact, it’s morphed into something far more terrifying: the post-spring break/pre-summer diet. This takes into account the 30,000 calories of alcohol and 10,000 calories of drunken munchies consumed over the week of spring break plus the upcoming sundress and swimsuit season. But who actually likes to diet? Nobody. So here’s a comprehensive hot-bod diet that involves absolutely no classic dieting at all.

1. Embrace Your Inner Caveman

Eat more (lean) meat. Try to include protein in your diet at lunch and dinner to help keep you full longer and give you more energy. Sophomore cross country and track athlete at the University of Maryland Jackie Lazzaro who knows a thing or two about smart eating says that fish and chicken are good dinner options. “Try turkey roll-ups for lunch and take a field trip back to elementary school days while filling up on calories that will work for you, not against you,” she recommends. 

2. Put Down the Pretzels

“People always think you need a ton of carbs for energy but that’s not really true,” Lazzaro says. Nuts are actually a much better source of protein, and Lazarro recommends snacking on almonds or pistachios. But you shouldn’t feel like you can’t eat any carbs at all because that would be cruel and unfair but keep in mind that highly refined, simple carbohydrates turn to sugar immediately in your body. Think white rice, refined bread and most snack crackers. 

3. Listen to Your Mom

Eat your fruits and veggies, just like mom said. Dark, leafy greens are full of protein and the fiber in fruits like apples and oranges keeps you full so you aren’t tempted to snack on crappy stuff. Junior Shannon McHale, a weight and fitness orientation leader (read: trainer) at UMD’s Eppley Recreation Center warns about the sugars in fruit, however, which can spike blood sugar and make you hungrier. “Berries are a good choice because they’re both low-calorie and generally lower in sugar,” McHale says.

4. Don’t Fear Fat

Say it with me: fat is good. Healthy fats, like the ones found in avocados and nuts, are essential to a balanced diet and can help you feel full so you’re not tempted to snack on unhealthy fats. Without them, your hair can fall out and all sorts of bad things can happen to your innards. “Low-fat or non-fat doesn't always equal nutrition,” McHale says. “Just be careful to have high-fat foods in moderation, since more fat also means more calories.” Go ahead and eat that spoonful of peanut butter (you know you want to), it will do a much better job of filling you up than a 100-calorie pack.

5. Move your Body Girl

When it comes right down to it, the way to keep your butt tight is by moving it. You don’t have to pound out an hour on the treadmill to stay healthy, just move a little more “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,” McHale warns. “Eat stuff that comes from the ground, or stuff that ate stuff from the ground while it was living.” You can have your cake and eat it too, as long as you walk home from class, take the stairs…you get the picture.

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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