Ever find yourself grabbing Ramunto’s or McDonalds in the early hours of Saturday morning, not because you’re hungry, but because you’re not ready to end your night of partying?
The later we’re out, the more we squeeze into our day, and the more calories we consume. We’re not saying this is bad, but we are saying we need to be a little more thoughtful on the weekends.
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During the week, most of us have packed schedules that include classes, meetings, and for many, trips to the gym. Students with meal plans enjoy healthy options at the dining commons most nights, too. Students work hard during the week, so why do so many throw it all away on weekends with booze and greasy foods?
Tiffany Mathews, coordinator of Wellness Education, said students run the risk of weight gain on weekends in particular.
Mathews said when students drink and stay out late eating, they consume many “empty” calories.
“Whenever anyone takes in calories and they’re not using them for energy, that’s when you have weight gain,” Mathews stated.
For the Keene Sate College students who are of the legal drinking age, Mathews had several suggestions.
First, the coordinator said if students plan to drink, they must be conscious of their food intake along with their alcohol consumption.
Mathews made the point to mention if students eat dinner at 5 p.m. and don’t end up going out until 11 p.m., students should plan on eating another meal before the night begins. This way they’re less likely to binge-eat when their night ends.
Rebecca Briggs, KSC registered dietitian, reminded students that sometimes thirst is disguised by hunger.
“Being hungry can actually be a sign that you’re thirsty,” Briggs stated. “Try a bottle of water first before you start eating.”
Mathews said many students believe eating will absorb the alcohol in their system and sober them up—that’s completely false.
Mathews advised students who are of age to eat foods with high water content, commenting that students who drink are dehydrating themselves. Mathews said fruits and vegetables, as well as cereal with milk, are beneficial snacks.
Whether you drink on the weekends or not, chances are you’re up later than you are during the weeknights. With the D.C. closed at 7:30 p.m. and Hoot-and-Scoot not an option, many students turn to fast food and take-out.
21-year-old KSC junior Alex Lehocky said after a night at the bar, she goes to Ramunto’s for its late-night weekend deals.
“I eat healthy during the week and I work out a lot, so I don’t really feel guilty about it,” Lehocky said.
Briggs echoed Lehocky’s statement when she emphasized students’ habits during the week.
“It’s what you do most of the time that really matters,” Briggs stated.
KSC sophomore Christian Torti said he orders take-out, but only on the weekends.
“During the week I eat healthy; I usually get a salad everyday. But on the weekends I order pizza or Chinese food,” the sophomore said.
On the subject of take-out, Briggs suggested students get to know the local take-out menus ahead of time, that way, when a student is out with a group who chooses to order take-out, the student knows the healthy options ahead of time.
There are several food items we suggest students keep in their room for these late nights. Kim suggests hummus and whole-grain crackers or a healthy cereal—not the kinds loaded with sugar.
Julie suggests fiber-rich oatmeal and fruits, which, as Mathews said, have a high water content.
KSC senior Kelsey Leglohec said she and her roommates always keep cereal and peanut butter and jelly on hand.
Briggs shared a list of what she recommends students keep on-hand in their rooms.
First, Briggs said students could keep unsalted nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter and Nutella, whole-grain crackers, whole-grain bread, and dried cereals.
Briggs had the idea of putting a healthy spin on a college favorite—mac and cheese.
“Throw in some vegetables—tomatoes, peas, broccoli, corn or beans. It still has that junk food feel with a healthy spin,” Briggs said.
The weekend is our time to unwind and relax, but let’s not forget to continue to take care of ourselves. There’s a healthy way to go about our various weekend activities, whatever those may be.
Keep calm and carry on, Keene State.
Julie Conlon and Kim Borkowski can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com