Away from home? Watch your weight


An increasing number of children are seeking education away from home. With altered environments, lifestyles, food and erratic exercise routines, youngsters often fall ill. Commonly seen problems among students seem to be centred around weight, hormonal imbalances (polycystic ovary syndrome among young girls), digestive problems, allergies and compromised immunity. Students often eat French fries, ice creams, sugary and salty snacks at odd hours. The Freshman 7 phenomenon best illustrates this: we are all familiar with warnings to students in the first year of their college, about gaining an average of seven kilograms.

Here are some tips to prevent putting on weight once you step out of your homes.

Watch what you drink: It's very easy to tip over on your calories through sugary drinks. Sweetened sodas, beverages and fruit juices are cheap and abundant sources of calories. It is best to avoid or limit these. Refrain from binge drinking. Men must limit alcohol to two drinks (43ml each) and women to one drink.

What you stock: Make sure you always have fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, roasted snacks, roasted gram, peanuts, low fat dairy- milk, yogurt, paneer, tofu, soups, etc.

Follow the principle of balance and moderation. If you have eaten high-calorie desserts or eaten more than usual in one meal, go slow in the next one. A good idea would be a glass of milk, soup or salad.

Watch physical activity: Outdoor physical activities must be a priority.

Watch what you eat: Usually, like bread, pasta, noodles, wraps, pizzas, burgers, 'foot-longs' are high on starch.

Track your fruit and vegetable intake: Remember to include vegetables and fruits at least in two meals. Soups, salads or cooked vegetables make up for over five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Ideal diet

* 5-8 servings of cereals per day

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