10 Ways to get back into shape after Thanksgiving

Casey Beronilla

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The average American consumes more than 4,500 calories at Thanksgiving dinner, according to the Calorie Control Council – more than double the daily value listed on nutrition labels by the FDA. Chances are, you came back to school after break looking for ways to shed a couple pounds, but with finals approaching, going to the gym is much easier said than done. Here are some quick tricks to get in shape and stay in shape at Marquette when you just aren’t feeling the Rec Center.

  1. Eat in Straz

Straz Tower houses the dining hall known for its healthier options, including pizza with whole wheat crust and a salad toss bar. It’s a bit of a hike away from the rest of campus, but that just means you’ll fit in a little extra exercise getting to and from your meal! (If you have some time and you’re feeling motivated, the Rec Plex is conveniently located in Straz as well).

  1. Drink water

By now, everyone should have at least one Marquette water bottle or tumbler. Put it to good use! Staying hydrated is so important for your health. Replacing soft drinks or specialty drinks with water lowers the number of calories you consume and is cheaper and more convenient, thanks to the water fountains all over campus that have faucets specifically for refilling bottles.

  1. Avoid snacking at home

For anyone living in the residence halls, it’s easy to keep unhealthy snacks in your room. By cutting back on the amount of junk food at your disposal, you won’t be as tempted to eat every time you’re in your room. When you’re really hungry, it will force you to walk somewhere to buy food, which burns some calories. If you do opt to snack in your room, try to stick to healthier choices, like fresh fruit or yogurt.

  1. Take the stairs

I know how unappealing this sounds. It’s more of a confidence booster than anything else. If you do it once, you’ll feel like you did something good for your body, and it will be so much easier to keep up that mindset. Take it from someone who lives in the Straz penthouse – if I can do it, so can you.

  1. Turn to Pinterest for inspiration

Typing “quick workouts” into the Pinterest search box hits you with hundreds of articles filled with ideas for fast yet effective exercises you can do at home. These workouts fit nicely into a busy schedule. You can find exercises based on the length of time they take, which area of your body they target or even the beat of a certain song.

  1. Have a physical goal

Remember that pair of pants that fit right before Thanksgiving? Lay them out in your room with plans to wear them on a specific day coming up. Having a visible goal is motivation to stick to your healthy new routine.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast

It’s nice to hit the snooze button a couple more times in the morning, but your body will thank you later when you actually eat a sit-down breakfast. Eating a good breakfast will give you more energy throughout the day and will minimize the urge to snack later on.

  1. Use a meal swipe at the Brew

Contrary to #1, taking advantage of the dining options on campus that are not part of the Anytime Dining Plan (Cobeen, McCormick, Straz) is good because these destination dining places enforce portion control. In the traditional dining halls, it is easy to go up for seconds. Destination dining allows only one square meal at a time. I like the meal swipe options at the Brew cafes because they offer specific, controlled portions. For example, a cup of tea, a fruit cup and a bakery item for dessert is definitely better for your body than a plate full of tater tots!

  1. Promise yourself seconds later

If you decide to eat at one of the Anytime Dining options, and you plan on going up for seconds, make salad your first helping. Chances are, you might be full by the time you meant to go grab a slice of pizza or a burger. Even if you do end up going for something greasy after, at least you got some greens into your diet first.

  1. Embrace alternative workouts

One of the nice things about going to school in the city is that there are always a variety of options for any activity. Set aside a couple hours on a Saturday morning to explore one of Milwaukee’s fitness options. Try out a yoga place in the Third Ward or rock climbing at Turner Hall. If you’re feeling adventurous, braving the cold for a run to the lake is a great way to enjoy the city and get in shape.

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