So once you get out of college and start the “normal” 9-5 working schedule it is a severe shock to your body and metabolism. You go from running around campus to 40 hours a week, if you have a normal job, stuck in a cubicle and starring at a computer screen. No wonder your body immediately goes in to shock and most recent grads end up gaining weight. Three years after graduating and knowing the turmoil many of you are going through, here are a few tips I picked up on the way.
- You cannot eat like you did in college. It is a bitter-sweet fact, but you graduated and you need to reevaluate what you are eating.
- Make a food journal. Studies show people who write down what they eat are more conscious of what they eat, so you can keep you calories down.
- Snacks that are low in calories and easy to bring to work are a must. Trust me sitting at a desk all day WILL make you hungry and you will want to munch so BE CAREFUL, calories add up. Some ideas:
- Rice cakes – My favorite are the Quaker Crème Brulee ones, they taste awesome and are only 120 calories for 13.
- Pudding – Jello makes these really great Mousse Temptations for only 60 calories
- Any kind of vegetable/fruit – Cut them up the night before, trust me it makes a world of a difference
- Bring your lunch, not only will this save you money, but those cafeteria meals have a TON of calories, don’t get lured in.
- You are going to be exhausted after work, 40 hours will not seem normal after college, so get a gym buddy who will make you go, this is extremely helpful.
- DO NOT GORGE on empty calories after work, this mean potato chips, ice cream, all that junk food in your cabinets, get rid of it. If it is not in your cabinets you can’t be tempted.
- Talk with your friends about your diet, if they are aware that you are on a diet or just watching certain items you are more likely to not order the double cheeseburger and fries, but rather the turkey burger and fruit.
- Always ask at restaurants. If you are going out to eat always ask for dressings on the side and salad/fruit instead of fries, this will save you hundreds of calories.
- If you have a setback it is not the end of the world, just get right back on the horse, you can’t beat yourself up about was has happen, but you can only change what WILL happen.
- Don’t stress out too much. Life after college, with the 40 hours a week of work and a new diet is hard, so don’t stress too much, this will only lead to you holding onto weight. Take it step by step, little changes can make a big difference.
All in all you cannot expect that you can eat, sleep, or act the same you did in college and I can tell you from experience your metabolism will change and you need to learn how to change your diet to adjust for it. The first year after college is the hardest for your diet, but stay strong, don’t give in, and have fun as a new young professional.