Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

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Published on November 11th, 2010 | by Amna Al Haddad


Is college making you fat?

At some point, we always like to attribute what resulted in a positive manner as our own doings, while the negative to external influences. This concept is known as the self-serving bias in psychology.Well, since this is not a psychology 101 blog, lets just use the concept in relation to college making YOU fat. 

I recently read THIS article on LAtimes, and the study results claim that students in their senior year (4th for most) start to pack up pounds due to the lack of physical activities. When you’re a senior student you do put a lot of focus on studies, making sure your GPA is high enough, probably slow down the partying – perhaps increase it? I wouldn’t know, but I do know that being a college student & a senior per Se is not directly a factor contributing to the heavy sandbag you’re carrying around your waist.

I, myself, am a senior student & graduating in two months. Am I fat? No. Do I have a good metabolism? Up to an extent…Only because I work for it to be (yes, it’s something YOU can control). Although, I do admit that, at some point eating lunch 5 days a week at university, with the lack of exercise, and sitting most of the day, did contribute to my weight gain last year (7kgs) among certain medications I had to take. 

Yet, the year before that, in 2007 – I did eat food at university & was exercising and I became skinny as hell with about 90% healthy food choices.

Most of us who go to colleges do know the food offered are not the best options or have good nutritional values. At my university, we have Burger King, HAD KFC & Pizza hut (now removed), another fast food chains with sandwiches, greasy foods, packed with not one table spoon of Alfredo sauce, but 10 times more. Of course such foods will contribute to the waist lines of the students.

But you, as a student, educated, should be able to search about these foods and know their components. It’s out there. You can still fit junk food (although unhealthy) into your diet somehow and not gain a lot of weight. I’ve done it a million times to be honest (not that I am proud), but you also have to find ways to balance the junk with the good.

For example, when I ever decide to eat from Burger King, which I literally do like 3x a semester now in a four months period, I only eat a small hamburger, which is about 300 calories. To keep me full for three hours & then have a small snack (like low fat yogurt & some nuts)….and so on. I was able to stay within a certain weight-range for four years only because I worked for it.

Despite the junk offered, there are some healthy choices or not-so-bad choices. For example if you eat Subway (and include the right food inside) it will work for you – but if you eat subway (with the wrong foods inside; ie, mayo, thousand ranch dressing…etc.) it will work against you. If you eat a salad, don’t be shocked to hear it contains over 1,000 calories only because of the dressing. Although lettuce & chicken on its own is about  130-200 calorie (of course depending on portion, but you could never go wrong eating only plain grilled chicken breast & lettuce.)

Anyway, bottom line of this long post is that…only you can decide to let the university life come in the way of your health and weight. Sure there are external factors such as illnesses that may contribute to obesity, it’s not always the individual who does *work hard* to gain weight, but in the end of the day – you make the things around you work for you, or fail you.

So college is ≠ fat.

Yours truly,
GymFreak at 999-Fitness

What do you think? Does college make you fat? share your experiences with us.

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