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Washington and Lee University

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Fitness and Nutrition

Can students at Washington and Lee make healthy eating choices? The good news is that the "first-year fifteen" is not inevitable. With the right kinds of choices about the foods you are eating, along with a regular exercise program, college students can remain healthy. All it takes is a little advance planning and some careful choices whether you are eating in the on-campus dining facilities, fraternity or sorority houses, or cooking for yourself.

Check out the food pyramid that you are used to seeing compared to the newer Healthy Eating Pyramid developed at Harvard School of Public Health. The key is balancing exercise along with appropriate food choices.

Healthy Eating Pyramid, Harvard School of Public Health

Now that you have had a chance to study the newer way of thinking about eating remember it's also about:

Portion sizes--a portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, 1 oz of cheese is about the size of your thumb, 1 oz of nuts or any snack food = 1 handful, the tip of your thumb = 1 serving of mayonnaise or margarine

Eating more fruits and veggies than you currently do--check it out---fruits 3-5x per day and unlimited veggies

Complex carbs vs simple sugars is the way to go--choose whole grains whenever possible

Eat the right kind of fats--vegetable oils and nuts vs. trans and saturated fats

Doing some physical activity on a daily basis--so if you are thinking about the Fitness Center or going out for a jog make it happen--budget it into your daily routine!

Budget in the foods you really like to eat including ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, etc. No food is off-limits--just watch the portion size and how often you eat it.