A College Girl’s Holiday and Finals Prep Guide

November 25, 2011 · 5 comments

The food fest and post feast coma is over. It’s the second day into the holiday season, the time of year most prone to overeating and weight gain. On top of that, it’s another day closer to finals if you’re a student, meaning crunched time and tons of stress. Don’t let this weigh you down, both figuratively and literally!  Here are my top tips for beating holiday & finals weight gain.

The Post Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

If you’re like me, every year you make a plan to enjoy yourself but not overeat on Thanksgiving. However, that plan never works out when stuffing and pumpkin pie stares you in the face. Or maybe you didn’t stick to your pre-Thanksgiving plan as well as you could have. If you’re fairly conscious of what you consume, then you probably didn’t overindulge in 3000 calories like the rest of the population, but you still want to work off some of that turkey day binge. The best way? Don’t feel guilty about what you ate, go back to eating normally, and get a solid, hard workout or two in between Friday and Sunday. That could be going for a nice fall run, a spin class, yoga, a Tabata workout, weigh training, or a combination of all of the above. Get your sweat on and plan on burning off at least 500 calories. For me? I’m doing some core work and a run on Friday and a Cross fit workout on Saturday.

Another thing— avoid the Thanksgiving deja-vu binge on leftovers. Thanksgiving is a one-day holiday not a weeklong eating marathon.

The Finals Preparation Guide

Nutrition is key to power you through the last few weeks of the semester. I can remember my freshman year, falling off the healthy eating bandwagon when I got to stressed and tired. I turned to excessive amounts of coffee, fro-yo, and sodium-filled microwavable meals. The result? An even more stressed out and tired Laura who was bloated and shaky, and as a result couldn’t  study effectively.

I drink lots of water and tea to help prevent stress-induced binges during long study sessions.

While it may seem impossible to eat healthy when you need to study 24/7, it is possible to prepare yourself with healthy snacks options to bring with you to the library. These come in handy too when you have to go on long shopping trips for gifts after school gets out! Here are some of my favorite grab-and-go options.

-Lara Bars or KIND Bars

-Celery with a sunflower butter pack

-Greek yogurt/cottage cheese with some walnuts

-Chopped peppers and whole wheat pita with humus and Salsa

-Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix Individual Packs

If your only option is a vending machine in the library, try sunflower seeds, nuts (unsalted if they have them), whole-wheat pretzels, or a granola bar. It’s not ideal, but sometimes you have bargain. If you get seeds or nuts, just remember portion sizes. Another thing to remember if you drink a lot of coffee during this time of year— the cream/milk and sugar, if you use them, will add up. They are not invisible calories.

As for workouts during finals week, I of all people know it can be difficult. During an especially hard semester you may have to compromise and just focus on eating healthy. For me, exercise comes as a break, and although I usually cut down my workout time to 45 minutes, I still include it to help refocus myself. I like to do a set up sprints and then go straight into a high intensity weight training circuit. If you are really pressed for time, take a 5-minute tabata workout break three times throughout the day, go on a 20 minute run, or set your alarm a half hour early to get in a booty call. Anything is better than nothing.

Question of the day: What snacks do your bring with you to the library or out on a long day? What is your go to vending machine snack? 

 

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellie@fitforthesoul November 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm

yOUR posts are always so informative, Sarah! :D And I love all the foods and snacks you mentioned here. When I was in school and was in a hurry to get to class (and if I didn’t have a snack with me) I’d also get the nuts and fruit. They filled me up the most! And I agree that it’s not necessary to feel guilty–just go back to normalcy and we’ll be just fine. BTW, Tabata and intervals are zee best.

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2 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] November 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

Great post, Laura! & perfect timing.

I love Larabars to pack for my library dates and well as sliced apples and carrots for crunch!

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3 Charissa November 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I never do vending machines, unless I’m having the worst chocolate attack ever. haha

But I love to bring fruit and muffins with me…

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4 Chelsea December 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Hey Sarah,

Just wanted to say.. i found some of your videos on youtube..
checked out this site IM IN LOVE.
i usually dont.. trust anybody’s sites but you seem to know whats good for you.. and really seem to wanna help out everyone. Most people dont know about the aspartame.. 100 calorie packs.. and just being healthy in general! Your great.. ill be starting a stricter healthier diet thanks to you and a little more working out:) i am wanting to lose ten pounds!

your great keep it up!

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5 Sarah December 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Thank you Chelsea! Your comment brought a smile to my face! I love hearing wonderful things like this. Glad you enjoy my site.

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