Lifestyle changes after college can take a toll on your waistline, but these simple diet and exercise tips will help you stay in shape.
A common weeknight for many women after a busy day at the office might involve calling in takeout from your favorite restaurant or picking up fast food from the drive-through. But for many women, they may not be able to eat that last French fry without reaping serious consequences at the gym the next day. Why? Because various lifestyle changes make it harder to stay in shape, says Andrea Szebeni, a nutritionist and dietician with the Lighthouse Recovery Institute, a treatment center that helps women overcome eating disorders and other addictions.
“There are social factors such as going out to eat and staying up later at night, and now women are responsible for making their own food choices,” Szebeni says. Women in high school and college have easy access to organized sports, and as teens many women likely had their meals prepared for them. As a working professional, however, women actually have to put time, energy and effort into preparing meals or going to the gym, Szebeni says. So how are women on the go expected to stay fit? Here are some of Szebeni’s simple nutrition and exercise tips:
1. Prepare for success – Choose easy-made snacks such as buying cut up vegetables and add a healthy protein such as hummus or string cheese.
2. Don’t give frozen veggies the cold shoulder – Frozen fruits and vegetables get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t. They are actually frozen at their highest nutrient value. Add frozen fruit to a yogurt smoothie, oatmeal or cottage cheese.
3. Buy ready-made – Frozen vegetables can be added to a lean protein such as a rotisserie chicken. Add 10-minute ready-made brown rice and you have a balanced meal that can be prepared faster than waiting in line at a drive-through, Szebeni says.
4. Plan ahead – Take one day a week to make a menu for the week.
5. Make exercise fun – Exercise classes can be more motivational for some people because you are surrounded by other people.
6. Keep it interesting – The key is to enjoy what you do, whether it’s riding your bike, swimming or walking on the beach. Have a few options that you change up every few weeks so you don’t become bored.
This guest blog post is from Andrea Szebeni, a registered dietitian at Lighthouse Recovery Institute (www.lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com) in Delray Beach, Fl., who holds a master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition. She specializes in eating disorder recovery treatments, wellness development and individual health and fitness. Andrea’s personal experiences, education and passion for helping people feel better about themselves make her one of South Florida’s most dynamic and successful eating disorder professionals.