Nutrition & You at SMU
SMU Dining Services is committed to providing you proper nutrition. By making healthy lifestyle choices – that is, eating nutritiously, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and managing your stress – you can build habits that improve not just your quality of life during college but for a lifetime.
Looking for tips on how to improve your nutrition at SMU? Try these:
Eat 3 meals per day and snacks as needed.
Never, never, NEVER skip a meal (especially breakfast!). When you go too long without eating, your metabolism slows and clings to calories for energy. Eating regularly throughout the day is the best way to rev up your metabolism and keep your energy levels high. A good rule of thumb is to eat when hungry and stop when full.
Choose healthy foods from within each of the food groups.
Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat free dairy throughout the day. To achieve variety and moderation, at each meal fill 1/2 of your plate with fruits and veggies, 1/4 with whole grains, and 1/4 with lean proteins and add a serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy or a dairy substitute such as soy milk. If you miss out on a food group at a meal, add it in as a snack or double up at the next meal.
Drink at least 6-8 cups of fluids each day.
Water, skim milk, and unsweetened tea are great options for meeting your fluid needs. 100% fruit juice is also a good option, but limit juice to no more than 1 cup per day, opting for whole fruit over juice whenever you get the chance. To increase your fluid intake, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day.
Don't deprive yourself.
Living a healthy and happy life is about balance. So long as you practice good nutrition the majority of the time, you are allowed to indulge every once in while.
Click here for information on healthy on-campus dining options.
A Note on the Dreaded “Freshman 15”
We’ve all heard about the “Freshman 15,” but is there any truth to the myth? In short, no.
A recent study shows that on average women gain 2-3 pounds and men gain 3-4 pounds during their freshman year, with less than 10% actually gaining 15 pounds. Compare this to weight trends of men and women of the same age who do not attend college and you will find similar weight gain patterns.*
At college-age, the body is still maturing into young adulthood so natural weight gain is normal and to be expected. A factor that could contribute to weight gain over and above this average, normal amount is the fact that many college freshmen are adjusting to a newfound independence that includes when and what to eat. Many students find themselves skipping meals, choosing unhealthy options, and/or consuming alcohol. In addition, many college freshmen are also less active than they were in high school.
There are several things you can do to take proactive steps toward improving your health while in college. First, set a meal schedule, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks as needed. Plan ahead and know when and where you will eat each day of the week. Second, set an exercise schedule, making sure you get at least 30-45 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to how you feel; above all else we want you healthy and happy so that you have the energy you need to perform your best in school…with a little extra energy left over for some fun!
*Palmer, Kim. “’Freshman 15’ Weight Gain is a Myth: Study.” Chicago Tribune. November 2, 2011.