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By Erin Valois

Sports Editor

Now that you’re free from the prying eyes of your parents, it can be very easy to fall into some pretty awful eating habits. Midnight snacks of Oreos, double cheeseburgers and Twinkie family-packs all seem great until the next time you step on a scale.

Whether you call it the freshman 15 or first-year fat or just plain weight gain, it’s something that just about any new university student wants to prevent. Here are some pretty simple ways you can stay in your skinny jeans.

Aren’t Pogos a healthy choice?

Stop gorging yourself on grilled cheese and lasagna at the ILLC’s Maggie’s. Check out the nutrition guide for residence eats on the Student Food Services website. Be cautious of foods that are masquerading as healthy choices. The vegetable and beef soup may be 160 calories, but it fulfills almost two-thirds of your sodium intake for the day. Take it easy on salt in general; it helps the body retain fat. Stick to salads, lean meats and only go for the fish burger with cheese if you have to.

Avoid using your OneCard at the vending machine. It’s handy if you want to pick up a bottle of water or orange juice, but most machines are stocked with high-sugar snacks that give you little energy for class. If you are feeling particularly hungry, snatch some free-samples at Yonge and Dundas Square.

Take the plunge

Drink lots of water. Health professionals recommend drinking two to three litres a day. Avoid sugary beverages and look for drinks with high levels of Vitamin C and A. There is an assortment of beverages available from the rez restaurants that meet nutritional requirements, so don’t feel you always have to go for the soft drinks.

Let’s get physical

Get a membership at the Recreation and Athletic Centre. Pump iron in the weight room or go for a sweaty workout on the new bikes in the cardio room. Join in on the daily classes at the RAC for an extra $30. If you are really feeling adventurous, try the boot camp. You may not be able to sit down for a week, but your quads will thank you at the end of the year. Strapped for time and cash? Take the stairs.

Watch the Food Network

You don’t have to be a gourmet cook, but you have to know that Mom isn’t here to make you spaghetti anymore. All residences have a kitchen where you can make your own food, and sometimes this can be the healthiest option. Skip the cafeteria line and try to make a cheap dish for yourself at least once a week.

Use teh internets

Find out more information by contacting Ryerson’s Nutrition Information Service at Also, check out the websites for favourite restaurants and fast food places. Most companies are required to have their nutritional information available for the public. Knowledge is power.

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