Staying Healthy through Grad School

When I started the program in Fall 2016, I was worried about falling off of my weight loss journey. At the time, I had lost 20 pounds and was scared I would gain it right back due to the demands of the MSW program. However, I was determined to stick to my healthy lifestyle and made a plan for success! By following these simple tips, I was able to actually lose an additional 30 pounds through my first year in the program! I know many students may have the same worries I did therefore, whether your plan is to lose or maintain, these simple tips may be useful you.

#1 Plan Ahead:

One of the things that made my first year a success is MEAL PREPPING! When you prep your foods ahead of time, it not only makes things easier and more convenient, but it also makes you think ahead of time what sorts of nutrients you are putting in your body. Additionally, you lessen the chances of making last minute unhealthy choices at Loker. I know what you’re thinking, prepping is time consuming and expensive? Yes it can be, but if you follow my recommendation, it can actually save you time and money!

Tips on Meal Prepping:

  1. Buy reusable tupperware or containers.

  2. Pick two days out of the week to cook. (I normally prep on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s)

  3. Sunday- prep for Monday-Wednesday night (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, 6 snacks)

  4. Wednesday night- prep for Thursday- Saturday (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, 6 snacks)

  5. Write a menu of what you want to eat during the week.

  6. Invest in a food scale. Weighing your food is important!

  7. Go to grocery store and pick up what you need for the entire week. (Costco is the best!)

  8. My recommendation, try to eat the same two proteins and veggies throughout the week to save on costs. (see sample meal plan)

  9. Go home and get started!

Remember this - Failing to plan is planning to FAIL!

#2 Stay Active:

Whether you are an active gym goer or not, it is important to get that physical activity in daily! As many of you know, 80% of weight loss is attributed to your diet and 20% is the amount of physical activity you put in. It is recommended to get 60 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity per week (3 days should be vigorous). However, even if you don’t workout everyday, as long as you make healthy choices, you can lose and/or maintain your weight.

Tips on Staying Active:

  1. Sign up for a gym that meets your budget.

  2. Workout with a friend or make friends at the gym to help hold you accountable.

  3. Set a schedule and stick to it.

  4. Check if your gym offers any group classes and try them out.

  5. Park in the furthest parking spot anywhere you are going to help you get those steps in

  6. Use the stairs instead of elevator

  7. Download the free Nike Training app for workouts you can do at home!

#3 Track Everything:

If you’re like me, I like to write everything down. I keep a daily journal of what I eat, when I exercise and I set monthly goals. This helps in keeping me accountable and I am able to track my progress. I recommend keeping a journal that you use just for this purpose and carry it with you. There are also free apps to help you do this such as My Fitness Pal, Lose It!, and FitBit (if you have one). I have used every single one of these and I like them but I’m old school and I like to write everything down. :)

Lastly,I have created a sample meal plan for one week. Ideally, you shouldn’t have two cheat meals in one day but Sunday’s I usually say YOLO! This is a very brief overview of my journey in staying healthy through graduate school.

If you have any questions, I am happy to help! Send me an email: drivas39@toromail.csudh.edu

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