For SIUE Students, Spring Break is next week! 1.5 million students will go on Spring Break this year. We know that women want to look good in that new bikini and men want to be that fit and muscular guy on the beach. But do any of us actually accomplish that by the time spring break rolls around?

We all know that being fit or having a nice body comes with a lifestyle of healthy choices, but do we know where to start and how to really see the results we want?

Forget New Year’s Resolutions! Avoid setting dates for when you want to look a certain way. The most important thing about losing weight or becoming more fit is to be a healthier you. So… where should we start?

1. Evaluate what you eat on a daily basis.
If you are extremely hungry by the time lunch rolls around, then you most likely skipped breakfast. Eating a light breakfast will help you from eating a lot during lunch, which overall will keep you from eating excessively. Try to cut soda out of your diet. IT has been said that one who goes without drinking soda for 2 weeks, will start to lose their liking for the sugary drink. And if you stop drinking soda for a month, you won’t even crave or like it much anymore.

2. Do not eat passed the point of satisfaction.
It takes 20 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach that you are full. With that, you should eat until you feel comfortable and not stuffed. It is better to eat in small portions 5 times a day, than to eat bigger portions 3 times a day.

3. Try the 80/20 concept.
You don’t have to cut out all your favorite unhealthy foods out of your diet. 80 percent of what you eat should be things that are considerably healthy and the other 20 percent can be junk foods such as potato chips, ice cream, etc. If you know you are going to eat an unhealthy lunch then prepare for a healthy dinner. This technique will help you balance the good and bad with rightful amounts.

4. Become more active!
We have to get off Twitter every once in a while and exercise. You don’t have to go run a marathon or climb a mountain, but take small steps like walking across campus instead of driving. The next time you find yourself on Facebook for hours, just think about how you could have been burning calories doing a few sit-ups or push-ups. Eventually, you may work up a way to run a mile or two. Starting out too high usually leads to an earlier failure. Don’t give up.

In order to become a healthier you, it is extremely important to plan ahead and layout a weekly schedule. Fast food is much more convenient to pick up and eat versus one preparing a healthy dish at home. Being a busy student on campus can make this process more difficult, but if you plan ahead it will be no problem. Packing a healthy snack into your backpack will help you avoid temptation to grab a burger and fries at McDonald’s. If you don’t plan ahead you might venture towards more unhealthy choices.

As a whole, it is more important to be a healthier you than wanting a sexy body for spring break. Create a plan that works best for you, treat yourself from time to time, and more importantly love who you are.  

– Jaron