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Point of View: Healthy ways to get ready for spring break

Jan. 28, 2010

By Brittney Herman

Spring break is in the air and there are about six weeks and counting until March 8.

What is on everyone's mind? How to look great in a swim suit for spring break. Not to sound cliché, but for those who are going to that tropical destination, it's a common theme. This anticipated week-long break is talked about for months before it actually takes place.

Have you checked out the SLC lately? Workout facilities are packed with students who are trying to get in shape.

There are so many unhealthy ways to go about preparing for spring break.

Some students go on a so-called "crash diet." Although it may seem to work in the beginning due to a loss of glycogen-- more commonly known as carbohydrates-- the body goes into a form of shock. Drinking water and ditching carbohydrates quickly reveal the most desired results. However, a common weight gain comes after this quick loss. Fat is added back into the body much quicker for those who cannot keep up with their crash diet. This is also called the yo-yo effect. It's a common theme among these types of dieters.

For those who are seeking positive results, a simple Internet search could yield a safe and effective plan for dieting. Who would have thought there was actually a healthy and attainable "spring break diet"?

For an effective outcome, following these healthy guidelines will give the results you want:

First, do not skip meals. Most students think this is eating less, but really your body becomes hungrier and allows you to easily overeat at the next meal.

Next, stock up. Fill your cabinets and pantries with healthy pre-cut and prepared fruits and vegetables. This is great for students in a hurry to class or on a tight budget. Set realistic goals. Losing a pound a week is healthy and attainable.

Those who seek to lose 5-10 pounds initially find guilt and dissatisfaction as their result.

For those who like to count their calories, keep a food journal. Students are constantly busy, but writing down what you have eaten throughout the day has proven to be beneficial.

Motivation is essential for maintaining a healthy and positive diet. Post encouraging signs or quotes around your house to keep you focused.

Some think the main issue at hand is losing weight. True, but even more important is how to stay in shape during spring break.

Upon arrival, many students forget about their rigid diet and go out to eat for every meal. Quickly, they put back on the weight lost, plus additional pounds.

This leads me to my next question: Is it really worth it? After all that time spent on constantly talking about your awful spring break diet, it soon becomes known as a waste of your time.

Meanwhile, for those who care about maintaining what they worked so hard to accomplish, here are a few helpful tips:

Find a fun and cardio-based activity like running on the beach or exercising in a fitness room.

Oftentimes thirst can be confused with hunger, so carrying a water bottle at all times is essential.

When eating out, find healthy menu items, and possibly research the restaurant before going.

Also stick to a regular eating schedule. On vacation, the tropical dining is so much more alluring than a typical meal at home.

These few tips are important, although one in particular tops them all. Watch what you sip. The common theme on college spring breaks is purchasing alcoholic drinks. These cause the extra weight gain that soon catches up with you. Fruity drinks tend to be the norm and the highest in calories. Drinking a glass of water in between each beverage is important.

Keeping up with your daily intake of food and drinks will lead to a much healthier and fit vacation.

Don't get stuck in the dust with everyone. It's proven that this method really does make a difference. Follow your goals and attain a fit body because spring break fever is in the air.

Brittney Herman is a Plano senior majoring in journalism. She is a reporter for the Baylor Lariat.