STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Summer is right around the corner! As the last few weeks of the college semester come to an end, many students are struggling to get in shape and lose the infamous "freshman 15" before summer break commences.
Finding time to workout and get fit can be difficult as a college student who has the burden of homework, research papers, and finals over their shoulders. Are you someone who is overwhelmed by the amount of work they have but still want to have a hot summer body?
If you answered "yes," then I've got some good news for you. If you can't have the time to hit the gym often, there's still hope! I talked to Dr. Ayman Farid who is an interventional cardiologist at NYU Langone Cardiology Associates on Staten Island and he explained that it is not difficult to lose weight if you just eat healthily.
Dr. Farid is a native Staten Islander who went to St. Joseph by the Sea High School and still currently works and resides on the Island. As a doctor on Staten Island for 48 years and counting, Dr. Farid encourages everyone to watch what they eat and say goodbye to "junk food."
Not only will changing your diet improve your physical appearance, but it will also improve your mood! According to HelpGuide.org, "Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet--filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks--with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety."
On the other hand, studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates may help to improve mood and lower risk for mental health issues. "If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life."
Changing your diet will eventually become a lifestyle change. Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., chair of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee and professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington, has informed people that "being exposed to healthy food means you will develop a preference for that food over time." She mentions that once you become accustomed to eating lower-sodium foods, people will find that foods they used to eat taste very salty. "By adopting a healthier diet you will not only add years to your life but you'll improve the quality of the years you have," said Johnson.
Are you ready and motivated to get in fighting form for the summer? Here are five fast tips from Dr. Farid to keep in mind during your summer body diet.
- Be mindful of what you drink: avoid drinks with a lot of sugar, like soda and alcoholic beverages. Sparkling water, or unsweetened tea or coffee are smart options.
- Snack on foods that crunch: which include apples, pears, carrot and celery sticks, bell peppers, popcorn, and nuts or seeds.
- Prioritize foods that are satisfying: like hummus, nut butters, proteins, and whole grain crackers.
- Curb your sweet tooth: by eating fiber rich fruits like apples and unsweetened dried fruits (raisins, dates, figs), or a thin slice of angel food cake or homemade banana-nut bread
- Watch your intake of alcohol -- When you are drinking alcohol, smoking, and inhaling fatty food, you are even more susceptible to heart problems.
-- Staten Island native Charista Mroczek is a freshman at Barnard College of Columbia University.