General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Simple diet/exercise plan for a busy college student?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15675points) September 5th, 2011

I go to school from early morning until 3:30PM five days per week and I work 3–4 nights per week. I don’t have the time or money for a gym membership, and my food options are pretty narrow because I’m on the go so much. So, I’m just looking for some input on what I can do realistically.

Goal: Going from 135lbs to 125lbs before May 6, 2011 (my wedding date).

-For breakfast I’ll either eat some yogurt with granola or cheerios with skim milk or something like that. This is normally around 7AM.
-Lunch is my issue. I can’t buy a “healthy lunch” on campus every day because of money issues. I don’t have access to a refrigerator or a microwave, so whatever I eat for lunch I’ll need to carry in my purse for about 5 hours without it going bad. Any ideas?
-I cook dinner every night for me and my fiance, so I normally just eat a healthy portion of whatever I cook.
-I also drink as much water as I can. Usually 4 bottles per day (equal to 8 cups). And if I snack, I’ll eat either some fruit, pretzels, nuts, etc.

-I do a lot of walking at school. I park quite a few blocks away from campus and I would guess that I walk about 2 miles per day in this Southern heat just being at school.
-I only have access to a treadmill, 3 lb hand weights, and a big exercise ball. I’m not willing to buy more equipment.
-What is something I can do that 1) won’t take a lot of time out of my day, 2) will be effective, and 3) isn’t too complicated.

I’m not looking to get a perfect model body, but I want to get smaller and healthier and look my best before the wedding without making myself miserable with some diet/exercise program that I just don’t have time for.

Any advice/suggestions/input would be great!

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10 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Found it!

Fiddle asked this last year and got lots of good advice. Good luck!

TexasDude's avatar

College student here. This is what I did that helped me drop 15 lbs and gain a ton of muscle mass (which may or may not be your goal, but you can adjust what I tell you accordingly)

-Cut portions in half
-Cut out soft drinks and fast food ENTIRELY
-Drink a ton of water
-Take a fiber supplement
-CARDIO. You will not keep weight off if you don’t do cardio. This can be anything from running to jumping jacks to shadow boxing (all three of which I do)
-When you get bored or have down time, LIFT. Lifting, when done correctly, is very good for you.
-Eat moarrrr protein. Eggs are awesome. Learn to love them. Embrace them. Live by them. Ten thousand years of Eggs!
-Don’t graze.

Oh yeah, go read my earlier question that @JilltheTooth posted. I was in a similar situation as you, minus the fiance’.

marinelife's avatar

Change your breakfast cereal to one with lower carbs and more protein. For example, Nature’s Path Multi-Bran. (Ignore the price online, you can get it for $2.99 at Trader Joe’s or Walmart.)

Cut down on your carbs with dinner.

gailcalled's avatar

You can buy a small insulated shoulder pack and carry a salad and some fruit.

Use a refreezable gel pack to keep everything cool..

USually weight-loss programs suggest 6–7 portions of veggies every day (I orange, 1 yellow and 1 red and a mixed green salad) and 67 grams of protein (your choice.)

Complex carbs (no white bread, pasta, sugared cereals,) and lots of water.

Lo-fat dairy in moderation, if you must.

And surely you are getting married in May of 2012 and not 2011. So you have almost 8 months to lose 10 pounds. Easily doable.

bobbinhood's avatar

For lunch, I have a very small insulated lunchbox that easily fits in my backpack. If I put a freezer pack inside, anything I want to bring for lunch will stay cold enough. (Though, having something out of the fridge for a few hours isn’t likely to hurt you. I brought lunches for years without keeping them cold. I bought the freezer packs to keep my husband happy since he’s much more uptight about refrigeration than I am.)

Unless you live a very long way to school, it is often nearly as fast to bike as it is to drive to school. Depending on traffic, it’s sometimes faster. If you bike, you can get your cardio in during your commute rather than having to schedule separate times to exercise.

Kayak8's avatar

Um, I think you missed your wedding . . .

creative1's avatar

Can you go for a run every morning, get up earlier and go on the track at school I found that I dropped sizes quickly just by running every morning rain or shine. I didn’t really drop too many lbs but it was amazing just how much muscle tighens when running and before that I was working out quite a lot but the running was just amazing.

CWOTUS's avatar

Wait… you posted this tonight and you’re planning for a wedding in May 2011? You’ve got bigger problems than diet and exercise, I think.

Anyway… for lunch you might consider some of the newer foil packs of tuna. It keeps well as long as it’s unopened, of course, and you can eat it straight from the pack if you want to go all minimalist. It’s healthy and high in protein. I suppose you may not want to do that every day, but I could.

Peanut butter also keeps well without refrigeration. Peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread are tasty and relatively low fat, high in protein.

If you were going to school at the UW in Madison, Wisconsin, I’d have some great advice for you – and I could probably help get you a deal there, too.

dreamwolf's avatar

Want to not think about what kind of food to grab with such a busy and hectic schedule? Stock up on fruits and water for each week day. Eat only meat on the weekend. With such a set schedule having your mindset to this diet will help you stay healthy and unhungry. Also, grab some Amies frozen vegan food! Quick microwave and dip.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Ok, so I typed the date wrong…the result of not rereading before posting. I’m sure it wasn’t too horribly difficult to figure out what I meant, and I think the first correction would have sufficed.


Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

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