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Simple changes help you maintain or lose weight

Submitted by Taylor Hoffard on August 22, 2012 – 12:25 pmOne Comment

The first semester of college is a new and exciting experience, but while meeting new friends and attending classes your health could take a hard hit.
How to prevent the dreaded “freshman 15,” can sound pretty obvious; eat healthy and exercise. However, it can be difficult to balance exercise with work and school.
Junior professional and technical writing major Alyssa Causey agrees that watching what you eat is essential.
“Follow serving sizes,” she said. “And use portion control when you eat.”
Weight Watchers online has various programs that are easy to keep up with if you want to lose or maintain your weight. According to, a points system is used to help you reach weight goals.
After signing up, Weight Watchers tells you the amount of points allotted each day so you won’t have to count calories. It’s as simple as typing in a food item and the site keeps count of your points for the day. Weight Watchers even has an app for Android and iPhone users. However, online use costs about $5 a week.
Another option is the ‘Lose it!’ app for iPhone, which is free to download and provides the same services as Weight Watchers without any extra costs.
An easy thing to forget, especially going to parties and meeting friends for dinner, is that drinking alcohol promotes weight gain. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, but going overboard can pack on the pounds. Plus, you have the possibility of a pesky hangover, and if drinking irresponsibly, alcohol poisoning.
Exercise is a must. The UALR Fitness Center is a great option for group activities and personal training. However, you can make simple changes in daily living to decrease stress and help keep off those extra pounds.
For students living on campus, the hill to housing is your worst nightmare, or your easy solution. Walking the hill will get easier every day if you make the extra effort. Also, leaving a little earlier for classes and taking longer routes on campus can help. This way, school and work schedules don’t conflict with getting in a few minutes of exercise.
“Park out in lot 13 and don’t take the trolley,” senior history major Jeremy Larson said. “that will give you an extra 15 minutes of cardio every day.”
Another easy substitution is an exercise ball. When sitting in front of the television, or doing homework, take a quick break to do some crunches. In addition, sitting up straight will not only keep you alert for study sessions, but will allow you to burn more calories.
According to, sitting quietly burns around 84 calories an hour. If sitting and doing an  activity, like playing a game or writing a paper, a person can burn up to 114 calories per hour.
Although weight gain can be brought on by the stress of a new experience, exercise can help reduce stress. With simples changes and dedication, preventing the awful day when your favorite pair of jeans won’t fit can be avoided.
The UALR Fitness Center is open every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

One Comment »

  • Gordon Youd says:

    I have a theory that the reason some people don’t lose weight is down to the Lazyness Fairy. People are, either too busy to follow their desired weight loss program or they are just lazy…..