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  1. Make the salad bar your friend: I know that seems kind of forced, and it’s not like every diet tip ever hasn’t told you to just eat a goddamn salad. But there is some truth to it. Get creative; try new combinations. You’ll be craving some freshness amidst all the greasy and junk.
  2. Portion control! Most of you will be on a meal plan of some sort, which means that the dining commons will be your main source of nutrition, and while a plate of chicken and rice and a fro-yo for dinner isn’t unhealthy, if you eat about three servings worth of food in one sitting at night you’re definitely going to notice that your pants are snug.
  3. Eat light at night: My grandma always told me to eat like a prince at breakfast and a pauper at dinner. It may be just an old wives’ tale, but it does merit some thought. If you eat a big meal right before bed, your metabolism will slow, leading to more storage of fat, and that can lead to weight gain.
  4. Avoid eating out often: I know that it’s impossible to never go out to eat, but be cautious with how often you do so. It’s harder to maintain healthy eating choices when you’re staring down the Blaze Pizza toppings. But if you just nailed an essay, treat yourself. If you’ve finished all your studying before Friday night, then maybe you’ve earned yourself some Freebs nachos.
  5. Drink responsibly and health-consciously: While I’m not condoning underage drinking, I’m not naive to what you are about to put your livers through this first quarter. All I ask is that you stay safe and smart and that you keep track of your drinking. Alcohol, especially beer, has way more calories than it may seem, and they can really add up. You don’t want to come back for Thanksgiving with a beer belly.
  6. Take advantage of your environment: You are coming to a school in an amazing city. The beach is in your backyard and so are plenty of biking and hiking trails through the mountains. Not to mention, the weather here is as close to perfection as I’ve found. So take advantage, get out of the library and get active. Keeping your body active is just as important as working your mind if you want to have a successful school year.