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Getting Fat In College? Here’s How To Tell

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Worried about getting fat in college?

With a combination of dining hall fried food, heavy beer consumption, and late-night Taco Bell being the norm, there’s no question that many students will worry about their weight.

That’s obvious, especially with friends who are bad influences and encourage these food binges plus multiple weeks without working out.

But what’s not so obvious is how much you should weigh and how you’re doing on the health spectrum. If you’re not a kinesiology major, you likely have no clue.

Sure, when you put on a tight shirt you might notice a few pounds in places you wish they didn’t show. Or jeans that used to fit are now tough to put on and take off. But this general feeling of weight gain could be in your head.

So because of these changes you notice, you might stand naked in front of a body mirror to take a good hard look at yourself. But the human eye also has its limitations in evaluating body weight.

You recognize this and think you have the perfect solution.

Doing what you haven’t done since high school, you decide to weigh yourself to get a specific number to evaluate. Then you’ll know how you’re doing, you think.

However, the weight you see on the scale leaves more to be desired. Looking at weight alone is actually misleading because it doesn’t account for your height. And since it doesn’t include your height, it can’t accurately relay your health and fitness status.

For example, a person who is 5 foot tall and another who is 6 foot tall are going to have a completely different healthy weight and unhealthy weight.

Because they fail to add height into the mix, the majority of students have no idea what’s a healthy weight for them.

Instead of failing to know what you should weigh based on the eye-test or a scale, there’s a better way to know if you’re underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. It’s called your body mass index (BMI).

Check Your BMI Score

Because 200 pounds means skinny for one person and fat for another depending on their height, a better solution is to punch in your height and weight into a body mass index calculator to find your BMI score.

The BMI is a tool to assess your weight status based on your height and weight. This is a much better way to analyze your weight than some random idea in your head or comparing what you weigh now to what you think you weighed in high school.

That’s why everyone should regularly check their BMI score to understand their health and fitness status. It’s not difficult and takes only seconds to get your results.

To see your body mass index score, simply type in your height and weight into this BMI Calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. After you get your score, compare it to the chart below.

BMI Standards
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = 30–39.9
Morbidly Obese = 40+

I typed in my height of 6 foot 4 inches and weight of 185 pounds, and my BMI score is 22.5—which is in the normal weight category. I expected I’d be in the normal weight category because I practice discipline each week in going to the gym and eating healthy. Plus my 6’4’’ frame certainly makes it easier for my body to spread out the weight.

Before we discuss your results, I find it interesting to add 10 to 20 pounds to your weight and see how your body mass index score changes. Maybe this extra weight brings you into the overweight or obese category. This exercise is motivating in itself, because 10 to 20 pounds can creep up on you over time.

And being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese is frightening because this causes some of the ailments below:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis (joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Reproductive problems in women

At the worst, we all know that we can lose years off of our lives from being overweight or obese. I’m not trying to scare you. But I do want to communicate that the negative consequences of too much body fat are real.

(To note, BMI is a solid reference point, but it’s not perfect. Genetics play into your weight as well. If you want the most accurate and extensive information regarding your health, set up a consultation with a health professional.)

Take An Honest Look At Your Results

There are two healthy responses to take from your results and they both are possible by only being honest with yourself.

For the people who are content with their BMI and are at normal weight, this is a testament that you’re treating your body well through eating for energy and exercising regularly. Let this good news motivate you to continue what you’re doing because it’s working.

Establishing solid habits as a young adult will lead to a healthy lifestyle that you continue for the rest of your life. And don’t stop with what’s working, because there’s always room for progress.

If you weren’t happy with your BMI category of overweight or obese, don’t get too discouraged. Getting upset about your results doesn’t accomplish any good or help you lose weight. And the good news is that now you know where you stand—the first step in change is awareness. Plus, as a young adult you have plenty of time to improve.

With your awareness that you need change, the next step is to take positive actions so you feel, look, and become healthier. Continue reading to see how you can improve and reverse the cycle of getting fat in college.

How You Can Improve Your Body Weight

Whether the the freshman 15 already happened or you’re worried about the sophomore 30, there are action steps you can take to lose weight and improve your body.

1. The single best way to lose extra pounds is to follow a healthy eating plan. Changing your diet away from fats and sugars to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will make a big difference. Another helpful tip is to buy smaller plates, or to decide not to eat the entire plate on regular plate sizes. If you study abroad, you’ll notice their portions are much smaller than in the U.S. and it’s a reason they’re skinnier. (For some healthy food ideas, read Easy Healthy Meals For College Students.)

2. Consistently working out will help your body shed unnecessary weight and gain energy for the day. Working out is nice because this will also encourage you to eat healthier so you get more results for all your effort. And when you’re feeling down about yourself or your day, I recommend the first thing you do is to work out to release endorphins.

3. You can also get exercise without going to gym. Do active things you enjoy like playing basketball, playing tennis, swimming, doing yoga, or running. You’ll have a good time and get solid cardio exercise in for the day. For those who struggle making time for the gym, it’s a good idea to start with active activities you enjoy and then transition to lifting weights and doing cardio at the gym.

4. I’m a huge believer in drinking water during the day. Besides all of its other benefits to your body, drinking water will help curb the snacks you eat when you’re bored or think you’re hungry, but you’re actually not. If you want specifics, I recommend drinking half your body weight in water each day, and doing a water drinking challenge to get started. 

5. Getting enough sleep is critical if you’re trying to lose weight and become healthier. Because research suggests that people who get too little sleep often weigh more than those who do get enough sleep. This is likely caused by a host of reasons, like being awake longer so you eat more, have less energy to exercise, and sleep deprivation messing up your body’s appetite functions. Look at these sleep tips to get a good night’s rest.

6. When you’re overwhelmed or stressed, a natural response is to find comfort in eating, hence the phrase “comfort food.” Instead, a better solution than eating your day away is to find a healthy escape off campus. Go for a run, hike in a park, or read at a coffee shop. This will help you release stress without adding all the calories and fat in the process.

7. Stop procrastinating on your school assignments if you want to lead a healthier life. It’s impossible to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough rest when you’re up until 6 AM finishing a paper. Ideally you plan ahead and knock your papers out like a champ. But if you’re in a major pinch, consider using an essay writing service to take a burden off your plate.

Final Words

Do you know what country has the highest number of obese and overweight people in the world?

The answer is America and I’m sure you’re not surprised. With our big plates, cheap food, and affordable luxuries, there’s a lot of unhealthy food going in our system mixed with little exercise. That’s how Americans got so fat.

I know many Americans are out of shape, but it’s a shocking statistic that two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Think about that. It’s absurd!

Because of this trend, we certainly know friends and family members who are overweight, and this is dangerous to our psyche.

We can allow our self-talk to say at least I’m not as bad as my friend David. Or we say Suzy gets to eat whatever she wants all the time, it’s not fair. With this self-talk, we lose motivation to make positive changes for ourself.

So don’t go down this path. Instead, recognize they’re different people and this is about you.

That’s why the right mindset is to ignore everyone else around you when it comes to this area. Focus on improving your BMI, make a goal for yourself, and take the actions above in the bullet point list.

If someone is offering you support, like an exercise partner, that’s fine. But many people won’t like the change because it makes them feel bad about themselves. And they won’t be happy that you won’t join them at McDonald’s anymore. Ignore them!

Obviously you don’t want the diseases related to obesity later in life and that’s a reason to become healthier. But don’t underestimate the immediate benefits like having more energy throughout the day and feeling more confident about your body. These can change your life in more ways than you imagine.

Successful students treat their body right to perform at a high level. Join them by getting started today!

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Health & Fitness

How To Plank: Why This Is My Favorite Exercise!

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Whether your motive is looking better with your shirt off, feeling more in shape, or strengthening your body, you’ll want to know how to plank.

It might change, but right now this is my favorite exercise on the planet.

Watch this short video to get a quick explanation of the plank and how to do it to perfection:

In case you didn’t watch the clip or catch the steps to do a perfect plank, here they are:

  1. Get into push-up position
  2. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your body weight on your forearms
  3. Keep your upper body and lower body on a flat straight line
  4. Look at the floor and relax your head
  5. Hold this stance for as long as you can while maintaining proper form
  6. Don’t stop breathing, inhale and exhale at a slow normal rate

That’s all it takes to build your core and get stronger muscles. Isn’t the plank simple?

Plus you can plank daily to challenge your abs, where it’s not smart to do chest, biceps, or leg exercises daily. This is another W for the plank!

How often do you plank?

What’s your experience with it?

For how long can you plank without putting your butt in the air and arching your back?

Challenge yourself to start doing this weekly (it doesn’t have to be daily). Note how long you last, with good form, the first time you plank. Then take baby steps to feel the burn and go longer next time. And repeat this process.

Imagine how much progress you can make in 6, 12, and 18 months?

It’s for this reason that you better believe I’m planking tonight. Join me!

Related:

30 Day Push-Up Challenge: Get A Beefier & Fuller Chest

The 7 Day No Bad Sugar Challenge

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Health & Fitness

111 Reasons To Exercise

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Not in a regular workout routine? Maybe the problem is you don’t realize the importance of physical activity. I’ll fix that with these 111 reasons to exercise.

You may not like reading this list because then you don’t have the excuse of ignorance. Sorry to bury your excuses.

After reading this it’ll just be pure laziness if you’re not exercising and pushing your body to get in shape. That’s 100% on you.

But I got faith in you. You can build this habit—slowly but surely—and become a more fit version of yourself.

Take it day by day. That’s the key. Don’t expect to lose 10 pounds in a week, then get frustrated you’re not seeing immediate progress. All good things take time.

Alright, let’s dive into every single reason to work out!

The Benefits Of Exercise

  1. Betters your quality of life
  2. Gives you more energy throughout the day
  3. Helps you fall asleep quicker at night
  4. Works to prevent the common cold
  5. Boosts productivity all day
  6. Improves your blood flow
  7. Provides endorphins to feel good
  8. Fights against depression
  9. Improves your social confidence
  10. Extends the amount of years you live
  11. Stimulates mental focus and concentration
  12. Lowers your body fat and weight
  13. Strengthens your immune system
  14. Presents opportunities to make new friends
  15. Increases testosterone
  16. Lessens risk of joint pain
  17. Tones and strengthens your skin
  18. Enhances your endurance
  19. Protects you against heart disease
  20. Lowers risk of some cancers
  21. Convinces you you’re stronger than you think
  22. Fights against dementia
  23. Motivates you to eat healthier
  24. Burns extra calories
  25. Provides a creative outlet
  26. Helps you feel sexier
  27. Drives more romance in your relationship
  28. Lowers cholesterol in a natural way
  29. Makes your dog healthier and happier with more walks
  30. Decreases your resting heart rate
  31. Instills discipline and self-control
  32. Teaches your kids to exercise
  33. Increases your work performance
  34. Adds a challenge to your day
  35. Strengthens your bones
  36. Develops your athletic ability
  37. Pushes you to take more risks
  38. Digests your food better
  39. Lowers risk of diabetes
  40. Lowers triglycerides
  41. Aids your immune system fighting infections
  42. Improves emotional stability
  43. Gives you a positive goal to attach your energy to
  44. Alleviates constipation
  45. Stimulates pain-releasing hormones
  46. Improves oxygen movement to the body
  47. Lowers the risk of osteoporosis
  48. Speeds up your metabolism
  49. Helps remove lactic acid in the body
  50. Develops a mindset of self improvement
  51. Straightens up your posture
  52. Provides a healthy habit to exercise more
  53. Develops flexibility and range of motion
  54. Makes it easier to fit into different types of clothes
  55. Gives you a social setting to meet like-minded people
  56. Helps you think positive
  57. Saves you doctor bills down the road
  58. Increases creativity
  59. Allows you to eat unhealthy without getting fat
  60. Makes you drink more water
  61. Protects your eyes and eyesight
  62. Creates a mentality of respecting your body
  63. Builds muscle tone
  64. Provides opportunities to test your willpower
  65. Fights against allergies
  66. Makes you look younger than you are
  67. Prepares you for change
  68. Increases fertility for making babies
  69. Improves body control
  70. Allows your brain to think more clearly
  71. Helps your body store glycogen
  72. Boosts your body’s production of good fat
  73. Gets you comfortable handling pressure
  74. Decreases appetite for sugary drinks and unhealthy food
  75. Adds muscle strength
  76. Makes you feel hungrier after a good workout
  77. Takes away guilt when you do relax
  78. Increases the odds you make more money
  79. Reduces blood pressure
  80. Teaches you a lesson in patience to see body progress
  81. Alleviates back pain
  82. Readies you for any reunion, wedding, or social gathering
  83. Improves breathing ability
  84. Gives you a chance at a six pack
  85. Instills belief that you can achieve your goals and follow through
  86. Eases menstrual cramps
  87. Gets you ready to run a marathon
  88. Improves your business network and connections
  89. Provides an excuse to wear and buy new exercise clothes
  90. Improves reaction time
  91. Presents opportunities to find new business ideas
  92. Makes for a free social activity
  93. Reduces stress and anxiety
  94. Fights against feelings of boredom
  95. Protects against age-related muscle loss
  96. Gives you a pretty mirror view
  97. Raises your sexual performance
  98. Allows you to eat more food
  99. Makes you a more interesting person
  100. Prepares you to always look good in swimsuits
  101. Builds muscle size
  102. Adds a glow to your skin complexion
  103. Teaches you the value of hard work
  104. Gives you a reason to manage your time better
  105. Protects your body against injury
  106. Decreases the difficulty of lifting heavy objects
  107. Encourages the people around you to exercise
  108. Adds to your first impression
  109. Lowers the scary thought of stepping on a scale
  110. Increases compliments you receive from other people
  111. Gives your body what it loves, a good workout

If those 111 arguments didn’t convince you to take your health serious and begin a consistent exercise plan, I give up. You may be hopeless.

Just kidding. I know that’s not true. Even the most overweight, out-of-shape person can make a turn for the better to prioritize exercise.

And I know after reading this some of you will think, “Exercise is awesome. I’m going to get shredded for the beach this summer.” But then you’ll continue to not work out like nothing changed.

There’s only one road to getting in better shape, and it requires a bunch of sweat.

So snap out of it.  Start exercising like you know you should. Get committed.

You owe it to your mind and body at the very least. Otherwise you’ll steal those 111 reasons from yourself.

And as I wrote in this article, the best time to start is now.

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Interview: Dr. Littleton, “America’s Energy Doctor” Seen On Dr. Oz

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Today I have a special interview for you with a great new friend, Dr. Jason Littleton.

He’s a doctor, CEO, author, speaker, columnist, and so much more. Mainly he’s known as “America’s Energy Doctor,” and has been on The Dr. Oz Show—that’s big time.

What I appreciate about Dr. Littleton is he’s one of those guys who benefits everyone around him, making it look effortless. All you have to do is listen, and you’re going to walk away with some new wisdom or inspiration.

You’ll see what I mean in this interview.

Check it out below, and don’t forget to keep reading after the interview to see my key insights.

——

Brian: You’re super successful now. But it wasn’t always easy. Tell us about your difficult trial during the MCAT and how you got through it to become Dr. Littleton.

Dr. Jason: In a nutshell, I was on a journey to become a doctor. And one of the roadblocks that came up was when I walked out of the MCAT exam.

One of the things I realized is that when you’re going for anything, you’re going to realize what you do and don’t know about yourself that you need to change. You do this so you can become a better version of yourself.

In my case, studying for the MCAT was a whole lot different from studying in high school. In high school, you read a textbook and remember what you need for the test. Even in college, you’re learning things and you mainly memorize information to get to the next level.

But for the MCAT, there’s information there that you have to not just memorize, but retain for your future success as a medical student and as a physician.

One of the things I learned about myself is that I needed to retrain how I learned information. I needed to retrain how I studied and how I focused, so I could be better prepared when I went into that next MCAT exam.

Here’s the deal when you take a big exam like that. Sometimes there’s pressure to succeed. And I didn’t fully understand that pressure as well as I maybe should have understood.

So through self-reflection, understanding the things I did wrong, and staying motivated, I was able to go back and do the test again, and succeed. That was a difficult time that I overcame. But I never lost focus that I would be a successful doctor.

Brian: What are your overall thoughts on failure? Is failure permanent?

Dr. Jason: It’s both. Failure is a temporary thing for people who see the light at the end of the tunnel, when there’s no light. You have to have a vision for yourself. You have to be able to see it when no one else can see it. And when things in the natural don’t look like they’re going well, you still have to have a mental picture of where you’re going and that you can still get there.

For people who can do that, and everyone can do that, so for those willing to do that then failure is temporary.

For people who are not willing to see the greatness inside of them and are not willing to face difficult times and get through them, failure is permanent. Because these are the types of people who will quit, not continue on, not fight the obstacles, or embarrassment. Because sometimes people feel embarrassed when they fail.

So if you can get past the pride and the embarrassment, to see that mental picture of you on the other side, failure is temporary.

Brian: I know that you’re an energy expert. So what are three changes we can make in our lives to gain more energy throughout the day?

Dr. Jason: First, you should always start with breakfast. A lot of people skip that, but here’s the deal: Carbs are our fuel. That’s like our gasoline. So when we eat breakfast, we’re getting the carbs we need to fill our body with energy.

People shouldn’t ever avoid carbs. That’s like not putting gas in your car. You want to have elite carbs though, such as vegetables and fruit.

The other thing people should do is have snacks throughout the day. I always tell people to have six meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner with three snacks in between. When you do that, you stay energized as you go through the day.

Next thing, people should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks. Sometimes people make a habit out of that and they use caffeinated drinks for energy. But they continue that until it’s something they rely on to feel energized.

But that’s not what you need. It hurts your health. It doesn’t make you feel as energized as you actually think. It’s a lot of commercialism.

So those three things, just from a natural aspect of diet and nutrition, will give you more energy.

And here’s one bonus from a mental perspective. People have to plan to go beyond where they think their end point is. For example, if people think at 5 PM their day ends because they got off work and they’re not prepared to go beyond that, their internal mental clock says we’re done working and let’s shut it down.

But I tell people to keep the throttle going. Don’t go home at 5, sit on the couch, and turn things off. Because when you do that, you get tired, it’s hard to start again, it’s hard to work at home, and it’s hard to be an entrepreneur outside of your job.

So I tell people to plan to work to at least 10 PM. When you do that, mentally you’re prepared to go longer than you originally thought was your end point. That’s how you can also have more energy and spring to your step during the day.

Brian: From your experience as a doctor, what’s one of the biggest misconceptions an average person has about living a healthy life?

Dr. Jason: I don’t want to lose anyone here, but sometimes people think that they have to work out to an extreme extent so that they feel like they’re in the best shape of their lives.

But I argue that how many football players and athletes live beyond 70? These are people who work out to an extreme extent to become real muscle-bound. And sometimes that extreme working out causes added stress on the body and inflammation that actually doesn’t cause us to have longevity.

Some of people who have been interviewed who lived to their 100s said the secret to longevity is moderation in exercise and diet. Some of the extremes in terms of fitness won’t take you to longevity.

I’m not saying don’t lift weights, don’t go running, don’t work out. I’m saying do it in moderation, don’t do it to an extreme.

Sometimes people will do it to an extent where they don’t feel good about themselves until they’re beating their body to the extreme. When you do that, it damages your health.

Brian: Walk us through how you got featured on Dr. Oz and what that experience was like on national TV?

Dr. Jason: First of all, I have a business coach, Dr. Stacia Pierce, who is world-renowned business coach who has helped me get engaged with people like a Dr. Oz and a Dr. Nandi.

Having a coach is paramount because you need someone, as an entrepreneur, that will push you beyond what you think you can do. I wouldn’t be where I am without my coach.

She pushed me to write my first book WellSpring: The Energy Secrets TO DO The Good Life. As I started marketing myself, people got wind of what I was doing.

And one day I received an email from the social producer from The Dr. Oz Show, asking me to talk about Dr. Oz’s magnesium grocery list and how I used it with my patients.

Of course I accepted that opportunity.

Brian: What’s your favorite book, fiction or nonfiction, and why?

Dr. Jason: One of my all time favorite books is Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen. It’s a great book about making positive affirmations, believing in the favor of God, and really walking your faith out to be your best.

I think it’s a great book because when I read that it helped me through my journey of success as a physician.

There’s another book that’s really dear to my heart. It’s by Dr. James Pierce and it’s called The Success Secrets of Excellence. And it’s about how to be excellent in life, in your job, in your business, being on time for appointments, and how you look excellent because people treat you how you look.

Those two books, and my business coach Stacia Pierce, have made me the person I am today.

Brian: What’s your life mission?

Dr. Jason: My life mission is to help people find their passion and to use that so that they can live as healthy as possible, so that they can buy more time on this earth, and so they can carry it out.

Helping people do that enriches the world. Helping people live longer and be energized to do what they’re passionate about is a huge part of my purpose.

Brian: Where can Take Your Success readers go to learn more about you and your work?

Dr. Jason: People can go to my website: www.jasonmd.com. There they can find links to my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles.

And on my website they’ll be able to get to every social media site, book, and resource that I have.

——

What I learned is that Dr. Littleton has a clear vision for the world, his patients, and his life. That’s to live with passion.

And his passion empowers him to do his best work, regardless of the arena.

His passion to be a doctor carried him through his difficult time with the MCAT. His passion to help others live with energy improves the lives of his patients and the people around them. And his passion for entrepreneurship pushes him to continual business success.

I’m totally with him. There’s a 180 degree difference between someone who is pursuing their passion and someone who isn’t. You can see it in their day-to-day life, their mood, and often their eyes.

So I, and I know Dr. Littleton agrees, challenge you to find your passion. It’s the best thing for the people around you and you.

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