Despite our excitement to travel to “fabulous” all-inclusive resorts with our besties where we will mistakenly say “Grassy Ass” instead of “Gracias”, some of us are thinking the same thing… “Well shit.” For the lucky ones traveling to warm places next week, you have to be in a bikini/shirtless in approximately 96 hours. Once again, our plans to get that hot beach bod and chiseled abs *insert visual image of Gigi Hadid here* have come tumbling upon us as the days until break dwindle. But friends, HAVE NO FEAR, your 5-lifesaving guidelines to cutting a few LBs the next few days are here. These quick and easy steps will leave you feeling healthier, more energized, and have more confidence lying on the beach in your new bikini you most definitely spent too much money on.
- Take more steps – I know it’s cold here in Madison, and we essentially go to school in a wind vortex (East Campus Mall I’m looking at you), but avoid those buses and elevators and get your steps in. Fitbits and other pedometers are a great way to monitor your activity, and if you don’t want to spend the money (lets be real we are all poor, desperate college students), iPhones have a preinstalled Health application that monitors your movement. Research at Arizona State University has classified those who walk 5,000 steps a day as inactive, 5,000-7,499 steps as having a low active lifestyle, 7,500-9,999 steps as somewhat active, and those over 10,000 steps as an active lifestyle. Make a personal goal and increase it accordingly to rev up the challenge.
- Don’t eat out – If it is not in your house, apartment, or dorm, don’t eat it. Limit the temptations by getting rid of those unhealthy sweets and snacks we all binge on during midterms or our favorite season of Grey’s. Yes, sadly this means tossing those Girl Scout Cookies… damn those little sashed girls on every corner of campus AND their young metabolisms.
- Get to the gym a few more times – An obvious way to lose a few pounds is exercise. These next few days, make it a goal to get to the gym. Exercising doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be a chore. There are super fun and effective alternatives instead of just running on a treadmill. For future reference, you can join one of the hundreds intramural teams on campus, I highly suggest quidditch. Attend group fitness classes at the SERF or NAT for only $30 for the entire semester and choose from Zumba, cycling, HITT, kickboxing, powerflow yoga, and group strength. Rylee Davis, a freshman group fitness instructor at the SERF, says, “You have a bunch of other people around you motivating you to stick it through,[…] you can’t cheat your way out of a work out because the classes are a set length and target your entire body.” For a relaxing exercise, you can sign up for $40 of unlimited yoga for your first membership month at Dragonfly Yoga, which has four locations in the Madison area and numerous types of yoga. If you are tying to save those Benjamin’s (again poor, college students over here), find a good work out partner who will challenge you and head to the SERF or the NAT with your WiscCard.
- Make healthy food choices – Try to make small changes in your dietary habits. Choose whole wheat bread instead of white, add fruits and veggies to every meal, monitor your portion sizes, and limit any intake of empty calories…especially alcohol. Be sure to stock up on protein bars and other healthy snack alternatives.
- Drink lots and lots of water – Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine states that men should drink roughly 13 cups of water daily, and females should drink 9 cups, which makes you feel full and also helps flush food and excess liquids through your digestive system to curb bloating.
I’m not telling you that losing a few pounds is necessary, nor encouraged, to feel good about yourself over this upcoming break. But you’re entering a week full of cheap booze and shitty food, so feeling energized and healthy will significantly help the guilt factor involved when you take that second beer bong (or sixth). Now go rock that overpriced bikini of yours.