Megan McGuffey from Wellness Services is a registered dietitian at Boise State who offers one-on-one counseling to both students and faculty. She also has a booth at the Recreational Center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The simple steps she advises to students are:
“Make the declaration to not diet,” McGuffey said. “Often times, people’s diet mentality falls short of sustainability, so when someone’s goal is attained they return to their old eating habits and gain the weight right back. The problem with diets is not losing weight but maintaining weight.”
Connor Griffith, a junior studying exercise science, doesn’t always have the time to eat healthy. However, he believes that diets should be a lifestyle choice rather than a weight loss or gain goal.
“Ideally, I would choose eating healthy as a lifestyle rather than a weight loss or gain plan,” Griffith said.
Eating healthy as a lifestyle choice can easily be compromised, because it is easy to get pulled into eating extravaganzas or happy hour with friends. Junior communication major Josh Tawson and junior history major Kenneth Nolan snack healthy but admitted they eat terrible meals due to their social schedules. To avoid this, McGuffey suggested establishing a support system.
“Getting your friends and family on board with your weight loss (to) increases motivation,” McGuffey said.
Whether a student is attempting to lose weight or gain it, an important step to keep in mind is food journaling. TJ Schwarz, a sophomore in the mechanical engineering program, will be redirecting his diet to gain more weight this semester.
“I have lifted in the past, and I want better results with my workout routine this time around, so I have researched more on what food best suits my goals,” Schwarz said.
Food journaling, described by McGuffey, is a method that allows people to plan their diet by itemizing specific intake (calories, salt and sugar etc.) on a daily basis.
“Keep track of what you eat; often times people eat more calories than they think,” McGuffey said.
Keeping a ratio of what energy was consumed or burned off will provide results. Also, not all meal items come with a label on the back, so McGuffey directs students and faculty to use credible websites for tracking calorie intake such as Sparkspeople.com, ChooseMyPlate.com and MyFitnessPal.com.
Looking down at the scale and not seeing considerable weight loss from yesterday may be the result of an unrealistic goal. McGuffey advises dieters to use the SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) when setting goals. Applying those factors may determine that a diet needs to be 10 rather than two weeks to see results. Moreover, results from 30 minutes of cardio a day depends on the daily intake of different calories.
Students need to combat stress without comfort food. Not an easy task by any means but, according to McGuffey, it is attainable by asking the question:
“How hungry am I on a scale from 1-10, 1 being not hungry and 10 being starving,” McGruffey said. “Find replacement activities that de-stress such as a short walk, listening to music, etc.”
The final step is not giving up, which takes discipline.