Dieting in College without Counting: Part 1: Introduction

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By Ari Snaevarsson, Features Editor

I would like to begin with an apology for anyone who was following my ongoing instructional series on college dieting last semester. Unfortunately, for a myriad of reasons, I will not be continuing that series in the order I had planned. To make a long story short, resuming the series would have likely meant an entire semester devoted to in-depth explanations of how to count and set caloric intake, macronutrient intake, micronutrients, fiber, water, meal timing, meal frequency, supplementation, the works, thereby running the risk of losing most of my audience to the sheer monotony of my material. Not to mention, I would have been effectively regurgitating information that is already out there, and explained exceptionally better by actual nutrition experts, and I myself would lose interest quickly in my articles. Needless to say, it would have spiraled into the very thing I hoped to direct people’s attention away from: the boring, elitist air so often found in the field of nutrition.

Telling you college is a stressful time would be, no doubt, preaching to the choir. Between studying, going to class, working on projects and presentations, sports, extracurricular programs, hanging out with friends, and whatever other wild things you do in your free time, there is time to add in a stress as major as dieting. Granted, for people as oddly obsessive about it as I am, it can work. However, for the majority of students looking to lose some fat, gain muscle, build athleticism, or just improve general health, taking an even slightly rigid approach is going to be a losing battle.

But all hope is not lost; I believe firmly that anyone, in most any situation, is able to take control of their diet without meticulously counting calories and macronutrients and the like. What I have proposed is a method by which the dieter can achieve their body composition goals without once pulling out a calorie counting app or limiting themselves to bland “diet” foods. It does not, however, involve some “magic food” or “secret trick”, but rather works on the premise of mindfully managing one’s eating habits.

Is it worth it to start considering serious changes in your diet? Well, how important is it to you that you look good, feel good, function better, and actually make progress in the gym or on the scale? The choice is yours, but understand that no matter what your body composition or performance goal is, not focusing on diet means shorting your results drastically.

For the sake of organization, this much simpler guide will be divided into three parts. The first, coming next week, will deal with the simple nuts and bolts of the diet; the second will delve specifically into drinking and what sorts of necessary protocols we will be implementing in this area; the final section will cover a practical approach to conquering the mental aspect of dieting.

I encourage you to stay tuned, as the meat of the series will be covered comprehensively and concisely in the next article.

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