When surrounded by thousands of college students who have similar goals, it feels like you are competing with everyone. Whether you’re self-conscious about your grades or your eating habits, it’s important to focus on yourself rather than beating everyone else. One of the biggest dilemmas young women often find themselves in with their peers and themselves is their weight. Therefore, it is no surprise that a common practice on college campuses is using eating excuses to lose weight.
Many falsely believe that cutting one food group out of your diet will reduce a size, from, say, an 8 to a 4. Connie Diekman, a Registered Dietitian and previous President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Her Campus, “These diets will often lead to weight loss, but are the girls healthy once they’ve lost the weight?” The answer, of course, is no.
Girls who resort to such dieting methods are missing several key nutrients. In addition, they may be losing muscle mass instead of fat mass, which means that they might weigh less, but are becoming more unhealthy.” So while you may be able to keep the weight off for a fraternity formal trip, you probably cannot maintain this weight for a whole semester.
Even outside the college bubble, it is normal to try a low-fat or low-carb diet to shed a couple of pounds and maintain your body weight. Additionally, no doctor would be concerned about someone who has gotten rid of gluten, dairy, sugar or any other foods for medical reasons. On the other hand, many young women have found themselves following eating practices to lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time.
Such eating habits are even more popular due to celebrity endorsements such as Beyonce’s famous Master Cleanse. Veganism has also been on Hollywood’s hot list with stars Lea Michele and Olivia Wilde.
“[The trend] also ties to what they see occurring with celebrities who try these diets and lose weight,” Diekman said.
In order to diet in a healthy and balanced way, Diekman suggests meeting with a Registered Dietitian; you must make sure to take in enough nutrients. Unlike the days in middle school when you first began to learn about the food pyramid, you must now take your height, weight and lifestyle into account, since they will be affected drastically if you decide to cut out a food group.