The threat of the freshman fifteen

There’s one thing we all worry about when coming to college for the first time, and that’s the dreaded freshman fifteen. But what really changes after freshman year? Certainly not our eating habits– we’re stuck with pretty much the same old places to eat, on campus and off. So that leads me to believe that not only is the Freshman Fifteen a thing, but so is the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Fifteen, despite those being not near as fun to say.

Many of us know that the weight gain is coming, and we want to avoid it, but we’re stuck in a rut when it comes to figuring out a routine to keep the pounds away. Whether it be eating less or exercising more, we set goals that rarely become the reality unless you have absurd amounts of self-discipline and restraint.

Ever since I moved into Radford, I’ve been trying my best to keep a healthy diet, even though this often meant only one of two meals. A salad from Wild Greens or sushi from Hissho. Always more of a protein girl, I mostly traded the salads for a crunchy roll.

The other day, after weeks of sushi lunches and dinners, a good friend of mine posed a question. He said, “is sushi actually healthy for you? I feel like since it’s mostly rice, it’s not very good.” The more I thought about it, the more I figured he must be right. So naturally, as soon as I got home I looked up the answer.

As it so turns out, there are many different answers to the question, “is sushi good for you?” because there are many different elements that go into it. Fish is incredibly healthy, as it’s rich in omega-3’s, as well as other acids, and has plenty of different kinds of vitamins. Rice can help with energy and blood sugar levels as well as slowing down the aging process. Put them together and you get a healthy dish, right? Especially if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal. Seven pieces of salmon nigiri (sticky rice with a piece of raw salmon filet on top) is equivalent to about 478 calories, about ¼ of your average daily intake.

It’s when you start adding more ingredients, however, like the fried bits of crunchy rolls or the incessant amounts of soy sauce that you run into a problem.

While both can be delicious and even fairly good in moderation, when you continue to pour them on, they become quite unhealthy and even cancel out the benefits of the salmon and rice.

In the end, the lesson always comes down to: know what’s being put in your food. If you don’t trust it, don’t eat it. Find something else that you know is a healthy alternative. Or, if all else fails, you can always head to the gym and work your butt off.