January 13 2010
The “1L” 15 – Watching Out For That Extra Weight
You’ve probably heard of the “Freshman 15,” well I’m here to introduce the “1L 15.” Law school is stressful and time consuming, leaving little room (and desire) for healthy eating. If you are the following: naturally thin, a vegetarian, someone who hates junk food, or a person who naturally chooses the healthier options then you can stop reading because you don’t need advice from me! However, if you’re like me and crave nothing but macaroni and cheese when you are stressed, this article may be able to help you keep your sanity while also watching the calories.
I think the best advice is to bring your lunch to school. The cafeteria options probably aren’t the best for weight control. At home you can pack healthier items. My staples during law school have been turkey sandwiches, pretzels, lean cuisines (or other lowfat meals), fresh fruit, and fresh veggies and dip. Now, this list may not look like a party to you, but your waistband will thank you later. Also, if you eat well every day at lunch you’ll have more leeway at dinner and on the weekends.
I’m also a firm believer in proper “beverage selection.” If you HAVE to have a carbonated beverage you can at least switch to diet. Water is obviously the best choice, but I’m not naïve- you’ll need more than water to get you through law school. I’m talking about caffeine here people. Coffee will be the easiest go-to option. I won’t deprive you your cup ‘o Joe, but consider nixing the sugar and cream. Also consider switching to tea. I was a religious coffee drinker- the type who drank multiple cups before I walked out the door and had my trusty travel mug for the road. However, coffee was giving me the biggest crash around 10 AM (which happened to coincide with the halfway mark of my first classes.) I needed to make a switch, something that wouldn’t give me such a big “down.” I switched to hot tea and have not looked back! I’ve also noticed the boost to my immune system. The point is you’ve got to eat so there are your calories for the day. If you also are consuming hundreds of calories just from your liquid intake it won’t be long before you notice it.
My final piece of advice is not about healthy eating and many may cringe, but law school is stressful so if every once in a while if you need that box of macaroni and cheese, just eat it. (Don’t judge me!) A memory that comes to my mind is a recent one. I was staying up late to finish a law review outline. I was exhausted and HUNGRY. I had been somewhat on a “diet,” watching everything I ate and counting the calories for it. I was stressed about school, stressed about my diet, and sick of wondering what I could eat that would be healthy. So I threw it all aside and had fettuccini alfredo. Best choice? Probably not, but it gave me the energy to finish my paper! It’s all about balance, make healthy choices during the majority of the week, and allow yourself the indulgences occasionally.