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Teen Health

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Beating the Freshman 15

Rule No. 2: Snack continued...

Snacks are essential at night, too. Grubiak tells students that if they're going to be up late -- and what student isn't? -- they'd better have some good food on hand for fuel.

"That's the biggest myth: that you shouldn't eat after dinner," Grubiak says. "The truth is, your body is constantly utilizing calories."

Stock your dorm fridge with healthy snacks to keep the munchies at bay while keeping the nutrition you need close at hand. Grubiak's favorites include these healthy treats:

• Low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt, a great source of protein

• Fresh fruit

• Low-fat or nonfat milk, or soy or almond milk

• String cheese

Hummus and veggies (baby carrots, broccoli florets) for dipping

Grubiak also likes protein bars. They provide a steady source of energy rather than the short sugar spikes you get from candy bars and soft drinks.

Keep in mind that not all protein bars are created equal. Take a look at the nutrition info, and make sure the bar you're buying has at least 7 grams of protein and no more than 30 grams of carbs. And sugar shouldn't be the first ingredient.

Eating well doesn't mean denying yourself everything you love to eat. Just be smart about it. If you go out for burgers, get a small order of fries, and don't supersize your order. And skip the sodas, most of which are loaded with calories. Those are tough to burn off when you spend most of your day sitting at a desk in class or hunched over books in the library.

Rule No. 3: Move

Speaking of burning calories, work some exercise into your daily routine. Going to the gym is a great move when you can get there, but Grubiak tells students not to underestimate the good that walking will do. Give yourself time to take the long way to class, she says. Use the stairs wherever possible.

Don't feel like leaving your dorm? Grubiak recommends surfing the Internet for an aerobics video. Or just crank up your playlist and dance around your room.

Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but also provides an excellent counter to stress and anxiety. Both can wreak havoc on your diet, causing you to overeat or to skip meals.

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