The Student Room Group

Tips on losing weight at uni?

I am off to uni in a couple of weeks and am trying to avoid putting on lots of weight!! Ive heard so many stories of how freshers often put on 2 stone in their first year!
ideally i’d like to lose a bit, i am unsure of how much i weigh as i don’t own scales but i am about 5’7 and i am a size 12/14.
I am not super ‘fat’ but want to lose a bit of the chub round my belly and arms. i am planning on joining the gym as i have budgeted for it through my student finance.
I have quite a full on course, so i’ll be in uni a lot but want to try and get to the gym 3/4 times a week probably at night like 8/9pm when it’ll be less busy.
I am going to newcastle uni and the city isn’t huge, most things are within 10-20 min walk so although i’ll be walking everywhere it won’t be a lot of walking.
I’ll also be going out a bit so obviously drinking but am going to try and stick to low cal mixers with spirits if i can, will probs be on about 2 nights out a week? I deffo won’t be out alot on weeknights because i am in uni every day at 9 am and i’m not a huge night out lover tbh.
Basically:
-any tips on what to focus on at the gym to lose weight and tone up?
-any tips on healthy eating/how to eat well and healthily on a student budget?
-what alcoholic drinks are good whilst dieting?
-also does anyone know on a calorie goal to stick to? I was thinking about 1300 a day?

Thanks for any help x
Original post by Mez.
I am off to uni in a couple of weeks and am trying to avoid putting on lots of weight!! Ive heard so many stories of how freshers often put on 2 stone in their first year!
ideally i’d like to lose a bit, i am unsure of how much i weigh as i don’t own scales but i am about 5’7 and i am a size 12/14.
I am not super ‘fat’ but want to lose a bit of the chub round my belly and arms. i am planning on joining the gym as i have budgeted for it through my student finance.
I have quite a full on course, so i’ll be in uni a lot but want to try and get to the gym 3/4 times a week probably at night like 8/9pm when it’ll be less busy.
I am going to newcastle uni and the city isn’t huge, most things are within 10-20 min walk so although i’ll be walking everywhere it won’t be a lot of walking.
I’ll also be going out a bit so obviously drinking but am going to try and stick to low cal mixers with spirits if i can, will probs be on about 2 nights out a week? I deffo won’t be out alot on weeknights because i am in uni every day at 9 am and i’m not a huge night out lover tbh.
Basically:
-any tips on what to focus on at the gym to lose weight and tone up?
-any tips on healthy eating/how to eat well and healthily on a student budget?
-what alcoholic drinks are good whilst dieting?
-also does anyone know on a calorie goal to stick to? I was thinking about 1300 a day?

Thanks for any help x


Firstly, there is no alcoholic drink that is good to consume while on a diet. Drinks are empty calories, so try to avoid drinking if you're serious about losing weight.

Make all your food yourself. Meal plan all your meals, so you're only buying the ingredients you need. Don't allow yourself to go down the junk food aisles in the supermarket so you aren't tempted to buy anything unhealthy. However allow yourself a treat or a reward to keep yourself motivated.

As for the actual gym stuff, @CleverSquirrel is our fitness expert and can help you out more!
The thing with healthy eating is that often it takes more time to do than heating up a ready meal or shoving a pizza in the oven. If you can, it's good to plan and be organised- maybe batch cook at weekends so you can just heat foods up during the week? Try to avoid takeaways too! Also try to avoid snacking will studying!

Although alcohol is empty calories, if you want low cal drinks, Gin and Tonic or Vodka and Tonic are good. Try to avoid the temptation of late night drunken snacks too!

1300 calories is probably a good target but don't forget to log everything- a lot of people think their diet isn't working but they aren't counting calories in their coffees/teas/fruit juices for example!

A lot of people do have success with the 5:2 diet if this is something that might work for you?
Reply 3
Original post by DrawTheLine
Firstly, there is no alcoholic drink that is good to consume while on a diet. Drinks are empty calories, so try to avoid drinking if you're serious about losing weight.

Make all your food yourself. Meal plan all your meals, so you're only buying the ingredients you need. Don't allow yourself to go down the junk food aisles in the supermarket so you aren't tempted to buy anything unhealthy. However allow yourself a treat or a reward to keep yourself motivated.

As for the actual gym stuff, @CleverSquirrel is our fitness expert and can help you out more!


You are right about the alcohol lol! I think i’ll proper cut down after freshers week is over.
I really enjoy cooking so that suits me, thanks for the tips :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by SarcAndSpark
The thing with healthy eating is that often it takes more time to do than heating up a ready meal or shoving a pizza in the oven. If you can, it's good to plan and be organised- maybe batch cook at weekends so you can just heat foods up during the week? Try to avoid takeaways too! Also try to avoid snacking will studying!

Although alcohol is empty calories, if you want low cal drinks, Gin and Tonic or Vodka and Tonic are good. Try to avoid the temptation of late night drunken snacks too!

1300 calories is probably a good target but don't forget to log everything- a lot of people think their diet isn't working but they aren't counting calories in their coffees/teas/fruit juices for example!

A lot of people do have success with the 5:2 diet if this is something that might work for you?


what’s the 5:2 diet?
And thanks for you advice :smile:
Original post by Mez.
You are right about the alcohol lol! I think i’ll proper cut down after freshers week is over.
I really enjoy cooking so that suits me, thanks for the tips :smile:


I recommend the Nosh student cookbook, it has lots of recipes using ingredients and equipment students have.
Original post by Mez.
what’s the 5:2 diet?
And thanks for you advice :smile:


5:2 is where you eat "normally" for 5 days of the week and then fast for 2 days eating about 600 calories a day on your fast days, so you build up a calorie deficit over the week rather than every day. Obviously on your other 5 days you shouldn't overeat, so you aim for about 1800-1900 calories.

I've used 5:2 in the past and I found it great as it meant I didn't feel like I was missing out or constantly depriving myself of food. As no food is "banned" it meant I could have some treats during the week.

600 calories sounds scary but it can go quite a long way- I would usually eat a veggie stir-fry or salad for my main meal for about 300-400 calories and then have 200 calories-ish to have a snack at lunch time. It's not for everyone though.

I think a lot of the reason students put on weight is because they snack, though- most don't overeat as such but a lot of people will study with a large pack of crisps or biscuits next to them. As well as this, there can be a lot of social eating (e.g. takeaways, getting coffee) where people overeat, and of course drinking a lot can cause people to put on weight.
Okay sooo,

meal plan- at uni this is simple and easy- and you can make all your meals on sunday nights and box them in the fridge/freezer the weekdays- there are loads of low carb/high protein meals out there- or i could show you some recipes tooo
its easy at uni to binge eat junk food- but meal prep is the way to go and keep you focused tooo- i used to shop at lidl- you can get soooo much for under £20 a week for a student

gymming- uni gym memberships are pricey af, have a look at gyms in the town too and set 2-3 days to go and get a good 45 min intense work out in, cardio is very good, with weight exercises and alot of ab work out too- though remember you cant spot reduce fat- it takes alot of hard work

drinking- well a vodka and diet coke is literally around 70 calories. any spirits with diet mixers are good- ideally no drinking- i have a glass of wine like once every two months, and thats when i go out for evening meals- but i know 1st year its hard to avoid it- i swapped fizzy drinks and booze with water- up to liters a day, surely more when hungover (i used to go out sober sometimes- i preferred nights in)

id say 1500 calories, have 3 meals a day, make they hearty so youre full but not stuffed, gym 2-3 times a week- i know its hard when studying and socializing but if youre serious about this you'll make time.

And dont forget to enjoy uni too, its a once in a life time opportunity! Make the most of it
Three GOLDEN tips to minimise weight gain or even lose weight

- If you need to drink, choose your alcoholic drinks very carefully. Do not touch the beer or cider or use full sugar mixers. Try and stick to zero calorie things like gin and vodka with light tonic or diet lemonade

- Try exercise self discipline with the post-night out food. Avoid the kebabs and mcds all together. Just avoid the junk and processed meals

- adopt intermittent fasting: only eat between 12-8, eat nothing outside of that period. That is something I have done for about two weeks now and have been some notable weight loss. Once you get over the initial ‘hangry’ feelings, it’s honestly an easy way to lose weight. Other benefits are endless, so do your research and see if this is for you
(edited 5 years ago)
Reply 9
Original post by Mez.
I am off to uni in a couple of weeks and am trying to avoid putting on lots of weight!! Ive heard so many stories of how freshers often put on 2 stone in their first year!
ideally i’d like to lose a bit, i am unsure of how much i weigh as i don’t own scales but i am about 5’7 and i am a size 12/14.
I am not super ‘fat’ but want to lose a bit of the chub round my belly and arms. i am planning on joining the gym as i have budgeted for it through my student finance.
I have quite a full on course, so i’ll be in uni a lot but want to try and get to the gym 3/4 times a week probably at night like 8/9pm when it’ll be less busy.
I am going to newcastle uni and the city isn’t huge, most things are within 10-20 min walk so although i’ll be walking everywhere it won’t be a lot of walking.
I’ll also be going out a bit so obviously drinking but am going to try and stick to low cal mixers with spirits if i can, will probs be on about 2 nights out a week? I deffo won’t be out alot on weeknights because i am in uni every day at 9 am and i’m not a huge night out lover tbh.
Basically:
-any tips on what to focus on at the gym to lose weight and tone up?
-any tips on healthy eating/how to eat well and healthily on a student budget?
-what alcoholic drinks are good whilst dieting?
-also does anyone know on a calorie goal to stick to? I was thinking about 1300 a day?

Thanks for any help x


Okay someone might have already said this but this is my best advice.

I gain weight only (fast metabolism), but my research is closer to weight loss than you think.

Basically cut 500-1000 kcals a day off your diet. And exercise. Then you're sorted. Do not do a thing called making yourself so miserable you fall back into a pattern of bad eating. This has to be a life style choice, so it's not a quick fix. So the trick is to make yourself as comfortable as possible with it. Eat only things you like and that fill you up.
Reply 10
Oh I have to post this in another comment in case you miss the edit. 1300 IS TOO LOW. That is under eating. Your body needs the calories and energy to function to lose weight. You will literally put your body into a mode where it thinks you will get no fat. This will make your body store fat for the future, which you really don't want. 2000kcals is what I'd suggest. But clean eating and low fat.
calculate your TDEE and subtract 500 kcals from it. eat at that amount for the majority of the week, have one or two normal eating days. cheers
Reply 12
Hey, I love the fact you are thinking in advance for your weeks off of university. Let me begin with this, I don't find any alcoholic drink good for weight loss for the reason that alcohol does slow metabolism significantly not to speak it has a lot of calories. Combine alcohol with some fast food or some sweets and it would not end up great.. :biggrin: Losing weight without exercising is definitely possible, keep an eye on your intake(what you eat) and eat more often but smaller portions. Tips and tricks I have tried myself are, morning breakfast is a must (big chances to increase metabolism), when you are just starting to feel hungry drink a glass of water and postpone the eating for 20-30 minutes if you can, eat smaller portions but more often if possible. You can also have fun while losing weight in your off time. Get some friends to jog with you, share the experience.
Thanks, hope I helped, good luck.
Reply 13
Original post by CleverSquirrel
Okay sooo,

meal plan- at uni this is simple and easy- and you can make all your meals on sunday nights and box them in the fridge/freezer the weekdays- there are loads of low carb/high protein meals out there- or i could show you some recipes tooo
its easy at uni to binge eat junk food- but meal prep is the way to go and keep you focused tooo- i used to shop at lidl- you can get soooo much for under £20 a week for a student

gymming- uni gym memberships are pricey af, have a look at gyms in the town too and set 2-3 days to go and get a good 45 min intense work out in, cardio is very good, with weight exercises and alot of ab work out too- though remember you cant spot reduce fat- it takes alot of hard work

drinking- well a vodka and diet coke is literally around 70 calories. any spirits with diet mixers are good- ideally no drinking- i have a glass of wine like once every two months, and thats when i go out for evening meals- but i know 1st year its hard to avoid it- i swapped fizzy drinks and booze with water- up to liters a day, surely more when hungover (i used to go out sober sometimes- i preferred nights in)

id say 1500 calories, have 3 meals a day, make they hearty so youre full but not stuffed, gym 2-3 times a week- i know its hard when studying and socializing but if youre serious about this you'll make time.

And dont forget to enjoy uni too, its a once in a life time opportunity! Make the most of it


thank you for this! so helpful :smile:
Reply 14
Original post by Twnc
Hey, I love the fact you are thinking in advance for your weeks off of university. Let me begin with this, I don't find any alcoholic drink good for weight loss for the reason that alcohol does slow metabolism significantly not to speak it has a lot of calories. Combine alcohol with some fast food or some sweets and it would not end up great.. :biggrin: Losing weight without exercising is definitely possible, keep an eye on your intake(what you eat) and eat more often but smaller portions. Tips and tricks I have tried myself are, morning breakfast is a must (big chances to increase metabolism), when you are just starting to feel hungry drink a glass of water and postpone the eating for 20-30 minutes if you can, eat smaller portions but more often if possible. You can also have fun while losing weight in your off time. Get some friends to jog with you, share the experience.
Thanks, hope I helped, good luck.


Yeah i don’t mind exercising at all and i’m glad at uni i’ll be able to join a gym and have the time to go because i’ll be living in the city centre. During a levels i couldn’t afford a gym membership because the gyms were too expensive and too far away to justify going 3 times a week with full time sixth form! I will be drinking which isn’t ideal but for the first couple of weeks i want to be able to get involved with the social side and then probably as i settle into a routine and studies i’d probably only go out once a week tbh. I like a night out but not often, much prefer staying in or having a couple down the pub lol. My plan is to do a big shop once a week in aldi or asda and plan in advance what i’ll eat and avoid the aisles with all the chocolate and bad food :s
thanks for the advice :biggrin:
Reply 15
Original post by Mez.
Yeah i don’t mind exercising at all and i’m glad at uni i’ll be able to join a gym and have the time to go because i’ll be living in the city centre. During a levels i couldn’t afford a gym membership because the gyms were too expensive and too far away to justify going 3 times a week with full time sixth form! I will be drinking which isn’t ideal but for the first couple of weeks i want to be able to get involved with the social side and then probably as i settle into a routine and studies i’d probably only go out once a week tbh. I like a night out but not often, much prefer staying in or having a couple down the pub lol. My plan is to do a big shop once a week in aldi or asda and plan in advance what i’ll eat and avoid the aisles with all the chocolate and bad food :s
thanks for the advice :biggrin:


Planning in advance is a good thing. Drinking and working out.. Well I myself was guilty of it but what I noticed about me was when I was in my best shape (eg a solid 6 pack) and went out to drink my veins would pop up so much that people literally came to me and said you just came out of the gym didn't you (a lot more than 2 people have said it) I don't know if drinking helps, how it helps and if so what quantities of it help but I know for a fact that metabolism is slowed down with it :biggrin:.
One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was an app I got from the App store which I cant remember the name right now. I am pretty sure you can find it if you look around but basically it allowed me to scan item barcodes (like 99% of products were scannable in asda and other stores) and it would tell me what nutritions it has and it would add them up to give me a total. Helps with keeping track of what i'm eating...
Thanks
Reply 16
Original post by Twnc
Planning in advance is a good thing. Drinking and working out.. Well I myself was guilty of it but what I noticed about me was when I was in my best shape (eg a solid 6 pack) and went out to drink my veins would pop up so much that people literally came to me and said you just came out of the gym didn't you (a lot more than 2 people have said it) I don't know if drinking helps, how it helps and if so what quantities of it help but I know for a fact that metabolism is slowed down with it :biggrin:.
One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was an app I got from the App store which I cant remember the name right now. I am pretty sure you can find it if you look around but basically it allowed me to scan item barcodes (like 99% of products were scannable in asda and other stores) and it would tell me what nutritions it has and it would add them up to give me a total. Helps with keeping track of what i'm eating...
Thanks


was it my fitness pal? i love that app, have used it in the past when monitoring my eating :smile:
Original post by Mez.
I am off to uni in a couple of weeks and am trying to avoid putting on lots of weight!! Ive heard so many stories of how freshers often put on 2 stone in their first year!
ideally i’d like to lose a bit, i am unsure of how much i weigh as i don’t own scales but i am about 5’7 and i am a size 12/14.
I am not super ‘fat’ but want to lose a bit of the chub round my belly and arms. i am planning on joining the gym as i have budgeted for it through my student finance.
I have quite a full on course, so i’ll be in uni a lot but want to try and get to the gym 3/4 times a week probably at night like 8/9pm when it’ll be less busy.
I am going to newcastle uni and the city isn’t huge, most things are within 10-20 min walk so although i’ll be walking everywhere it won’t be a lot of walking.
I’ll also be going out a bit so obviously drinking but am going to try and stick to low cal mixers with spirits if i can, will probs be on about 2 nights out a week? I deffo won’t be out alot on weeknights because i am in uni every day at 9 am and i’m not a huge night out lover tbh.
Basically:
-any tips on what to focus on at the gym to lose weight and tone up?
-any tips on healthy eating/how to eat well and healthily on a student budget?
-what alcoholic drinks are good whilst dieting?
-also does anyone know on a calorie goal to stick to? I was thinking about 1300 a day?

Thanks for any help x


I have one tip work out before eating so your body draws on stored protean and calories and not just what you're just eaten if you want to loose weight you need to loose more calories than you take on so if you burn say 500 calories your meal should be less than that like 300 or so also even a short walk helps loads my walk to uni was 15 mins and was pretty ripped also sports clubs like skiing or climbing or tennis or whatever are fun and again will help with general fitness it dosn't feel like exercise.
Original post by Mez.
I am off to uni in a couple of weeks and am trying to avoid putting on lots of weight!! Ive heard so many stories of how freshers often put on 2 stone in their first year!
ideally i’d like to lose a bit, i am unsure of how much i weigh as i don’t own scales but i am about 5’7 and i am a size 12/14.
I am not super ‘fat’ but want to lose a bit of the chub round my belly and arms. i am planning on joining the gym as i have budgeted for it through my student finance.
I have quite a full on course, so i’ll be in uni a lot but want to try and get to the gym 3/4 times a week probably at night like 8/9pm when it’ll be less busy.
I am going to newcastle uni and the city isn’t huge, most things are within 10-20 min walk so although i’ll be walking everywhere it won’t be a lot of walking.
I’ll also be going out a bit so obviously drinking but am going to try and stick to low cal mixers with spirits if i can, will probs be on about 2 nights out a week? I deffo won’t be out alot on weeknights because i am in uni every day at 9 am and i’m not a huge night out lover tbh.
Basically:
-any tips on what to focus on at the gym to lose weight and tone up?
-any tips on healthy eating/how to eat well and healthily on a student budget?
-what alcoholic drinks are good whilst dieting?
-also does anyone know on a calorie goal to stick to? I was thinking about 1300 a day?

Thanks for any help x

the same as when you're not at uni.

eat less.
Original post by Plus7
Oh I have to post this in another comment in case you miss the edit. 1300 IS TOO LOW. That is under eating. Your body needs the calories and energy to function to lose weight. You will literally put your body into a mode where it thinks you will get no fat. This will make your body store fat for the future, which you really don't want. 2000kcals is what I'd suggest. But clean eating and low fat.

Yup.
I roll my eyes at the nonsense posted on here about calorie intake and deficit. It’s scary how ill informed most of the advice is and worries me that the site is moderated so little, given its reach.

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