Dear Dorm-Room D,
Congrats on starting college! I absolutely have some tips & tricks for you...
First of all, be sure to eat breakfast. Skipping it could leave you famished and cause you to snack on whatever's around later in the day. When it comes to A.M. options at the cafeteria, go for fresh fruit (cut up or whole), light yogurt, oatmeal, English muffins (with jam), high-fiber cereal (with fat-free milk), and hard-boiled egg whites. Avoid pastries, giant bagels with butter or cream cheese, and greasy breakfast meats.
For lunch and dinner, you can get in that sandwich line and order yourself a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, lean deli meat (like turkey breast), and other no-guilt sandwich toppers. When it comes to hot items, go for grilled chicken, veggie burgers (in lettuce buns!), and baked or grilled fish. Stay away from mayo-packed deli salads (like tuna salad), creamy or cheesy pasta dishes, and oversized subs.
As for the snacking situation, your best bet is to keep guilt-free emergency snacks with you at ALL times. I think one reason college students put on weight is that they're SO busy and find themselves unprepared when hunger hits; so they grab whatever food they can, whenever they can. Bad idea! Keep your dorm room stocked with great stuff you can eat in the room AND grab and take with you. I recommend whole fruit (like oranges and apples), high-fiber snack bars with 200 or fewer calories, jerky, and 100-calorie packs of almonds. (Click here for a huge list of great emergency snacks.) If you've got a mini fridge, stock it with light string cheese, fat-free yogurt, and baby carrots or other veggies.
Other ways to avoid those extra fifteen pounds? WALK A LOT!!! Get that exercise in. (Bonus: Exercise is a great stress reliever, which makes it especially helpful during your first year at college!) Avoid fast food (or choose it carefully... click for tips!), and don't make a habit of late-night pizza eating. Good luck... Keep me posted!