Fighting the battle of the bulge and avoiding the freshman 15

Anna Staver

From sports to clubs, Kent State senior Danielle Novotony said she was very active in high school.

“I was on the go so much it didn’t matter what I ate,” Novotony said.

When she got to college, however, things changed.

“Your whole lifestyle changes when you’re not forced to do anything,” said Novotony.

Novotny said before she knew it, she had gained the freshman 15.

KSU Nutrition Outreach Coordinator Jodie Luidhardt said she sees this all the time.

“Students were taking in the calories that they needed to support two hours of physical activity a day,” said Luidhardt.

“But now, they’re eating the same amount of calories, maybe even more, and they’re not exercising,” said Luidhardt. “So that is absolutely an equation for weight gain.”

If you find yourself in Danielle’s shoes this year, you can find all the tools you need to stay healthy in college and beyond on Kent State campus.

Luidhart said the first step to take on the road to good nutrition is knowledge.

“You should know how many calories you need to maintain your weight,” said Luidhardt. Most people underestimate the number of calories they eat by 50 percent and overextimate their activity level by a third said Luidhardt.

To find out where you really stand, the Kent State Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the Nutrition Outreach Program both offer diet analysis and nutrition counseling.

A nutritionist will ask you to keep a record of everything you eat for one to three days. You then meet with your nutritionist and they plug all of your data into their software.

“It will completely analyze your diet for calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, all the vitamins and minerals,” said Luidhardt.

Diet analysis and counseling is offered free of charge through the Nutrition Outreach office, located at 200 Nixon Hall. The Fitness Suite at the rec center charges $7 for a one-day diet analysis and $20 for three days.

The Nutrition Outreach office can also help create diet plans for students with specific dietary restrictions.

Science of Human Nutrition is another way to be informed about food. This course will answer the question: “Why do I need all these vitamins and how do I get them,” said Scott Tribuzi, a nutrition professor at Kent State.

The next step is to put your nutritional knowledge into action when you’re in line at Eastway Dining Hall.

“When you’re eating your meals, you want to have at least three of the food groups present,” said Luidhardt.

To illustrate her point, Luidhardt held up a dinner plate in her office. The plate was divided in half on one side and into quarters on the other.

“More than half your plate should be for vegetables,” said Luidhardt. The other two sections she said, are for a serving of protein and a starch.

“An adult fist is about the size of one cup,” said Luidhardt, adding that one cup is usually the serving size given for most foods. “So eating cup portions of food is a good way to control how much you’re eating.”

Another tip is to take time to eat. “If you just scarf your food down you’re not paying attention to when you’re full,” said Luidhardt. “You’re just eating a lot of food.”

Eighty percent is a B- in class, but it’s an A+ for meals.

“Try to eat until you are 80 percent full,” Luidhardt said, explaining that it takes time for your stomach to signal your brain that you’re full.

Contact news correspondent Anna Staver at [email protected].

For more info

• Nutrition Outreach Program

200 Nixson Hall


E-mail: [email protected]*


• Student Recreation and Wellness Center

330-672-4REC (4732)

Fitness Suite (located downstairs)

Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, and noon – 5 p.m. on Friday


*preferred method of contact for appointments