The dieting dilemma

Jenna Staul

Though the path to weight loss is a long and hard one, diet short cuts can often be counterproductive

Skipping meals is a common bad habit that slows the metabolism and triggers overeating, warns Rose Ann Chiurazzi, Student Recreation and Wellness Center dietitian.

Photo Illustration by Abby Fisher

Credit: Ron Soltys

Upon entering the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, one is overcome by the sound of speedily whizzing treadmills, the unending drumming of basketballs dribbling down the court and hordes of sweaty exercise enthusiasts attempting to get their bodies into better shape. But over the energetic activity looms the intoxicating yet curiously out-of-place aroma of cheese fries — a high-calorie staple on the Summit Street Caf‚ menu.

“I know I should watch what I eat, but I don’t,” said Neal Campbell, junior classical guitar major, as he slumps over the Summit Street Caf‚ Bar shoving a Snickers bar into his mouth. “I have a high metabolism.”

Others, however, are not so lucky. For many, following a regular nutritional diet is a part of every day life.

“It’s tough to eat healthy on campus,” said Eylse Allega, a sophomore music education major. “Sometimes I feel like all I eat are salads and wraps. But it’s very fulfilling to fit into a size of jeans that you didn’t think you could fit into.”

Allega, like many Kent State students, has undertaken a diet with mixed results. Rose Ann Chiurazzi, Student Recreation and Wellness Center dietitian, suggests students seeking to revamp their diet approach the venture with balance and common sense.

“The biggest mistake people make is being too strict. They don’t get enough calories. It’s kind of like you need to eat to lose,” Chiurazzi said.

Chiurazzi advised that half the calories one consumes should be from high-fiber carbohydrates such as wheat breads, whole grain cereal and fruits — not from sugars, white bread and pastas.

She also warned against skipping meals — a common bad habit that slows the metabolism and triggers overeating. Instead, she advocated eating several small healthy meals throughout the day.

Chiurazzi also cautioned against the allure of fad diets. Many of these seemingly quick fixes yield little long-term nutritional value, according to the 20-year dietitian.

“Atkins is an example of a fad diet that is too extreme and the success is short term,” Chiurazzi said. “The attraction to these types of diets is that they promise to be successful quickly and easily. It doesn’t always work that way.”

And while healthy dieting ambitions may be a challenge when competing with cheese fries, hamburgers and a bevy of other fatty entrees that are basic parts of college dining, dieting success may simply lie in the choices one makes.

“It’s a lot easier to eat badly, but you just have to make the right choices,” said Brittany Lucido, a freshman fashion merchandising major.

Contact features correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].