My last article was about the mistakes I made my first semester in college that caused a lot of my extra weight gain; however, I wanted to do a follow-up article to tell you how I actually lost my freshman 15 by spring break. I came into the spring semester determined not to repeat my mistakes, and all it really took was determination. There is no miracle elixir that you can take to melt fat away. You just have to eat better and exercise, and really it's not as hard as it sounds. I reformed the way I think about food and adopted a healthier lifestyle without using any of those fad diets or magic detoxes. 

Break your bad habits

sweet, cream, popcorn, milk
Becky Hughes

For me, sugar is my downfall. I love all sweets: ice cream, cookies, candy, etc, so the first step I took was to cut out dessert. What I found is that after about a week of not getting that cookie or ice cream cone after dinner, I didn't crave it anymore. It turns out that the source of my sweet tooth was really myself; I fueled my need for sugar by allowing myself to eat so much of it. Pinpoint what your worst eating habit is, and just make a conscious effort to stop. Each day it gets easier.

Make good habits

pasture, grass
Danny Shuleman

Build them into your daily routine. Most of you already know this, but the best good habit is going to the gym every day. Yes, I really mean every day and don't skip a day unless you absolutely have to because if you skip one day it makes it easier to skip the next. Don't just go run a mile and leave. Stay for at least and hour and work different muscles.

I started taking spin classes twice a week to switch it up. Listening to an instructor helps push you beyond your comfort zone, which is what really makes you stronger. Find a class or two that you like and build them into your weekly routine. After going to the gym every day for the past couple months, my day doesn't feel complete without going. 

Eat the things that make you happy and full

salad, vegetable, pepper, lettuce
Becky Hughes

The trick is to find the healthy things that you like to eat. Tell yourself that the healthy foods taste just as good as the fatty foods, and eventually they really will taste just as good and make you feel much better too. There are so many foods I used to hate that I love now.  I used to hate Greek yogurt, but I started eating Chobani flips then switched to plain greek yogurt, and I actually truly enjoy it now.

Try adding cinnamon to your greek yogurt instead of loading it with sugar. I also used to hate grapefruit, but I know eating half a grapefruit in the morning has so many health benefits. I started eating them almost every morning, and now I can't get enough of them. Almonds were also my favorite snack they keep you full and are known promote weight loss. The most important thing is to never starve yourself because it leads to binging.   

Keep temptations out of sight

corn, potato, chips, salt, sweet
Jane Yeo

If there are certain foods that you know you can resist, don't keep them around you so you won't think about them. Fill your dorm with only healthy, pre-portioned snacks that are meant to fuel your body, not add empty calories. All I have in my room is yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, almonds, and granola bars. These are snacks that you don't eat mindlessly. Throw out the chips and cookies.

Surround yourself with supporters

vegetable, pizza
Photo from Friends Season 10

Don't go to dinner with those friends who eat all those things that you know you shouldn't. Find people who encourage you not to get dessert instead of those who say, "One cookie won't hurt."    

The "trick" to losing weight is to stop using temporary tricks. Re-wire your brain to create a healthier lifestyle that you will actually learn to love. The "fake it til you make it" has merit when it comes to dieting (I mean healthy living). Think of food as fuel and not as fun, and you will see the difference in your body and discover how I lost my freshman 15.