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This summer, some college students will be picking out two-piece swim suits and swimming trunks for all the end-of-the-year pool parties and water parks.

But other students will be thinking about their weight and wondering if they should pass up these festivities.

For those who are adamant about reaching their goal weight, here are some safe and healthy solutions that are sure to work. UTSA dietician, Anne Bell, says there are four steps to losing weight.

“The first one is to keep a food and exercise journal,” Bell said. “That way they can keep track of what they’re eating and when they’re eating and how much they’re eating and how much exercise they’re getting.

“Then they can go back at the end of the day or week and say I didn’t get any exercise done yesterday or ‘I am eating way too much rice. Then they can brainstorm on how they can change that’.”

She also said keeping the food and exercise journal can help students get started.

The second step students should take is to set realistic short-term goals.

“[Losing] half a pound to two pounds a week is very realistic,” Bell said.

A short-term goal could consist of not drinking any soda for three consecutive days.

“Have a really small time frame for the goal so that you can be sure you can manage,” Bell said.

The third step is to get the junk food out of the house and away from you. This means discarding the two percent and whole milk, pastries, chips and sugary beverages.

“Losing weight is hard enough as it is, so you don’t want to surround yourself with all that tempting food,” Bell said.

The fourth step is to establish a good diet foundation. Some wholesome and nutritious foods are whole grain, fruits and vegetables.

“If there was a secret to weight loss, it would be to eat fruits and vegetables all day long because they have a lot of fiber, make you feel full, and have a lot of vitamins, minerals and they’re very low in calories,” Bell said.

Also, students should eat smaller amounts of lean meat or low-fat protein meat and low-fat dairy products.

Here are some common misconceptions that students often hear about losing weight: eat only organic foods, starve and drink specially made shakes.

Bell says that organic food refers to how a food is produced and how it’s handled, with no pesticides and no fertilizer.

“Organic food has nothing to do with the nutrients that are in the food,” Bell said. “Just because something is organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy necessarily, or higher in vitamins and minerals.”

Therefore, it is safe to assume that students do not have to limit their diet to buying expensive, organic food.

“Weight loss is never easy, but it shouldn’t be a terrible, awful experience, and people shouldn’t be starving themselves when losing weight,” Bell said.

Students should avoid diets unless they first check with their doctor.

“I tried a bikini diet and it didn’t work,” Mikhaila Dansby, junior technical communication major, said. “It was vegetable soup along with fruit [and it was suppose to be] for seven days.”

But she admitted that she stuck with it for only a day. Although the foods that were in this shake are healthy, if it’s only fruit and vegetables, students should still consult a dietician or physician for proper weight loss diets.

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