78° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

Killing Calories, losing pounds

Eat your vegetables or no dessert. This is a phrase no child wants to hear. Kids basically have no control over what they eat. Parents buy and prepare the food, and the children have to gulp down whatever appears on their plate. If they do not like what it is, they squirm in their chairs praying that somehow that disgusting pile of green will magically disappear. TCU’s nutrition counselor Stephanie Dickerson said, “students are like kids in a candy store,” once they get into college, they embrace their newfound freedom and make poor eating choices, she said. Rick Flores, general manager of dining services, said TCU is concerned about students’ well-being. The staff will not follow each student and tell them what to eat, but TCU offers balanced meals, nutritional information and a staff willing to help students develop healthy habits while in college, Flores said.

Know what foods are good for you and why? Here’s a quick list of the best food sources to keep yourself healthy.

Calcium is key to strong bones and teeth, as well as proper nerve and muscle function, and while milk is instantly considered as a source of calcium, there are many other foods that can help you get the calcium you need:
Milk, Other Dairy Products, Cornmeal, Wheat Flour, Sardines, Spinach, Soybeans

 Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps your body repair itself, fight off diseases and infections and even has shown some indications of fighting off cancer. Here are some of the foods that pack the highest Vitamin C punch:
Oranges/Orange Juice, Peppers, Grapefruit Juice, Strawberries, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts

Fiber keeps digestion on track and has been shown to help prevent heart attacks, intestinal problems and several types of cancer:
Beans, Peas, Wheat Flour (whole grain), Dates, Tomato Products

Anti-oxidants are chemicals that may help prevent a host of ailments including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s:
Beans, Blueberries, Cranberries, Artichokes, Blackberrries

 Folic Acid
Folic acid promotes cell division growth, red cell development and helps prevent some birth defects and can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer:
Turkey, Orange Juice, Beans (specifically kidney, pinto, navy), Okra, Spinach

Iron helps carry oxygen through our bodies. If you don’t get enough you can become anemic, which will make you feel tired and weak:
Mollusks, Clams, Enriched Rice, Spinach, Beef, Baking Chocolate (unsweetened squares)

Source: USDA, National Institute of Health

The Dreaded “Freshman 15”

No one wants to put on extra weight, especially not 15 pounds. The Journal of American College Health found that 70 percent of the 290 students surveyed gained about 7.9 pounds by the end of their second year in college.

Gina Hill, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, said some of the weight gain is caused by extra freedom, students exercising less, eating when they are not hungry and eating late or to deal with emotions.

Homesickness, exams or an ended relationship can all lead to stress-induced eating, Dickerson said.

Eating Right

Students should find other ways to deal with their stress instead of a pint of ice cream, Dickerson said. She said she recommends talking with friends, exercising or finding a hobby to relieve the stress.

Flores said dining services has made several changes to improve nutrition and education. He said TCU has been working on providing students with healthy alternatives like fruit cups, more salad items and healthier cooking methods. Flores explained that every station in the Main has a booklet describing the ingredients and nutritional value of each meal.

Joel Wassner, a sophomore radio-TV-film major, said, “I did see the sign that they don’t use trans fat in their cooking oil for fries. I think they do a fairly good job.”

Erin House, a freshman religion major, said she tries to avoid the “Freshman 15” by eating salads and taking the stairs.

“We’re not going to demand that students have a certain diet,” Flores said. “Our job is to try to get what students want, and it’s hard to make that balance.”

Everything in Moderation

Hill said it is not necessarily what one eats that causes weight gain.

“It’s really a matter of watching portion size,” Hill said.

Many people do not know what a proper portion size is and as a result, they eat more than what their body requires, Hill said.

Hill said diet foods like Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs can help people understand what a portion size is and are good to eat as long as people do so in moderation.

Along with overeating, Hill said boredom, sadness or fatigue should not lead to eating if one is not hungry. She suggested drinking water to help control hunger.

Frequent alcohol consumption also contributes to weight gain because alcohol contains lots of empty calories and binge drinking only increases hunger, Hill said. While smoking does boost metabolism, she said it is not a good option considering its long-term negative effects on the body.

Wassner and House pointed out another trend that a number of students follow: skipping breakfast. The United States Department of Agriculture studies showed that eating breakfast increases one’s energy and ability to concentrate. The studies also indicated that those who neglect breakfast tend to be irritable or unfocused and tend to eat more during the day.

Staying Fit

The recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes to an hour, five to seven days a week, Hill said. According to the Center for Disease Control Web site, people should do some physical activity at a moderate intensity level like fast-paced walking, aerobics or anything that boosts one’s heart rate.

Dickerson also suggested doing a little bit of exercise everyday by biking or walking to class, taking the stairs or even cleaning one’s room.

Stacy Cintron, assistant director of campus recreation fitness and wellness, said, “What we hope to achieve is an overall increase in the health of the campus – make them want to have those lifestyle changes.”

Cintron said that there is no need to fear the gym. She said she encourages the “exercise-phobics” to “step out of their comfort zone and see what the tolls of inactivity can do to them.”

“Their lifestyles now are setting the stage,” Cintron said.

More to Discover