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5 common mistakes students do during their college life while losing weight

Trying to shed the pounds and keep them off for good? I've rounded up the most common mistakes which college guys make during their weight-loss journey. They are usually busy with their studies so they don't think twice about following any health tips or exercises given from any source.

Related: 5 common weight loss mistakes you’re probably making

1. Overestimating your calorie burn

Running eats up more calories than most other activities: the average man burns around 120 calories per Km and the average 
woman burns 105, but you can undo all your good work on a 5K, for example, with something as simple (and tempting) as a chocolate-chip cookie and a sugary coffee.

Correction: Get a better estimate of your calorie burn with an online calculator or a GPS watch or fitness tracker that allows you to input your height, weight, and other stats. If you tend to indulge after a run, avoid cancelling out your hard-earned calorie deficit by choosing ‘reward’ foods with easily controllable portions, such as single-serving snacks.

2.Running on empty

You may have heard this one: hit the road without breakfast and your body will burn fat. But it doesn’t always work that way. Rather than seeking out fat immediately, your muscles first use carbs that have been stored in your muscles as glycogen. When those stored carbs run out and your body starts to burn fat, your energy drops, forcing you to slow down and burn fewer calories than if you’d properly fuelled up.

Correction: If you’re heading out for 30 minutes or less on an easy run, you can skip a pre-run snack, since you probably have enough glycogen to power you. But if you run longer or harder, you should have a 100-200-calorie snack about an hour before your run. Choose carbs and a bit of protein, such as a banana with peanut butter, and drink water to hydrate.

3. Mid-race feasting

Addicted to mid-run refuelling? You may be piling on more calories than you need from energy bars, gels, drinks and shakes. ‘Calories from mid-race fuels are dense and don’t do much to suppress hunger.

Correction: For runs shorter than 60 minutes, skip the gels and sports drinks – water is just fine.

4. Not refuelling post-run

After tough workouts, such as long runs or speed work, your muscles will be hungry, but you may not be; many runners find their appetite is suppressed just after a workout. ‘But when your body realises its glycogen stores are low, you’ll feel much hungrier, leaving you prone to eating too much.

Correction: Refuel within an hour of tough or long workouts. A 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein is ideal, and ensure this snack contains no more than 300 calories. At around 250 calories per serving, chocolate milk fits the bill nicely.

5. Drowning in calories

Calories in a glass count just as much as those on your plate. Alcohol is particularly sneaky: according to the AIIMS New Delhi, the average wine drinker in India takes in around 2,000kcal from alcohol every month, while drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year. Add in calories from soft drinks and fruit juice, and you could be overdoing it. Studies show that, in general, liquid carbs don’t contribute to satiety the way solids do. That means if you are down 200 calories at the bar, you won’t compensate by eating 200 fewer calories at dinner.

Correction: Most of the fluid you drink should be calorie-free: water, diet soft drinks, unsweetened tea. Alcohol may trigger overeating as your inhibitions drop. Moderate drinking means one a day for women, two for men, cut calories by choosing light beer, wine or spirits mixed with soda.

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