Written by R.Maskam
Homemade cheat meals are a better choice than eating in a restaurant. Yes, cheat meals are needed after a week of intense training and maintaining a healthy diet. When you are on a long period of sudden lowered calorie intake, your body will think you are in a survivor mode. When that happens your metabolism decreases, which results in burning less energy and not losing any weight. By planning a cheat meal, you “fool” your body that everything is fine so you can start losing weight. Since you are in Delft fast food is fairly easy to find, but here are few reasons you should preparing your own cheat meals at home even as a south American
Almost all the ingredients for any dish is available at a grocery store, market or supermarket. Maybe sushi is out of the question, but tacos or wraps? Can be found in Albert Heijn or LIDL. The great thing about tacos or wraps is that you can go wild with fillings. Experiment with chicken, beef, corn and just add different kind of dressings to your wrap or taco. Not someone with cooking abilities? Then start learning or you can also find half or fully prepared chicken in the grocery stores.
Your meal will already cost less than going at a restaurant. A normal meal around Delft is about 10 euros. With about 20 euros you can by ingredients and can last about two or maybe 3 days. Another great thing about stores like Albert Heijn, LIDL and Jumbo is that they have weekly sales on various items and do not forget to take a look at Haagse market on Saturdays in The Hague. While some fast food may be cheaper than your home made dish, you will definitely miss the essential nutrients needed for your body.
You turn into a fine chef with cost and material management skills. Your first time in the kitchen might not be successful, but someone else might notice your craft improving along the way. By then you are successfully managing your materials throughout your week and already planning and comparing what to buy in the supermarket. At one point you have a sudden realization why your parents are so hyped when shopping for food. You might think you do not have enough time to prepare your meals, but as study longer in delft you will automatically learn to manage every aspect of your life.
Preparing your cheat meal at home is much more beneficial than going to a restaurant. With significant lower cost and healthier meals there is no excuse to not cook at home. Not to mention you develop a habit of being aware on what groceries you buy and when you buy them. Since you are in the Netherlands try the dishes from other cultures and experiment with your own cultural dishes. Occasionally you might want to go a restaurant in case your schedule is full or just for a special occasion. And if you really are bad at cooking then just ask a friend to help out…and keep a fire extinguisher at arms length.
By R. Maskam
Studying abroad challenges your fitness culture. Whereas you might have been a fit individual when you were still in your home country, you might have notice your clothes getting tighter or your cheeks getting rounder. This even happens when you are still training frequently. Is the cultural shock too great? Or is stress going to be the main, but vague, reason? Below are a few reasons why you have gained a few pounds while you still exercise frequently.
Different climate changes your dedication. It may have been warm and sunny throughout the whole year back home, but here you are still getting used to the cold temperatures. Every now and then a good snack lets you forget everything outside and before you know it you have not been outside other than going to colleges or for groceries. But even so you see locals training outdoors during autumn or even winter. So if you are dedicated it might be time to invest in some gear against the cold or plan a good warm up in your training program.
Managing your time on certain activities might also be hurdle. Since you live on your own you have a lot of responsibilities which needs your attention. Buying groceries, studying for your courses, housekeeping and having hobbies all have their own priority and staying fit might be the last on this list. But this would be the same as in your home country right? Yes, but depending on where you are from, you will see that most people here keep a tight and planned schedule for everything. Acclimating to the positive habits of locals can prove useful.
A decreased metabolism might also be the main cause of getting rounder. Your body is getting older and wont use up the same amount of energy as when you were sixteen. If your metabolism shows a sudden yet significant change you might want to consult a physician in case it might be something severe. Even then lots of people deal with a changed metabolism and it does not have to be a problem. Everyone behaves different and you just need to adjust to what your body can take and accept that your body is getting older and weaker. Of course if staying fit is the goal then it means you will have to train more frequently and intense just to maintain your current weight.
A different climate, time management and decreased metabolism might be the reason those clothes feel tight. And getting a few pounds is not a bad thing. Just ask yourself on what spectrum you want to be on the fitness scale. If you just want to stay in good health and finish your studies at Delft, then getting a few pounds might be a sign of success. Maintaining a fit life however will force you to change your mindset from before you started the study abroad. In the following articles more in depth tips will follow to help your decision on staying fit and curing your nostalgia on exercising in your home country.