How College Kids Gain That 'Freshman 15' (Slideshow)
September 19, 2013
A review of the top 10 party foods kids are ordering late at night
Cheeseburger (300 Calories)
McDonald's Cheeseburger. Serving Size: 1 burger. 300 calories.
The cheeseburger is a comfort food and quick go-to meal for many college kids. "Everybody is hard-wired to prefer foods that are sweet, salty, and high-fat," says Reinagel. "As we get older, we start to realize that if we're going to stay healthy and reasonably slim, we can't give into every craving." Make sure if you are going to be up late, you fuel up before you go out.
California Roll (430 Calories)
Edo Japan California Roll. Serving Size: 6 pieces. 430 calories.
Oftentimes the portion size of sushi is so small, orderers will request more than one roll and end up eating way more than necessary. Though this is another “lesser of two evils” situation, there is still the potential for a downfall if you go on a sushi eating spree.
Spicy Tuna Roll (300 Calories)
Edo Japan Spicy Tuna Maki Sushi Roll. Serving Size: 6 pieces. 300 calories.
This sushi roll is possibly the least sinful late-night snack, according to Reinagel. So long as you stick to serving size, snacking on this dish is a good silencer of the munchies. "But if you're consuming more calories than you need, it's going to contribute to weight gain," warns Reinagel.
Caesar Salad (610 Calories)
Olive Garden Chicken Caesar Salad. Serving Size: 1 salad. 610 Calories.
Just because the word "salad" is in the order name, doesn’t make it healthy! The "average order" calorie count ,which shows up as 184 calories per cup, does not consider the dressing or the additions of chicken, cheese, and croutons that all come pretty standard with a delivery salad order.
Chicken Wings (70 Calories per Wing)
KFC Hot Wing. Serving Size: 1 wing. 70 calories.
If you can restrain yourself to literally one wing, this doesn’t seem so bad. Multiply that one wing by the standard eight pieces that appear in one order and suddenly you’re consuming a quarter of a day’s worth of calories. "A lot of the middle-of-the-night eating is preceded by drinking, and people definitely tend to make less healthy food choices when they're buzzed," confirms Reinagel.
Chicken Tikka Masala (290 Calories)
Typical Restaurant Order. Serving Size: 1 cup. 290 calories.
This dish is covered in creamy, slightly spicy sauce, so we can totally see why the average college kid would be likely to order this tasty dish in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, chicken tikka masala rarely just comes in one cup, and before you know it, you’re literally eating triple the amount of calories! "After the initial sugar buzz, big doses of sugar tend
Sesame Chicken (790 Calories)
P.F. Chang's Sesame Chicken, 790 calories.
According to GrubHub findings, sesame chicken is about 67 percent more popular with college students and the second highest in calories on the list. This dish is the fourth-most-ordered late-night meal, and when ordered with rice it's a high-calorie offender. "Calories eaten late at night are no more or less fattening than calories eaten by the broad light of day," Reinagel says. "But eating heavy, greasy food right before bed can definitely lead to indigestion, heartburn, or reflux."
General Tso’s Chicken (360 Calories)
Manchu Wok General Tso's Chicken. Serving Size: One 5-ounce dish. 360 calories.
Another popular Chinese fast-food favorite, this crispy dish slathered in sauce is a definite midnight go-to after a night of drinking. Unfortunately, eating more than the recommended amount, which is likely to happen after a night out, could double your calories on top of an already full day of eating regular meals.
Pad Thai (1,470 Calories)
Pei Wei Asian Diner Chicken Pad Thai. With White Rice OR Noodles Serving Size: 1 dinner. 1,470 calories.
Pad thai is the worst calorie offender in gaining the Freshman 15. The dish is gaining popularity and really is a killer on the health scale when you take a look at the calories in even half a serving size at a major restaurant. In an article, Reinagel suggests to keep the food you are eating separate from the area where it is served. "If you are still hungry when your plate is empty, wait at least 15 minutes before serving yourself seconds," she says.
Cheese Pizza (340 Calories)
Papa John's Pizza Extra Large 16-Inch Pepperoni Original Crust Pizza. Serving Size: 1 slice. 340 Calories.
The number-one dish ordered late at night is no big surprise — this tasty college staple has made an appearance at many late-night parties and early-morning tailgates. But as it averages 340 calories a slice and with college students eating it as regularly as they do, they're bound to gain a few extra pounds at the expense of this cheesy treat. "Truth be told, I'm not sure that adults' tastes and preferences aren’t that much different from kids," admits Reinagel. "They've just learned (a little) more restraint and, at some level, bought into the idea that you really are what you eat. They'd eat more pizza and wings if they could get away with it!"