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Student Life

The University of South Florida Caters to recent trends in Diet and Health

With summer quickly approaching students increase gym time, maintain high fitness levels, and try out new diet trends in order to meet their personal goals and look their absolute best for bikini season.

In pursuit of a deviation from the monotonous, everyday gym routine, many students turn to group fitness classes. Group fitness classes offer students the opportunity to exercise in a relaxed environment under the instruction of highly trained and well-qualified professionals. USF offers a variety of fitness classes for gym-goers of all fitness levels and interests.  Among such classes are the following: spin, yoga (several different types), cardio funk, dance fusion, zumba, fitness fusion, ab attack, boot camp, kick and condition, cardio and core, and kick boxing, piloxing, and thai chi.

“The rush of people we’ve gotten in here for fitness classes is unbelievable. I just started working at the rec [USF Recreation Center] this summer but it’s incredible to see the difference in turn-out between last semester and this semester. We’ve gotten so much busier and we actually have to turn people away,” says USF student and USF Recreation Center employee Amy Phillips.

Class space is limited and the more popular classes tend to fill up quickly. With such classes, students line up near the gym entrance up to 45 minutes before the start of class to ensure that they get a spot in that fitness class.  According to Phillips, among the most popular are the spin classes, which have very limited available space, and cardio funk, a very popular hip-hop cardio class.

“I began coming to cardio funk as part of my New Years resolution,” says USF student, Robby Nichols. “It’s a great way to have fun, and meet new people while bringing me closer to my personal weight-loss goal. I’m there early every Monday and Wednesday to make sure I get a spot in the class.”

Nichols is joined in each cardio funk by an average of 40 students.  Among them are Sydney Locke and Keri Baumant who both enjoy the many benefits of the fast-pace workout, awesome music and hip-hop style choreography.

Along with an increased attendance at the gym and within fitness classes, USF students are altering their eating habits as well. As a quick weight-loss solution, many are turning to recent diet trends.

One such trend is the grapefruit diet. The grape fruit diet is based on the premise that the fruit contains nutritional qualities and enzymes that, when paired with the proper foods, exhibit fat-burning qualities and aid in rapid weight-loss. There are several variations to this diet, but most suggest decreasing your daily caloric intake. The diet allows for three generously portioned meals a day, each paired with a half of a grapefruit. Many enthusiasts support its claim, ‘Lose 10 pounds in twelve days!”

“I don’t like to admit it, but I’m kind of a trend diet junky. I’ve tried all kinds of diet fads and they all have their pros and cons. Right now, I am on a new diet called the grapefruit diet and so far, it’s my favorite. Everyone at home [New York] has done it and I’ve gotten quite a few [USF] students to try it as well. I lost 15 lbs in two weeks and it was so easy!”

Although Bolalek and many others swear by it, nutrition specialist Kelly Locke, cautions students and young adults to stay away from such diet fads.

“Although many fad diets may appear to work in the short term, they are not healthy solutions to weight-loss. For the majority [of individuals], the weight is gained back immediately after [the diet]. It is nearly impossible to keep this weight off. This yo-yo affect of gaining and losing weight is extremely unhealthy for the body,” says Locke.

Although an obsession with fitness and nutrition seems eminent on USF’s campus, no one should undergo any extreme alteration in diet and/or exercise without first consulting a nutritionist, specialist, or doctor.

USF Student Health Services provides many resources and services for students looking to make changes in their eating habits, appearance and exercise regiment in an effort to promote good decision making and a healthy lifestyle among the students on USF’s campus.

For more information on the free nutritional services and resources available to students, visit the USF Student Health Service’s nutrition website at


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