Hi Blake and welcome
Congratulations on deciding to become healthier! It's a good idea to start now and get into a routine before uni gets too hectic, that way you won't have to plan as much later on when you have better things to do.
Ok, so you asked for some tips... I'm no professional but I'm doing ok so far, and here's what I'd suggest as possible ideas/tips for you:
1. If you really love chocolate milk, you may not need to cut it out of your diet completely. A lot of chocolate milks are made with full cream milk and contain lots of fat and sugar, so these are not good choices. However, there are some fairly good options out there. One you might like to try is "Rush" brand - you can get it at most supermarkets and it comes in "low fat chocolate", "low fat vanilla malt", "low fat iced latte" and "low fat strong coffee". The iced chocolate flavour only has 240 calories per 500ml bottle, and 4grams of fat. It has 28.5grams of sugar which is a little high, but if you limit yourself to one of these a day, you should be fine. They are delicious!
BTW, I got the nutritional information from www.calorieking.com.au
- if you haven't seen this site, you should check it out sometime. You can enter your height/weight details and it will tell you how many calories you should be eating per day. You can also search their database of foods to work out the nutritional value of most foods. It really helps us to decide which choices are good!
2. I often have a ham sandwich for lunch, and it hasn't done my diet any harm. I'd suggest going to the deli and buying lean cuts of ham - there are several varities which are quite low in fat. Usually they have a sign up indicating which ones are low fat. Alternatively, you could go for the prepacked ham in the dairy section and compare the nutritional values on the packs. My favourite sandwich is 2 slices of low fat ham on brown bread, with 2 slices of low fat jarlsberg cheese (also available from the dairy section). The cheese is naturally sweet, and I find I don't need to add anything extra, like butter. It also keeps me feeling full for longer, gives me a serve of dairy, and reduces the amount of ham I need on my sandwich.
3. Eating fruit and veggies as snacks is a great idea, you're on the right track there. Sometimes i like to do that too, and I cut up celery, cucumber and carrots, and eat them with a low fat dip, like skinny tzatziki or hommus. Fruit is a good choice, but contains a lot of natural sugar. You're probably better off eating 2-3 pieces per day at the most there. Go crazy on the veggies though, they tend to be lighter in calories!
4. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, and something I've recently started doing myself. It's low impact, and works your whole body. My advice to you is to just pick an exercise that you like doing, and stick with that. It all counts. Don't force yourself to run if you hate it and will resent going every time, you're way better off picking something that is enjoyable. Swimming also burns quite a lot of calories too. Freestyle burns the most, but the other strokes aren't too far behind. Swimming will definately help you develop your shoulder area. I am hoping that swimming will tone my upper arms, that is one of my problem areas!
5. Weetbix with lite milk is a good breakfast option, it will help you to stay full, and give you enough energy to study/exercise
I haven't really eaten too many of the lean cuisine meals, but I've had them on occasion. I've noticed that they are all usually 97% fat free, but some are still better choices than others. Keep an eye on the fat content too, some of them can contain up to 15gms of fat from memory, but don't quote me on that. Once again, it's worth going to calorieking and checking out your nutritional needs, and then you can go and read the info on the packaging and decide if it's something you want to eat.
6. As for any tips in general, my suggestion to you is just to keep at this. If you're anything like me, you will screw up at times and eat crap food. Put it behind you and just go back to 'healthy' eating ASAP. Don't beat yourself up, what's done is done. But don't let one bad meal or day turn into a binge. Take each meal as it comes, and just try and make the healthiest choices possible.
Keep us posted on your progress, and shout out if you need anything
All the best!