Fighting the Freshman 15


Over the years, students have complained about gaining around fifteen pounds in their first year at college, hence the term “freshman 15.”  Now whether or not that fifteen pound figure is actually what most student gain remains to be seen.  Some students gain more than that, some gain much less, and others maintain their current weight.  Weight gain in your freshman year is not inevitable, and can be avoided by taking the proper precautions.

Amongst the causes for weight gain in your first year of college are:

  • Snacking while studying.
  • Take out / Order-in food.
  • Vending machines.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Extra eating at the dining hall.
  • Increased alcohol intake.
  • Skipping meals.
  • Too many high calorie fluids.

Here are some tips to combat the negative effects of not-so-healthy eating habits in college:

  • Instead of eating candy or chips from the vending machine, plan ahead and carry a healthy snack.  Keep some good snacks on hand in your room for those late night snacks as well.
  • Try not to miss a meal.  Chances are, if you miss a meal you’ll overeat at your next meal.
  • Get enough rest each night.  The less rest you get, and the more you are awake, the more energy you expend and the hungrier you will be.  You’re also more likely to engage in excessive snacking on those late nights.
  • Drink in moderation.  Alcoholic drinks are full of hidden calories that can really pack on the pounds.
  • Avoid excessive sweetened beverages like cola and other sugary drinks.  Instead, drink a lot of water as well as some juice and milk.  Excessive quantities of sweetened drinks can also add pounds.
  • Try not to eat out all the time.  Pizza, wings, fried chicken and other fatty foods are not a sufficient source of nutrients and are full of fats, calories, and aren’t so nice to the arteries.
  • Try to eat a well-balanced meal.  Just because your meal plan has way more money on it than you need, don’t load up just for the sake of loading up.
  • Get some exercise, even if it is just 20 minutes a day.  Instead of taking the elevator, hit the stairs.  Walk to your classes instead of hopping in your car. Or, you can go the traditional route and hit your college gym.  Don’t be intimidated, not everyone at the college gym is an athelete.  Stay in shape now so it doesn’t catch up with you.  It’s harder to loose the weight as you get older.

Even if you just follow some of my advice above, you’ll be better off.  Ideally, you’d do it all, but let’s get realistic – that’s not likely to happen.  A few simple adjustments to your daily routine can pay off and help you avoid getting the dreaded “freshman 15.”

Comments are closed.