How to Avoid Gaining the “Freshman 15”

College freshmen have a lot on their plates -both figuratively and literally, it seems. In addition to juggling classes, finances, and social life, they must also find ways to eat on the run . . . which generally results in some unhealthy eating habits, and an average weight gain of about 15 pounds during the first year of college.

Freshman 15 Weight Loss

The freshman 15 is not a myth. It’s a reality. Fortunately, it’s not an unavoidable reality, as long as you’re willing to put a conscious effort into making good choices. Here are some tips for how to avoid gaining the freshman 15:

Be your Own Transportation

You have a lot of classes to get to, right? Well, that’s a perfect opportunity for you to get some exercise throughout the day, and without even having to hit the gym. Rather than hitch a ride to class, hop on a bicycle or put on some comfortable sneakers and do some power-walking.

Stock your Room with Healthy Snacks

Those vending machines can be very tempting when you’re feeling rushed in between classes. Avoid the unhealthy temptations that can really add up over time by stocking your room with healthy options. Things like bananas, whole wheat muffins, apples, and fiber bars are great alternatives to candy bars and potato chips, and they’re much less likely to contribute to a spreading waistline.

Don’t Skip Meals

This only throws off your body’s natural metabolic balance. While it may seem that skipping meals might help you keep off the weight, the opposite is actually true: your body senses that it doesn’t have enough sustenance and goes into starvation-mode, slowing your metabolism and holding on to every extra bit of fat it can. Think about this the next time you want to skip breakfast, and make a bowl of oatmeal instead.

Take Advantage of On-campus Opportunities

Fortunately, your college provides countless opportunities for helping you stay active and healthy. Consider joining a fitness club, enrolling in an aerobics course, paying regular visits to the free campus gym, or participating on an intramural sports team. This is not only a great way to avoid gaining the freshman 15, but also to make new friends and get better acclimated to the college experience.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is no substitute for a healthy meal, but it is pertinent to your overall health and well being. On top of that, staying hydrated can help stave off cravings for junk food that your body isn’t really hungry for.

As you know, being a college freshman comes with many new anxieties. You don’t have to compound those anxieties with unnecessary weight gain. Follow these practical tips to avoid gaining the dreaded freshman 15.

About the Author: Hal Rissman and his friends took a proactive approach to the fabled “freshman 15” and worked hard at the gym and on the field between their time hitting the history textbooks and classes.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply