Freshman 15: How to Avoid It

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The short lived excitement of cafeteria food. This was the first and last healthy, colorful meal they offered.

Entering college it’s one thing your older friends, relatives, and parents will tell you, “watch out for the freshman 15”. You probably think to yourself no, it won’t happen to me because a)I’ve never really had to worry about weight, b)I eat healthy, and c)I exercise on a regular basis. These are all wonderful things to do in life, but something makes them much more difficult in college. Emily and I pride ourselves in the fact that we were able to stay happy, healthy, and fit, without gaining the dreaded “freshman 15”. Here are some tips to avoid it and come back from your freshman year the same or better as when you left.

  1. The cafeteria food is deceiving. You may think you are eating healthy by choosing vegetables or soups, but the amount of oil and butter added to these items are astronomical, so be careful.
  2. Create an exercise schedule.
  3. Drink plenty of water daily.
  4. Avoid eating/snacking after 8pm. This one is tricky especially being in a dorm where your food is always in your room. So with this in mind, try to keep your room stocked with only healthy foods.
  5. Do not snack while you study. This leads to mindless eating that you will regret later.
  6. It’s 7pm, you are in the middle of studying for a huge exam, so you consider ordering a pizza or anything quick. AVOID this scenario at all costs. Take a thirty minute break and go eat a real dinner. Eating junk for dinner  won’t lead to productive studying anyway.
  7. The cafeteria has a variety of desserts, all of the time. Don’t let yourself grab dessert after every meal. Your body will become used to this and then when you try to cut back, you will have cravings. Try to limit yourself to 1-2 desserts after dinner per week.
  8. Limit your intake of processed carbs and sugar and instead focus on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  9. Walk everywhere! Even though the university transit might be more convenient, make time to enjoy your walk to class. An open, walking campus is one of the benefits of living on campus.
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