How to Avoid the Freshman 15
October is a stressful time in the semester where midterms are approaching and you look for that delicious comfort food. The dreaded Freshman 15 is the typical amount of weight gained in first-year college students. Have no fear - we have all the tips and tricks to help you avoid these unnecessary pounds.
Eat Breakfast & Healthy Snacks
We're sure everyone's mother has told them to eat breakfast because you can't start the day without it. This is true - by skipping breakfast, your brain is not properly nourished for the day and you will look for those unhealthy snacks before lunch. Eating breakfast will stop some of those cravings you may experience throughout the morning. Of course, this does not include unhealthy meals like Pop-tarts. You should stock up your dorm room with healthy snacks like fruits and veggies. When you're running to class, you can quickly grab a healthy snack and avoid those vending machines and fast food places around campus. Snacking also helps to avoid binge eating later on when you actually sit down to have a meal. Bringing your own food to class will help to save you some money that you can put towards other things such as books and supplies for class, too.
First time college students tend to overdo the alcohol. Drinking is a lot of extra calories added to your diet. The average calorie count of each beer is about 150 calories, then if you have about 5, you're quickly approaching 1,000. We all know when you get home you're also going to start craving those munchies hidden in your cabinet. If this sounds like something you are likely going to do, you should try to fit in some extra hours of fitness during the day. Take that long walk to class or head to the gym for an extra hour. You should also never drink on an empty stomach. Not only is it bad for your health, but it can make you more hungry. It can lead to you eating the same amount or more calories than you would have if you ate before you drank.
Take Advantage Of Campus
Take advantage of all that your school has to offer. Most campuses have a gym that is free for all students. Make a schedule and each week try to attend the gym at least three or four times. This will help you stay in shape and leave room for those unhealthy snacks you can't avoid. Most schools also require students to take some form of physical education class. Instead of being lazy and choosing that easy A health class, try something a little more physical, such as dance or yoga. These methods also help with stress relief. This makes fitting in fitness a little easier because you have an already designated time built into your school schedule. College is all about social activities. Grab a buddy and sign up for the class together or find time to fit in the gym. Being healthy is much easier when you have someone doing it with you. By going to the gym, you can also build muscles in your body. A common myth is that muscles weigh more than fat. This is wrong - they weigh the same. Muscles however take up half the room in your body. For every muscle in your body, you loose about 6 calories a day. Fat takes up more room in the body and you only loose about 2 calories a day.
Remember In Moderation
You don't have to cut all of your favorite foods out of your life totally. Everything is okay in moderation. That late night study session with friends might include pizza. You can totally indulge every once in a while. However, you should also try to order a salad as well. By doing this, you will be less prone to eating half the pie. Salad always tastes better when you don't have to make it yourself anyway. Sometimes snacks and comfort food are much needed after a long and stressful a week. Just remember portion control is key to not gaining unwanted weight.