Freshman 15 Cheeseburgers French Fries

College is a time for a new start: new friends, new life experiences, and a new found knowledge. However, college is also known for the dreaded “Freshman 15“. The 15 pounds that many students gain their first year away from home on a college campus.

This is due in part to poor eating habits: no parents telling you to eat your vegetables or not to eat after 9 pm. It also stems from inactivity. You go to class, and when you are done for the day you have hours upon hours to lie in bed in your dorm room or just chill on the couch with friends at the student union.

However, contrary to popular belief, not all first year students gain those 15 pounds everyone talks about, and luckily, I was one of them. My friends and I fought off the Freshman 15 and the steps we took to do this were fairly easy and I am here to share my advice with anyone who would like to go back home, after months of being away at school, looking the same way they did when they left in August.

  1. Eat a balanced diet: No one is telling you to stick to a fruit and veggies diet only. As a college student, you will grow to love pizza and burgers. However, try and add in an apple here or some yogurt there. Try drinking juice instead of grabbing that Dr. Pepper, and don’t eat that pizza from the night before for breakfast. Go get that bagel with a bit of cream cheese from the cafeteria.
  2. Stay active: This is perhaps one of the more important pieces of advice that I have. You have to stay active and move about if you expect to keep some of that weight off. On a nice day, don’t sit in your dorm room watching television.Go out for a walk with friends around the campus. On a day when you have less studying to do, go to the recreational center or the gym and see what programs they have to offer, such as dance classes or fun workouts. Every little bit of exercise whether it seem as small as dancing in your dorm with friends does indeed help.
  3. Watch your portion sizes: Just because dining halls are all you can eat most of the time does not mean that you need to pile every single food item you see onto your plate. Instead of grabbing 5 of those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, why not take 2 and then some fresh pineapples. Even if you are dying to get 2 of those delicious burgers straight from the grill, just settle for one: trust me, it will benefit you in the long run.
  4. Deal with stress effectively: Believe it or not, stress is a cause in weight gain, and being a college student, you will at times feel as if the whole world is on your shoulders. Its Wednesday night and you have two papers due that you haven’t even started, and you have a test in a class that you just do not understand.It is at times like these where you are up all night trying to get everything done and you need quick fixes. Every student’s best friend: caffeine. The smart thing to do would be to manage stress so that you are not in this situation to begin with. Manage your time wisely so that you are not put in a position where you must take an all-nighter, which can in turn take a huge toll on your body as well.

There are in fact many more tips that others have on fighting off the Freshman 15, but these 4 tips are the ones that I found the most helpful during my first year away at school.

So next time you are in your room and you are thinking about going to the dining hall, or you are up all night studying for an exam, or you are sitting in your room watching television to pass the time, I encourage you to recall these 4 tips I have given you and I guarantee you that you will get the results you want.

About the Author:

Aundrea Rogers is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and is currently a public relations professional and freelancer. She has experience in public relations, marketing, media relations and social media management.

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Image Credit: RunningPast on Flickr.com

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