Everyone has heard of it, and some of us have experienced at least a bit of it first hand: the dreaded Freshman 15. This is the phenomenon of weight-gain that occurs in the average student’s first year at college. The main causes of this are stress, eating unhealthy food, lack of exercise, late night snacking, and alcohol.
It seemed easy to me before coming here to eat healthy and work in time for exercise. I actually figured with my mom’s wonderful home-cooked meals not around to tempt me into second helpings, I’d lose weight. But now I’m coming to realize it won’t be so easy. For starters, generally speaking, the cafeteria food really isn’t too bad, and to be completely honest, the desserts are amazing! Not to mention the ice cream selection at every meal. In fact just writing this is making me crave some brownies with chocolate ice cream on top! Secondly, I’m not big into exercise. Like at all. I started off the year walking around town a few hours a week, but lately with the chilly weather, there’s no way you’ll catch me outside unless I’m heading to class. I give huge kudos to my friends who are dedicated and hit the on-campus gym a couple times a week, but what can people like me do for exercise when we’re too unmotivated to go lift weights?
Skipping meals definitely isn’t the way to go. So here are a few tips I’ve found for freshman to try.
- Avoid eating while stressed, studying, or watching TV
- Keep the portions small, just because it’s all- you-can-eat doesn’t mean you should stuff yourself silly every meal!
- Keep healthy snacks in the dorm for when you have the munchies
- Eat salad and drink a glass of water before every meal so you can fill up faster and not take in as many calories
- Exercise for 30 mins at least 3 times a week (For examples; try getting a fun work-out video to do with friends, do sit-ups or push-ups after every page of homework you do, take a walk while talking on the phone instead of sitting in the dorm)
- Get plenty of sleep!