10 Steps to Avoid The Freshman 15

September 9th, 2009 by Kristina M. Benites Leave a reply »

That scale must be wrong it says I gained 30 pounds instead of 15
That scale must be wrong it says I gained 30 pounds instead of 15

Students mention it on campus. Friends of yours give you warnings. You’ve heard the stories about it. There’s no doubt that college students everywhere are following the “Beware the Freshman 15” message that is floating around campus.

What is it?

The “Freshman 15” is a term used to describe the weight gain many college students experience (usually in their Freshman year). Dormitory food is usually high in fat and calories, and you may not have the free time you once had for exercise.  Before you know it WAM! you have just gained 15 pounds. You don’t notice it but, when you come home for thanksgiving your friends and family sure will.  Follow this simple guide to steer clear of the infamous threat.

10 Simple Steps to Avoiding the Freshman 15

Step 1 – Know What You Eat!
It is important to know what you put into your body, so view dorm food critically. Find out if your dorm offers special vegetarian meals, which are usually more nutritious than the regular fare.

Step 2 – Make Substitutions
You paid for a semester of meals, so make good use of the choices given to you at the cafeteria. Eat from the salad bar and use light dressings. Ask for a baked potato instead of fries. Skip the casseroles, fried foods and desserts. If you absolutely must have that chocolate pudding you’re totally craving, then eat well the week and treat yourself after class on Friday!

Step 3 – Pyramids Aren’t Just Structures in Egypt!
Make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes foods from the vital food groups on the Food Pyramid: meat or other protein-based foods, such as beans, nuts and eggs; grains; dairy; fruits; and vegetables.

Step 4 – Store Your Own Munchies
Even if the dining hall is right downstairs, you don’t have to visit every time you need some nutrients. This could end up giving you more than you really need. Rent or buy a small refrigerator for your room so that you can keep your own foods there and depend less on the dorm meals. Stock your room with nutritious snacks such as fruits, nuts, water bottles, and other low-fat thirst quenchers.

Step 5 – Eat Less More Often
It’s a good idea (and better for speeding up your metabolism) to eat smaller meals more often rather than larger meals a couple times a day.

Step 6 – Control Your Cravings
Eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full. If your friends are going out to the grease truck for a late-afternoon snack, opt for something that will refresh and satisfy you. Fried foods take longer to digest and make you feel tired. You’ve got work to do! It also won’t hurt to ask Mom to leave cookies out of the care package!

Step 7 – It’s Called ‘Beer Belly’ For a Reason!
College is a time for both academic and social building. Some of the parties you may go to will have an array of drinks, and some of these drinks may contain alcohol. While it is important to be smart while consuming alcoholic drinks, always do it in moderation. Keep in mind that one serving of beer contains roughly 150 calories. So they will add up!

Step 8 – Work It Out
Exercise regularly. Most schools have a gym that is free to students, so arrange to go with your roommate or friends as a social activity. If you can’t find anyone to join you in your routine, then bring along your iPod with a special playlist, to concentrate on why you are there, instead of being unaccompanied. If you don’t have a gym on your campus or wish to remain in the privacy of your room, do a few simple workouts like crunches or pushups by yourself. Any little bit helps!

Step 9 – H2O is Your Friend
Of all the beverages you can have, water is the best. Try to stick to the all-natural thirst quencher when you are feeling dehydrated (half the time you feel hungry you are really dehydrated!) . This will help cleanse yourself and flush out impurities while refreshing your skin. Your body will also burn more calories by consuming colder water, as opposed to room-temperature.

Step 10 – Keep It Up!
So you have survived your first year at college, and summer is around the corner. You’re finally back at home. It can be tough managing your classes, homework, friends, finances, as well as your fitness, but with a little control it can be done! Now, you’ve got to stick to your regimen! There is no need to give up your methods of figure-watching, just because school is out. Without boundaries, not even a Senior is safe from the Freshman 15! You’re going to learn a lot throughout your college years; make taking care of your body one of them.


Comments are closed.