How to Avoid the “Freshman 15”

BY AYANA JONES
SC Staff Writer

Upon entering college for the first time, there are many adjustments that students have to make. From dealing with roommates, to learning how to manage time, to developing a consistent sleep pattern, there is a lot that goes into freshman year. During college, life has the tendency to open up in many perhaps unimaginable, yet interesting ways.

A major change that most college students experience in living on campus is a change of diet. While in school, your eating habits are bound to change. You will unfortunately have to say goodbye to mom and dad’s delicious home-cooked meals. During this transition process many students tend to put on some unintended weight. For many, the idea of adding on pounds is much dreaded. If you find yourself in this predicament and would like to avoid that freshman 15 then following these steps may be just what you need.

Exercise

Although this may seem obvious, one of the best ways to stay healthy and in shape is through exercise. Perhaps in your spare time you can hit the gym with a friend. Many professional athletes maintain their same weight through exercise. Maybe the gym is just not your thing. No sweat. You can exercise without even having to step foot in the gym.

When heading to class, you may decide to do something as simple as take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you find this to work well for you then the same may be done in your dorm building. Walking up and down the steps can be an effective form of exercise. If you are not comfortable in a gym setting and prefer privacy, then you may choose to exercise in your room. No matter what you decide just be sure to get the body moving and blood pumping.

Increase vegetable intake

Yes, that is right. We should eat more vegetables, the thing we all hated doing as a kid. As a college student, it is easy to skip out on the vegetables and even fruits because there are so many other food options that tend to override them on a daily basis. You should make it a habit to consume vegetables at least two to three times a week. You may decide to grab the vegetable pizza instead of that meatlovers or maybe even a salad instead of fries.  Eating vegetables will definitely reduce your calorie intake. In hopes to stay away from that freshman 15, the fewer calories consumed the better.

Avoid eating too late

As your sleep patterns and schedule changes, so will your cravings and eating habits. It is not unnatural to get those late night food desires. However, it is best to avoid eating too late. If possible do not eat before going to bed because the food will not have the opportunity to properly digest. When food does not digest well, it has a tendency to stick and consequently causes the added pounds. You should reduce your trips to Late Night to once a week. If it is absolutely necessary for you to eat before bed, then snack lightly. If you spread your food portions out throughout the day then the desire to eat late at night will be reduced.

Discipline

As with anything in life, discipline will be required to achieve the desired results. In order to prevent the gaining of weight, you will need much self-control. Everyone has an eating limit. If you feel yourself reaching that point, then stop. Do not overeat, especially if you can help it. Order out as few times as possible because majority of the foods are greasy and contain many calories. Keep track of your calorie consumption and set a goal weight for yourself as well as a calorie intake limit. It is easy to enjoy the many different foods the college life will bring. It is just important to have control in what you do decide to consume.

Email Ayana at:
ajones@live.esu.edu

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