Back To School: Avoiding the Freshman 15

Everyone warns incoming students about the dreaded “Freshman 15,” but nobody really shares how to avoid it. Here are some ideas that I have used myself as a freshman AND some healthy practices that I have recently learned during my recent research of healthy dieting. Some of the ideas are from WebMD while others are from Teen Health.

  • Eat: This might sound like a weird way to lose or maintain weight, but skipping meals messes with your metabolism (which makes you gain weight). This includes eating breakfast too! It’s the most important meal of the day because it gives you energy to get going and prevents overeating. Way back in September, we made a plea for all college students to start eating breakfasts. Missed it? Check it out here (you’re welcome).
  • Eat Slower: Ever wolfed down a whole meal and felt like you ate nothing at all? Eating slower will trick your stomach into thinking it’s full. You might want to consider drinking a glass of water before eating as well. Sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger so consider some H2O before chowing down.
  • Avoid Late Night Snacking: I’m familiar with the problem. It gets late, your stomach starts growling and – rather than finding something healthy – we all grab what’s most convenient. The stuff you eat this late probably isn’t healthy at all and it just sits in your stomach all night while you sleep. If you must grab

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    something, opt for something light.

  • Exercise: Whether it’s going to the gym, walking through town with your friends, or walking around campus instead of taking a shuttle bus…anything helps. My friends and I all chipped in on a few workout DVDs that really get you going. Working out with friends is always more fun than doing it yourself so consider the investment.
  • Choose Water: You should be drinking 8 cups of water a day in order to stay hydrated and healthy. In addition, water has no sugar or calories unlike soda or juice which are usually chock full of both.
  • Am I really hungry?: I know that when I’m bored or stressed, I snack. DON’T! In addition to this, watch your mindless snacking while watching TV too. My roommate and I used to eat Goldfish like it was our jobs…and barely noticed! If you must, pour yourself a small bowl and don’t go back for a refill.
  • Healthy Snacks: Instead of chips or other carb-heavy snacks, pick yogurt, cheese, veggies, fruits, nuts, or hummus. These are all on the healthier side and will fill you up faster.

Avoiding the Freshman 15 doesn’t have to be difficult! Follow these easy steps and you should be good! If you need help, enlist your roommate!

What tips do you have for your friends and peers about how to avoid the Freshman 15?

Written by Guest Blogger, Maria Cafferata

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