But I can almost guarantee that you have yet to think about weight gain in college.
Well actually, it’s called the Freshman 15…or 20…or even 30.
I will be the first to admit that I was so focused on everything new that was suddenly available to me, that I easily forgot about making time for fitness. My eighteen-year old self was just too excited to be on my own and do whatever I wanted.
It also did not help that the people I met were not raised to eat healthy like I had, so I had no one to hold me accountable and encourage me to still eat the way I had my whole life.
…And I ultimately gained weight. I really do not know exactly how much I truly gained because I refused to step on a scale for some time, but I can tell from pictures that I definitely packed on some pounds.
But seriously though, when you are new on campus how can you resist eating the ice cream or pizza two or three times a day? Even club meetings have “free dinner,” which I can almost guarantee will always be pizza.
Before I attended college, I wish I would have learned more about ways to avoid gaining weight. This is why I am writing about how to avoid the Freshman 15. I want college students to know that there are really easy ways to prevent unnecessary weight gain.
Easy ways to avoid the Freshman 15
1. Don’t go crazy in dining halls
It can be overwhelming to step into a dining hall for the first time. With so many different options, I just wanted to try it all. Well, here’s something they do not really inform students on: the food selection rarely changes so there is a good chance you will still be able to try it tomorrow.
Campuses are also trying to make the most food for the least amount of money, which means they are less likely to include healthy ingredients. When I started realizing I needed to eat healthier, about the end of the first semester, I would lean heavily on the salad bar or get stir fry.
Remember that everything is good in moderation. If you want that pizza, go for it! …Just don’t eat a whole pizza pie or eat it every day.
2. Utilize your access to your school gym/ workout facilities
Your school fees already include your membership for the recreation center, so why not use it? The rec at my school had more equipment than my local YMCA and even offered group classes, which were actually really good and fun. Many colleges have intramural sports teams that you can join too! Even just squeezing in 30 minutes a day of any kind of physical activity will help not only your body, but also your mind.
This can be made easier if you find a workout buddy to get fit with you! Ask your roommate or even someone you meet at the gym if you two can plan on meeting at the same time to exercise. I have noticed before when I have planned to meet someone at the Rec, I was 100% less likely to skip the workout because I knew someone else was waiting for me. This accountability is really great for any goals.
3. Remember that alcohol does not have zero calories
I definitely went to the most parties my freshman year than any other year in college so far. To be perfectly honest, the beer was terrible and it seemed like the only goal was just to get drunk anyways.
But that’s besides the point…What students do not realize is that the beer they drink at parties does not have the same amount of calories as a cup of water.
But that’s actually how fast they drink it…
The college-student beer, known as Natty Light, has 95 calories per a 12 ounce serving. This might not seem like a lot, but when you’re drinking five or six, that’s over 500 calories on just drinks! And let’s not forget that drunken trip to Taco Bell at 2 am…
I am absolutely not telling you to not drink in college. You do you, boo. I am, however, saying that if you are trying to watch your weight and stay some-what healthy, just drink in moderation and remember that beer will not help you lose weight.
There are so many more ways to avoid the Freshman 15, but these are the three tips that really worked for me…once I realized I needed to start living healthier. (: Although I will be living at home the last year and a half that I have left until I graduate and have better access to healthy foods, I still plan on implementing these tips in my life!
What are some ways that you stayed healthy in college?
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- The ULTIMATE College Packing List
- Where to Live at College
- Taking Summer Classes in College
- 3 Things College Taught Me
Follow along with me!