Tips to Avoid the Freshman 15

You’ve probably heard about the Freshman 15.  It’s long been rumored (and humored: Freshman 15) that the first year of college will add 15 pounds to your waistline.   Studies suggest that you are more likely to gain an extra 5 pounds, not 15, but putting on some extra weight can still be a concern.  You are now on your own, making your own choices, and trying to find a balance between academics the rest of college-life.  All this change can be overwhelming and stressful.  The last thing you want to worry about is trying to “eat healthy.”

Making poor food choices, late night snacking, alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of exercise can all contribute to unwanted weight gain.

Quick tips for avoiding the Freshman 15:

  • Eat breakfast – it is the most important meal of the day!
  • Don’t skip meals – you’ll tend to eat more later in the day
  • Make better food choices – eat whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean protein.  Avoid highly processed foods, fried foods, and too many cookies/ cakes!
  • Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid high fat/ calorie snacks, and late night pizza.
  • Skip the regular soda and opt for low-calorie beverages or WATER.  Many people drink a lot of their calories.  Water is the best – 0 calories!
  • Avoid the alcohol – average beer has 150 calories – drinking several will quickly add up the calories.
  • Try to get enough sleep each night – those who have better sleep patterns tend to avoid weight gain.
  • Keep active – go for a 30-minute walk (or run) around campus, workout with a friend at the fitness center.

With a healthy diet and active lifestyle, you’ll be able to successfully ward off the Freshman 15!

If you have any nutrition questions leave a comment, or contact the Campus Dietitian.


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