How to Avoid the Freshman 15
The Freshman 15 is every freshman fashionista's worst nightmare, but fear not! It can be completely avoided with some self-control and will-power! Here's a list of ways to beat the Freshman 15.
1. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping a meal will only make you eat more during the next meal. Eating breakfast is important because it jump starts your metabolism and keeps it steady throughout the day.
2. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Bring your water with you everywhere. This gives you an excuse to purchase a cute water bottle!
3. Include at least 3 food groups in every meal. Make sure that you're hitting the necessary food groups during lunch, including fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and calcium. Think color! Remember, it's not the end of the world if you can't resist the chicken fingers or onion rings in the dining hall, just balance it out (and watch your portions!).
4. Control your portions. Meal plans are expensive. I know it's tempting to want to get your money's worth at each meal, but you'll hate yourself for it later! Don't forget that you have four years of dining hall food ahead of you, so you'll have plenty of time to try everything eventually.
5. Treat yourself occasionally. It's fine to have ice cream after lunch, just skip the cake after dinner. Eat smart during the week so that you can treat yourself when you go out to eat with friends over the weekend.
6. Avoid late night meals. A night time snack is fine for some extra energy during all night study sessions, but make sure that you don't eat a second dinner or desert. Limit yourself to just a snack!
7. Have healthy snacks on hand. When you get hungry at night, you can reach for something nutritious rather than something unhealthy. Try nuts, pretzels, fruit, popcorn, or nutrition bars. I love to munch on roasted unsalted almonds! I know that they sound like they wouldn't taste very good, but they actually do! Try it!
8. Pick liquor carefully. I don't drink alcohol, so I never have to worry about the extra calories here, but alcohol is full of empty calories that can add up quickly over time. If you're going to drink, be wise about how much liquor you put in your body.
9. Shop smart. Don't stock your mini fridge with soda, frozen pizza, and hot pockets! I've been there, done that, and I much preferred my life when I had fruit, sparkling water, and light popcorn on hand. Skip the Easy Mac and bagel bites and get yogurt, light string cheese, and healthy frozen meals instead.
10. Exercise. Take the scenic route to class. Utilize the school gym (and meet people while you're at it). Walk/run around campus. Join an intramural team. Join a dance group (if you're lucky enough to have the skill). Work out with an exercise DVD in your room (ask your roommate to join). It doesn't matter what you do, just get moving!
11. Weigh yourself everyday. Get a scale for your room and use it everyday. I once read in a study from Cornell that students who weighed themselves everyday gained less weight over a year than students who did not use a scale everyday, You'll catch any weight gain much more quickly if you weigh yourself once a day, and you'll be able to make adjustments to your diet and fitness routine to prevent any more weight gain.