7 Ways To Avoid the Freshman Fifteen at DePaul



The dreaded freshman fifteen--we all go into our freshman year swearing that we won’t become victims of it. Yet, inevitably, it gets the best of us. Even with my daily workouts and salad bar trips, I ceased to avoid myth-turned-truth of the freshman fifteen. Since spending time re-thinking my habits, I realized where my flawless plan of avoidance went wrong and how I can improve my habits moving forward. So from one food-loving, sweat-hating, freshman-fifteen-avoiding DePaul student to another, here are 7 tips to avoiding the freshman fifteen at DePaul University:

1. The Ray Meyer Fitness Center is your friend. This one is huge. Trust me, there is no avoiding the freshman fifteen if you don’t exercise a little. The great part about The Ray is that you don’t have to do this alone, or suffer through hours and hours of boring runs on the treadmill. The Ray not only has a track that overlooks the city, it also offers many group fitness classes that are FREE for DePaul students. So you can get fit on you own terms, whether it be through Zumba classes, Yoga instructions or muscle blasting workouts.

2. Don’t go crazy your first few weeks at school, establish healthy habits. My issue coming to school was that there were so many different types of food available to me, all at the expense of my seemingly endless meal plan, that I just HAD to try everything within my first few weeks at school! I’m not saying that you shouldn't try the different food options (as a food lover I would NEVER recommend that); however, try them in moderation. Yes, the Spicy Chicken Sandwiches at Ranch are delicious, but you don’t need one everyday. Mix it up with the salad bar and healthier options at ranch like the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

3. Always take the stairs. Located in Chicago, there is hardly ever a time when stairs are not needed to get to your desired destination. Take advantage of this! Take the stairs when the opportunity is afforded to add a little exercise to your day.

4. Speaking of food at the Student Center, FIND the healthy options! They are there, they are just harder to recognize through the gooey goodness of mac and cheese and deep fried deliciousness. Each station’s food can be made healthy depending on what you choose to go with it.

5. The Salad Bar is also your friend. Seriously. The options are endless at the Salad Bar when it comes to what you can create. There are plenty of greens to quench all of your vitamin needs, many different protein options to keep you full and a wide selection of fruit to fulfill your sweet tooth. Get excited- if you want to stay healthy while at school, you have to get excited about salad.

6. Join a student org revolving around fitness and exercise. This could be an intramural sport or and on campus club like CHAARGE. You can stay fit while making friends. Not to mention working out with friends makes working out a whole lot more bearable.

7. Make it a priority to exercise even when you are stressed out. It can seem difficult to make time for exercise during stressful times filled with essays and exams, but working out decreases stress levels and gives your brain a break from all of the madness. So instead of reaching for a bag of chips during midterms, tie up your tennies and go for a quick run. You’ll feel better once you do and you’ll have cleared your mind, making your work better!

Staying healthy in college is difficult, especially when you live in a city that has so many delicious food options to offer. Through it all, it is important to remember that moderation is key and exercise is crucial. But try not to focus too much time on being healthy otherwise you’ll miss out on everything else DePaul has to offer.