Avoiding the Freshman 15 in 5 Simple Steps

Going into your first year of college means a lot of changes to your everyday schedule. This can cause a significant change in eating, sleeping, studying, and exercising habits. Freshmen become so busy as they adjust to their new lifestyle, that it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet. With easier access to junk food, late night study sessions, and a packed schedule, it can be hard to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15. That’s why it’s important, as both a freshman and as a college student in general, to find a balance that will allow you to make healthy decisions.

 

Avoid Eating After 8 P.M.

Eating no later than 8 p.m. has many benefits. It helps prevent heartburn, allows your body time to digest before you go to sleep, aids in sleep, and stops you from overindulging. When you eat late at night, it causes a rise in triglyceride levels. This signals your body to store fat that is used to produce energy and leads to weight gain because your body is not engaging in physical activity while you sleep. I really hate the idea of eating late because it’s like having a second dinner which is a significant amount of extra calories.

 

Utilize the Gym, You’re Already Paying for It

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A large portion of your college tuition goes toward the gym on campus and if you’re not using it, that money goes down the drain. Even if you don’t go every day, you should try to go at least a couple of times a week. Personally, I’m more motivated to actually go to the gym if I wake up early before class. It’s hard to go to the gym at the end of the day for me because I'm tired from classes and sometimes have other commitments that end later in the day.

 

Don’t Keep Unhealthy Snacks in Your Room

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Keeping junk food in your room makes eating unhealthy food way too convenient. Knowing it’s there is only going to tempt you to make poor food choices. Not to mention that snacks like chips and cookies don’t actually make you full so you’ll most likely eat a full meal not too long after. It’s the little snacks that can really add up over time.

 

Allow Yourself a Couple of Cheats a Week So You Don’t Feel Deprived

It’s not healthy to completely deprive your body of sweets and greasy food. The best diet to have is a balanced one. It’s okay to eat a little bit of everything, as long as there’s moderation when it comes to the unhealthy foods. A good way to incorporate junk food into your diet without overindulging is to pick a couple of meals where you allow yourself a cheat. I usually treat myself on the weekends when I go out or when I’m just lounging around.

 

Find Healthy Food Options on Campus

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It may seem difficult on a college campus, but there is always a way to eat healthy food at school. You can eat fruit as a snack, have a salad for lunch, or eat fish or other lean meats such as chicken. Most college campuses give both healthy and unhealthy options for students, it’s up to you to pick the right foods.

While it’s important to be in shape, don’t kill yourself over getting that “perfect body.” It’s more important that you feel healthy and are confident about yourself. Weight fluctuates, especially in college. As long as you try to eat as healthy as you can and stay active, you’re on the right track.