Goodbye Freshman 15, Hello Freshman Fit ME

We’ve all heard of the Freshman 15. College can be a stressful time, and eating is something a lot of folks do for comfort. There are little things you can do to help prevent the added weight from sticking.

Most of the time when you look up weight loss tips you get recommendations such as “work out when you can,” “don’t eat after 8 o’clock at night,” or “calorie deficit.” While these are all options, not all of them are always feasible. Stress eating is a real thing, going to dinner becomes your new favorite hobby, and who doesn’t love a nice caramel macchiato? When I was a freshman, here are some things I did to help avoid getting any extra junk in my trunk.

Get Out with Dining Out

You’re new to campus, making new friends each day and trying to figure out what to do during your free time. Staying on campus isn’t always the most appealing option, and what’s something that everyone loves to do? Eat. Sure, it’s a great way to get to know someone better, but it’s hard on your bank account and your tummy. Use that meal plan to the fullest, find some neat recipes to cook in your residence hall, or find another activity to do with you and your new friend! If you need any extra help with tracking just how much you spend on food each day, week, month, etc. download the Cleo app. It’s helped me a ton.

 

Walk It Like You Talk It

I’m from an extremely small university, so going from one end to the other takes around seven minutes. Everyone jokes about getting those steps in, but it really does help. Walking around your campus instead of using a trendy scooter counts toward your step goal each and every single day. If you’re not into running on a treadmill or around campus for exercise, walk on the treadmill instead but do it at the highest incline. Talk about a workout.

 

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Buying a 12-pack of Gatorade seems so healthy and wallet-friendly while you’re strolling around Target, but unless it’s the sugar-free kind, it’s not always the best option. Hitting up a party with your friends and there’s free beer sitting out? Try not to drink it! Soda (or pop if you’re from the midwest) is known to cause some weight issues too, so try to avoid getting that extra expensive and large Coke when you go see a movie. Those iced coffees are trendy on the TL, but of course, they aren’t the healthiest alternative out there. If you’re going to be drinking - water is the move. Get some flavoring to spice things up. Your body and skin will thank you immediately.

 

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love to sit and eat half a bag of Doritos, wash them down with some Sour Patch Kids, and then cleanse their palate with some Dr. Pepper. Trust me, I did it! If you keep those snacks in your room, you’re more likely to eat them. I would tell myself that I’d buy them as a “reward,” but we both know that once it hits 11 pm on a Wednesday, and I was cramming for an exam the next day and I needed a little pick-me-up - I would reach for the bad instead of the good. Making sure those snacks aren’t bought or anywhere in your sight will hopefully keep them out of your mind.

 

Work Out When You Workout

If you don’t use Google Calendar now, you should probably consider it. If you’re anything like me, someone will ask you if you have any free time and you’ll blindly agree, but when the time comes to go through with the plan… yikes. If you have a planner, use the reminders on your phone, or like to use a certain calendar app, put your gym schedule there. If you see that you’re supposed to be working out from 5-6 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, you’re probably more likely to follow through with it.

 

Each person is different, and different regiments work for different people, and if you already have it together - don’t quit what works. If it’s not broken, don't fix it. I managed to lose 15 pounds my freshmen year without hitting the gym every single day, and these are just a few tips and tricks that I used that helped me out. Best of luck on your journey to the happiest and healthiest version of you.