5 Tips to Avoid the Freshman Fifteen

We all are familiar with the dreaded freshman fifteen… whether that be due to indulgence on snacks and fast food, lack of sleep energy, or maybe just a little too much partying (if you know what I mean). Don’t let it get to you!

Even before I started college, I was adamant that I would never fall down that rabbit hole. Here are some tips that work for me and hopefully that can work for you.

1. Do not stock your dorm room with unnecessary snacks 

We are all guilty of this. Week two I stockpiled Oreos and Gardettos in mbedsidede table. An indulgence every once in a while is fine, but do not make it a habit! In my dorm room I usually keep peanut butter, yogurt, nuts, apples etc. However, to keep costs toward the lower end, make use of your resources—meaning, the Rat! Depending on what meal plan you have, take advantage of what’s accessible to you. For example, after lunch I’ll usually take an apple or two to bring up to my dorm for later. Sometimes I’ll even use my own containers and take vegetable soup or chili and keep it in my fridge. It can be tempting to order Dominoe's or Uber Eats when we wait until midnight to eat dinner (trust me, we’ve all been there), but do not cave in! 

2. A fan favorite: exercise!

We are all privileged to attend a school with a free gym, so make use of it! Make a set schedule for yourself and set small goals. Try going 2-3 times a week and see how you feel. The BCLC has great, flexible hours on the weekdays, so it can easily fit into a packed day. If you’re not a gym person, try running or even some yoga. Every Sunday and Wednesday there’s a yoga class at 8 in the BCLC upstairs aerobics room—and its free!  Anything to get your body moving is helpful. 

If you’re unsure where to start on a workout routine, here’s a good full body exercise that’s machine free:

3. Drink lots of water

Drinking water boosts metabolism and cleanses your body of waste. You’ll feel better and fresher, I promise you. Also, water can work as an appetite suppressant. Another benefit is that the more water you drink, the less water you retain. This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but if you are only drinking a small amount of water a day, your body is holding on to every ounce, and therefore makes you more bloated than you need to be. If you’re consistently drinking water, there’s no need for your body to hold on to so much. 

My advice to you is to invest in a nice size water bottle. I carry around a 40oz insulated bottle which lasts me a while before I have to refill it. 

4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep

This can sometimes be hard, especially when we have a paper due or a big test the next day; however, it is so critical to our bodies and our minds. The quality of sleep we get directly affects our productivity, emotional balance, and immune system. Mental clarity is vital for a healthy life. Sleep is like nutrition but for the brain. Sorry in advance for getting all scientific on you, but I cannot stress the importance of sleep enough. Too little sleep triggers a cortisol spike signaling your body to conserve energy. This means that your body is more likely to hold on to fat. Scary right? 

5. Don’t skip breakfast

This might be the most difficult for me. I sleep in most days, and when I do have to wake up early, of course I’m running late with no time to eat. Lately, I’ve been trying to set an alarm for about 9am so I can make the omelet line in time (the rat starts turning over to lunch around 10:30). I would advise you to pack on the protein for your first meal of the day. Starting off your day with the energy and calories will benefit you for the entire day. Breakfast is also important to replenish the 10 or so hours of fasting your body endured from the night. Our bodies need replenishing of glucose levels and other nutrients to keep our energy levels up. You will feel better and perform better!

I hope you all can add these five simple tips into your everyday routine. Remember to set reasonable goals for yourself and to start small. It’s all about awareness and doing what’s best for your body. These are some steps that I follow to stay healthy in college; however, I do have the occasional Sonic run, so do not deprive yourself! Everything in moderation, including moderation :)

(photo 1: artinspring, photo 2: EUFIC)