Check out the following tips and pointers to help you avoid unwanted weight gain during your freshman year:
1) Free Food
As soon as you arrive on campus, student organizations and campus-wide events will bribe you with free junk food. Free food is used as a marketing mechanism to increase participation and student interest. It is okay to indulge in a free cupcake or slice of pizza, but just because it is “free” doesn’t mean you should pour every topping in the ice cream bar on to your sundae.
2) Social Food
If your RA coordinates a midnight Gibson’s Donuts run, or some cute boys in your class invite you and a friend to Chick-fil-A after class, by all means, GO! This is your time to be social. You don’t have to order a double cheeseburger and fries. Be smart and order something small, split it with a friend, or check the nutrition facts online before going if possible. Don’t be the one to order nothing or you may give off a bad impression. Just relax and if you end up overindulging, you can always make up for it by eating healthier and fitting a workout into your schedule the following day. A few French fries won’t kill you! Check out previous HC article, “Health Options and Meals to Avoid at your Favorite Chain Restaurants,” for more help in this department.
3) Dorm Food
Stock up on healthy snacks at the start of the school year to prevent unnecessary 2 am Taco Bell cravings on a school night (T-bell runs are common at Rhodes). Your friend may explain to you that they don’t keep food in their room because they don’t want to gain weight. The reality is that the students without food in their dorm are often times the ones leaving their rooms at night to buy junk food off campus. Even if you sign up for 21 meals a week in the dining hall, you still need to be prepared and keep snacks handy when your hunger strikes. Check out “Late Night Snacking Solutions” for some guilt-free snacking ideas.
The fall is an exciting time for incoming freshman, but it can also become quite hectic. The coursework, scheduling, and move away from home triggers stress. Once you’ve gotten into the swing of things, schedule time to work out, even if you think you don’t have time. Instead of spending 30 minutes to an hour (or 8 hours) on Facebook, head to the gym or take a fitness class in the BCLC. 10 minutes is better than nothing. A workout will leave you feeling energized and less anxious about your work.
If you need some motivation or a little push to work out, sign up for a PE class to fit in some exercise and take care of your PE credit! A popular option among Rhodes Collegiettes™ is Aerobics. Choose from a variety of fitness classes that work with your schedule and fit your interests (Zumba, Pilates, Strength Training, etc.) To obtain credit, you only need to attend 12 hours of classes per half semester!
PS: I’m teaching some strength training and cardio classes in the Aerobics program this year, so sign up for Aerobics. Here is the schedule for August 29-October 11:
Mondays 7 – 8 pm AAA (arms, abs, a**) Jamie
Tuesdays 11am – 12pm Boot camp with Annie
3-4 pm Aerobics with Nellie
Wednesdays 4:15-5:15 Boot camp with Annie
Thursdays 3-4 pm Aerobics with Nellie*
Saturday 11 – Noon Aerobics with Nellie*
*Classes with Nellie will begin in late September due to CPR certification. All classes are in the upstairs aerobics room in the BCLC, next to the raquetball courts. You don’t have to be registered to attend!
Your body NEEDS sleep in order to function properly. This is pretty self-explanatory, but does not click for most freshmen. Be smart. Don’t pull an all-nighter the night before an exam. Get in the habit of studying over the course of the week instead of cramming. Do not party Monday-Sunday and expect to do well in school and live a healthy lifestyle. If you are sleep deprived, your metabolism slows down and you consume more calories during the day. Less sleep triggers more weight gain. Get a good night’s sleep as often as possible (7-8 hours is considered a good night’s sleep). Check out “Getting Sleep in College” for dorm room sleeping tips.