Seven Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15

The first year at University, or any new place for that matter, can be really stressful. The fear of how you’re going to make new friends, get good grades and even balance these two can really take a toll on the average freshman. Oh, and don’t forget the supposedly inevitable “Freshman 15” that you’ve heard all about. How will you avoid these extra pounds you ask? Well, let me tell you. As a girl who has had first hand experience dealing with (and thankfully getting rid of) the “Freshman 15,” I can assure you that these tips and tricks will work for you.  

1. It's cool to bring your lunch from home

I cannot stress how important it is to spend time preparing your meals. Sure, you might lose a couple of minutes of sleep the night before or the morning before class, but it will be worth it if it means you’ll keep off the extra pounds. It’s much easier to avoid the temptations of fast food that is readily available around campus and at the Eaton Centre if you’ve already brought a delicious and healthy lunch from home


2. Meal prep for the week

Instead of rushing to make lunch every night or every morning, make a lot of food at one time, such as on the weekend, and toss it in the freezer. You can even divide the food into separate containers for each day of the week (and label them if you’re about that life), just to ensure that you don’t lose a single second of sleep.


3. Use your roommate!

If you live with a roommate (that you get along with), work out a schedule where you alternate who will make lunch for the following day or for the following week. The bonus: your roommate wont be tempted to steal your food.

Joey yelling that he doesn't share food


4. Snacking is allowed!

Pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the day so you’re not starving by the time it is lunch, or even dinner, if you have late classes. Tip: You can also visit The Hub Cafè on the first floor of Jorgenson Hall if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat.

Cookie Monster furiously eating a cookie


5. With diet, comes exercise

Avoiding the “Freshman 15” has a lot to do with clean eating, but going to the gym is also essential to ensuring that you don’t fall victim to one of every new university student’s biggest fears. Did you know that your membership to the Ryerson gym is included in your tuition? You can’t opt-out so that gives you a good reason to make a workout schedule and head to the gym!


6. Always eat breakfast!

This is another one of those important ones. Eating breakfast means you won’t over stuff yourself when you’re having lunch. It also means that you’ll be able to calmly decide what you’re going to eat for lunch, versus the hasty decision you would have made if your stomach had been grumbling all class.

Baby biting into a roll of toilet paper


7. Eat the burger!

Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, it is okay to eat that burger. It’s just important to set limits for yourself and know when you should and shouldn't indulge. Try setting a day of the week, such as Friday, for when you can have your “cheat meal” (yes, “cheat meal” not “cheat day”). Plus, the “cheat meal” will hopefully keep you motivated to eat clean for the whole week. That’s a win win.  

Man biting burger in slow motion with mouth wide open


Remember, wanting to avoid the “Freshman 15” isn’t about trying to look like a Victoria’s Secret model (but if that is your goal, I’m all for it). It’s simply about staying as healthy as you can possibly be so that you can be the best version of yourself to conquer all of the things that first year is going to throw at you.

Boy doing the Truffle Shuffle