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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

Freshman year is a fun and exciting time because everything changes. Although change is said to be good, one surprising shift could be the dreaded freshman 15. Yep, I said it! Trust me, you can’t eat the way you used to in high school, so cut the daily Chic-Fil-A stop. And if you think you’re good to go because you work out, realize that worked for you in the past and won’t work forever. As your body changes, your habits will need to change too.

The first, and in my opinion the most important piece of advice, is eating healthy. Again, this means you can’t eat Chick-Fil-A at Russell House for every meal. It’s devastating, I know. Put the pouty face away and try going to the salad bar or Woodstock for a smoothie. If you’re really craving a burger and just can’t resist, go to Fresh Burger for a turkey or veggie substitution. When you’re at home, don’t create a stash of unhealthy snacks because you know you’ll munch when you’re bored. Take that power away from yourself. If you keep healthy snacks in your room, you’ll think twice on your hunger. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ditch your favorites, but you may just have to cool it on the strict diet of Easy Mac and chicken nuggets.

The second thing to pay attention to is late night eating. After a night out, the temptation to order Domino’s in unreal, but you must resist! You know you’re bound to eat more than a slice and it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, eating a whole pizza is just not good for you! Save yourself the guilt and regret. The Washington Post says eating late at night causes “the body [to be] more likely to store the calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy.” So, when you munch on your post down town snacks, it’s definitely not in your favor.

Speaking of down town, alcohol is a killer when it comes to calories. Drinking your calories is a huge no-no because you don’t realize you’re consuming thousands. If you’re drinking liquor, its best to stick to light, not dark, and you have to, have to avoid flavored alcohol. I promise your strawberry mango lemonade flavored vodka has way more sugar and calories than it’s worth. Ditch the Sprite and Coke for soda water too.

The last thing to do to stay healthy and freshman 15 free is work out. If you don’t know how to do anything except run (or walk) on the treadmill, Pinterest has a ton of workout routines you can do with the equipment. Even try taking GroupX classes. They’re fun and trust me, you can do it! But hey, there’s nothing wrong with the treadmill and running a few miles everyday. Whatever you do, just make sure it works for YOU!

Alex is a Public Relations major at the University of South Carolina. She is an avid napper, a lover of guacamole and an Office enthusiast.
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