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Facing the Fretful “Freshman 15”

Fall semester is packed with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Thanksgiving pies and greasy food truck cuisine – making it pretty easy to overload on calories. It can be difficult for new students to learn how to manage their diet on their own.

However, here are some tips on how to avoid the (almost) inevitable “Freshman 15”:

WATERMake sure that you are drinking at least the recommended eight glasses of water a day. It is crucial for your body to be adequately hydrated so all of its systems can function properly. If you find yourself feeling hungry and have already eaten, drink a glass of water – it may actually be a thirst sensation.

DRINKING YOUR CALORIESWhen it comes to alcoholic beverages, be aware that you are drinking your calories! An average 12oz bottle of beer can run upwards of 170 calories. Most college students can down multiple beers when going out. For example, if you drink five beers, you’re actually consuming over 40% of the daily-recommended amount of calories. Some liquors and wines can be dense in calories as well. Make sure you’re reading the nutrition labels and giving yourself a limit before you start drinking.

THE GYMThe campus gym membership comes with your tuition and fees, so make sure you are utilizing it! The gym offers a wide variety of treadmills, elliptical and machines as well as fitness classes, a running track and even a pool. Any type of exercise will get your body moving, heart rate up, and help to burn off any excess calories.

TRANSPORTATIONThe subway is a great means of transportation all over the beautiful city of Philadelphia; however, one SEPTA ride now costs $2.25. Instead of traveling by public transportation, switch to walking or riding a bike! Not only would you be saving money, you’d be getting your exercise in, too. Philadelphia is a very bike-friendly, walkable city- try to use it to your advantage.

SNACKINGWe all know that college schedules aren’t the most flexible and sometimes it can really mess with our eating schedules and lead to excess snacking. With this being said, make sure you’re full after each meal. Snacking instead of eating three square meals can really pack on the calories, so try to limit your snacking and come up with a clear eating schedule.

LATE NIGHT EATINGWhat would we do without late night Munchies or fourth meal runs?! I personally am a fan, but in the long run it is a terrible idea. We’re the least active during that time of night, so we don’t have the chance to burn off the food we’ve just consumed. It is recommended to stop eating around four hours before you head to bed for the night.

SPLURGINGWith all this in mind, it’s OK to give yourself one day a week to indulge. If you’ve successfully let up on the snacking or gone to the gym a few times this week, then have that extra glass of wine or go enjoy a nice dinner in the city. You deserve it. 

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