Avoiding the Dreaded Freshman 15

Being a freshman myself this year, I knew the freshman 15 was coming for me, so I decided early that I was going to make healthier decisions in college. Because of these decisions, I have actually lost 15 pounds since starting college, so if you are dreading the freshman 15 (or any 15 for that matter) try these simple tips.


Make healthier choices with your food:

This might sound obvious, but this is really a big contributing factor to the freshman 15. Students leave home for the first time, and then make poor choices with their food. Some eat at the dining hall, let themselves get carried away with all of the options, and end up overeating every day. However, most collee students end up eating unhealthy foods because they can’t cook a healthy meal for themselves. Whether it is due to lack of knowledge or lack of resources (i.e. a stovetop), most students are unable to cook a good meal for themselves. If this is you, turn to the internet. There are tons of healthy meals that you can make at home in your microwave, and if you are having trouble with portion control, make sure that you have one healthy thing with every meal. Instead of going for that third slice of pizza or ice cream, have a salad or some edamame. Just try to make healthier choices with your food and someday you will find yourself making good choices out of habit. However, the most important thing is that you don’t restrict yourself to the point where you are not having fun. College is already hard enough, so don’t make your days harder by skipping dessert.


Stay healthy with a few friends:

This will make everything easier. If you surround yourself with people who are making healthy choices and staying active, odds are you will follow suit. Going to yoga, taking a stroll through the city, or even going to your school’s gym is a lot more fun with friends. You are also more likely to push yourself harder and to stick to these routines if you are surrounded by your buddies.


Fill your dorm/apartment with healthy snacks:

Instead of buying Oreos and top ramen, buy some trail mix and fruit. Surrounding yourself with healthy options will ensure that you actually eat healthy. Try staying away from the fatty foods, and go for some easy snack that you can make on your own. Buy a jar of peanut butter and some foods to dip in it, and your body will be grateful that you are not eating an entire row of Oreos.


Decide to walk to class more:

Instead of taking the shuttle or driving to class, give yourself a little extra time every day and walk to class. I know it is a little rough if your school is on a hill, like the U, but it is a good way to wake up in the morning and helps everybody. It will help our city’s air quality, and it will definitely help you stay fit.


Drink a ton of water:

Four words. Don’t drink your calories. This is one of the biggest problems for college students. People are constantly choosing to buy a soft drink with every meal, and while it may not seem like it, those calories really add up. Most college students have the same problem with alcohol. Most people don’t realize that alcohol actually has a lot of calories (almost as bad as soft drinks.) ‘Beer Belly’ is a real thing, and it will contribute to your fifteen. Try to stay away from these calorie-heavy drinks and stick to water.


Manage your sleep and stress:

I know this may seem impossible in college with roommates and homework keeping you up, but I promise it is possible. Make sure you set your classes ten hours later than when you usually go to sleep. This way you will get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, and you will actually lose weight. Also, try to manage your credits so you are not constantly stressing because stress leads to significant weight gain.


Take advantage of our beautiful surroundings:

Most colleges are surrounded by a beautiful scenery, and the U is no exception. We should all be taking advantage of our school’s surroundings. Go for a hike in our beautiful mountains, go skiing/snowboarding, or go for a jog through our gorgeous and pedestrian friendly city! This is sure to help you stay fit, and it will also brighten your life and help you experience more because college is all about the experience.


All of these tips will help you avoid the freshman fifteen and make your college experience more rewarding. You also don’t have to follow all of these tips to stay in shape. Just pick a few and realize that you aren’t dieting, you are simply making better decisions for your body. The best way to avoid the freshman fifteen is simply to make good choices and try to have fun with it. All of these tips worked for me, and I really hope that they work for you!


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7