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Lose the Freshman 15: Lessons Learned

Well collegiettes, this is my penultimate (gotta incorporate this vocab word whenever possible!) blog post :(  I can’t believe the program has come to a close!  It was just what I needed to motivate myself to not only lose weight but also lead a healthier lifestyle in general.  I am so grateful for this experience and have learned so much along the way.  

SNACKING

  1. Don’t restrict yourself from snacking completely.  But when you snack, make sure you are actually hungry!  Try to avoid emotional snacking, bored snacking, recreational snacking, etc.  Those calories will add up!  It’s important that you eat only when you are hungry to avoid racking up these unnecessary calories.
  2. Instead of reaching for the greasy potato chips, cookies, and other junk foods, try to pick healthy and nutritious options.  If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try all types of berries and fruit, dark chocolate, yogurt (Chobani Apple Cinnamon is one of my favorites!), or a healthy granola bar (LUNA bars are great and so are KIND bars).  If you’re in the mood for something salty, try nuts (almonds and pistachios are my favs), popcorn, wasabi peas (a little spicy!), cheese stick, veggies with hummus or peanut butter, or roasted seaweed!  When you snack, just make sure you are eating something that has some sort of nutritional value, whether it is with protein, vitamins, fiber, etc.
  3. If you are eating a healthy chip, cracker, or similar snack, do not eat right out of the bag!  I used to always snack straight out of the bag and never really realized how dangerous it is– there is no limit and stopping point plus you can’t realize how much you’ve eaten.  Instead always portion out an appropriate serving size onto a plate, so you control your intake.

THE SCALE

  1. Everybody has different needs and preferences, but from my experience, I find it beneficial to weigh myself everyday.  I have tried weighing myself every week, yet I think it is much easier to stay on track when you weigh yourself daily.  If you see your weight increasing each day, then you can immediately adjust your diet and workouts accordingly.  Weighing myself every day has created a healthy relationship with my scale because there is no pressure of a “weigh-in”, and I do not dread stepping on the scale.
  2. Do not only go by the number.  The number of pounds you weigh is a good baseline for you to gauge your progress in weight loss.  However, do not use only the scale to measure how well you’re doing.  Fitness level (number of pushups you can do, mile time, whether you’re out of breath after certain tasks, etc.) and clothing fit also can help indicate progress.  You might have not lost any weight in the past two weeks, but now your old jeans fit or now you do 25 push-ups instead of 20.
  3. Focus on yourself.  Everybody is different, and everybody has different body types, genes, and builds.  So while your best friend might weigh 130 lbs, do not be embarrassed that you weigh twenty pounds more than her.  People of the same height can have the same weight and look completely different, while people of the same height can also have different weights and look rather similar.  Use others as motivation or inspiration, but do not use others to get you down! 

EXERCISE

  1. Just do it!  Nike’s saying is perfect.  When it comes to working out, just do it.  You will never regret working out, but you almost always will regret not working out.  The hardest part is always starting– the walk out the front door for a run, the drive to the gym– but once you get going, there’s no turning back.
  2. Mix it up! Try not to do the same thing for cardio every day.  I always try to go for a run, but then on some days, I try to do something else too– tennis, squash, hiking, biking, something active!  Also, don’t forget the benefits of a HIIT session!
  3. Incorporate strength into your workouts.  Building muscle mass is important for increasing your metabolism.  Strength training is also beneficial for your overall health and future as it reduces the probability you will develop certain illnesses like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.  

For more lessons on what I’ve learned in this weight loss journey, stay tuned for my final blog post on Wednesday!  I will also be posting my final weight loss numbers.  Until then, hope you all have a great Memorial Day tomorrow and remember our veterans and all who have served our country. God Bless the U.S.A!

xoxo

Nicole

Nicole Yang is an Editorial Intern at Her Campus.  Before joining the team at HC, she previously was the Managing Editor of her college's weekly newspaper, The Amherst Student.  While at Amherst College, Nicole was also a tour guide and a member of the women's varsity squash team.  Her professional experience includes working as a Communications Intern for Comcast and Monster, and her work has been published by Fast Company, Fortune, and The Sports Quotient.  Follow her on Twitter.
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