The freshman 15…
The freshman 15 refers to the amount of weight a freshman will “gain” as a first year student. Is it valid? Yes to a point–studies across the world have various results (a range of variables) but when analyzed they show that the average weight gained is typically less than 15 pounds. It appears that the “freshman 15” is somewhat of an outlier or an extreme. The truth is that most students will put on a few pounds.
Why am I gaining weight?
The list for reasons for why a student may gain weight could be infinite so we’ll explain it in few cause and effect examples that are easy to understand.
- Stress from “…” → eating more → bad habits
- Stress from “…” → drinking alcohol → bad habits
- Stress from “…” → less exercise → bad habits
As you can see from the examples above, there is a trigger that causes something that ultimately leads to a bad habit. We know that bad habits are difficult to change as we tend to unknowingly become comfortable with them.
In college, students enjoy a great deal of freedom. However, there is also a great deal of stress to cope with. Adjusting to a new lifestyle can be very challenging. You have various commitments–papers due, quizzes to study for, chapters in expensive books to read, meetings to attend. Additionally, consider all the things outside of academics. Perhaps even a part-time job and becoming accustomed to the new social atmosphere.
How to manage the freshman 15?
Well first, think positive. Remember that we discovered that most students usually gain just a few pounds which shouldn’t be a surprise for a growing adult. Next, you’ll have to commit to developing good habits from the beginning. Create a support network and allow yourself to indulge from time to time. Here are some realistic things you can do:
- Walk to class – you’ll be surprised with the figure of students that drive for the convenience–when walking to class would take just minutes (a win-win, you get exercise and avoid the hassle of searching for parking).
- Smaller portions throughout the day – it’s better to have 6 smaller meals during the day than to eat 3 large meals. The smaller meals will keep your metabolism working regularly which will naturally raise it.
- Avoid late night snacks – you ought to be sleeping instead.
- See a dietitian – then formulate a diet plan that you are comfortable with. Also check out the Diet Solution Program.
- Use the gym – consider free places for exercising: college fitness center, apartment gym, community gym.
- Eat breakfast – your busy but you can’t be too busy to eat the most important meal of the day.
- Choose healthier meals – it’s easy to go for the pizza. Consider the salad bar and try to get in all the food groups each day.
- Stay hydrated – you constantly hear to drink 8 glasses of water each day. It’s not an easy task…so set it as a goal and work towards it.
- Join intra-murals – when your part of a team–you’ll be exercising on a regular basis.
- Drink less booze – everyone enjoys unwinding and having fun. Don’t forget you can have a great time without getting hammered!
- Sleep – did you forget that your growing? Aim for at least 7 hours a night.
Articles about the freshman 15 from colleges and universities
It’s helpful to get information from a variety of sources. What is better than the source itself?
- Keuka College – Eating healthy at Keuka college — more than just fighting the “freshman 15”
- Bloomsburg University – Keep the weight off in college
- University of California – The fight again your freshman fifteen
- Texas Tech – How to avoid the freshman 15
Posts about the freshman 15 from actual college students
Real stories from college students on the freshman 15.
- Alyssa @ Tallahassee Community College
- Gabi @ Southern New Hampshire University
- Hannah @ Haverford Colleges
- Devyn @ University of Nevada
Final thoughts on freshman 15
Stay upbeat and don’t let it consume you. Unlike high school where you need to conform and fit it–in college you develop into the person that you’ll be for the rest of your life. Enjoy every day and become who you want to be.
Need some extra help? Consider the Fat Burning Furnace.
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Photo source: Offbeat Jersey on Flickr