Normally we do posts on saving cashola, but this one’s about saving your body!
Adapting to workloads, class schedules and a new social life is tough. As you’re juggling assignments, reading and social events your sleeping pattern and diet may shift a little. And that’s a recipe for Freshman 15 weight gain: the 10-15 pounds you might gain in your first year of college – Shiza!
Don’t worry; now that you’re reading this, you’ll know all the easy steps to avoid gaining the weight. Here’s how to help the freshman 15 stay off:
Do Your Research
A lot of college or dorm cafeterias offer a lot of, err… junk. You’ll find foods like pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs, nachos… I know it sounds yummy this second (especially if it’s close to lunch time), but these items are packed with calories and trans fats that can make jeans feel a little snug – blerg!
Many colleges are becoming aware that students (like you!) are making better food choices. So check and see if they offer healthier items like:
- Fajitas – A tortilla has less calories than a bun, and it’s packed with stir fried veggies & either beef, chicken or turkey. It’s leaner than a burger or even grilled sandwich & packed with flavor.
- Salads – They’re packed with greens & veggies that keep you full longer. Opt for Italian dressing instead of cream-based Ranch or Caesar to lower your caloric intake.
- Pita Sandwiches – Tuna or turkey’s a great choice as they’re lean. Most cafeterias let you choose other toppings like olives, onions, tomatoes & more to make it a hearty & healthy meal.
Store the Right Snacks
If your goodie drawer houses things like chips, cookies and chocolate bars you’re setting yourself up for weight gain. Snacks can be yummy and healthy at the same time… here are some ideas:
- Packs of Oatmeal – This yummy bowl ‘o goodness is easy to heat up for a warm treat any time, day or night!
- Peanut Butter Sandwich - Keep a wholegrain loaf of bread & a jug of peanut butter in the cabinet for an easy snack that’s lower in calories.
- Trail Mix – This is a yummy snack as it’s filled with dried fruits & crunchy nuts. Get a healthy dose of protein & sugar with a handful while reading.
- Yogurt & Granola - An affordable, delicious and filling snack! Purchase plain vanilla yogurt & a pack of granola to mix together for a quick pick-me-up that’s packed with good nutrients.
Tip to avoid overindulgence: instead of taking the whole bag or box with you, scoop a handful and put it on a paper towel sheet. This way, you’ll have to get up to fetch some more, instead of easily reaching into the bag.
Don’t Become a Dorm Dweller
Yes, studying is important but so are social activities, exercise and fun! So make sure you get out when you’ve got some time to yourself instead of lounging on the bed watching YouTube videos. Here are some activities that’ll keep you from hitching a ride on the lazy wagon:
- Events – Check out billboards at school for tons of activities. It could be anything from a fundraiser to helping organize events like Career Week conventions.
- Sports – Most colleges have sports teams that you can join. This is a great way to release stress build-up from exams & assignments, burn calories & make friends.
- Groups – Think of what you enjoy most. Music, reading, poetry… chances are, there are groups for you to join. For example, a Writers’ Group is great for getting feedback on poems or short stories that you write.
The main way to avoid the Freshman 15 is to be conscious of your actions. Always think: do I really want chips right now, or am I just stressed? Once you break the process of mindless eating, you’re more likely to make better decisions which lead to saving your bod.
Do you have any tips on avoiding the Freshman 15? Let us in on your secret!