Frequently Asked Questions – The Freshman 15

1. What is the Freshman 15?

The Freshman 15 is, once you have arrived at college, gaining 15 pounds in your first year there. This college weight gain does not always happen, but to many students it does. The 15 pounds usually refer to an average amount of weight, which also means that freshman students are gaining more weight or losing more weight. Fear not! The Freshman 15 does not take a victim to every student. Genetics and lifestyle choices have a lot to do with it as well.

2. What are the causes of the Freshman 15?

The Freshman 15 is mostly caused by the meal plan you sign up for while living on campus. Many campuses require this meal plan, so it is not optional. The free reign in college of your schedule and not having your parents tell you when to eat also add to this college weight gain. Late night snacking leads to this as well. While burgers, fries, Chinese food and ice cream may seem like fun options, these fatty calories and carbohydrates quickly add up to more pounds on the scale.

3. How to avoid the Freshman 15?

Avoiding the freshman 15 is not easy, but some knowledge ahead of time may help keep it away. Exercising daily, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and staying hydrated with water will help. Try to stick to an eating regimen.

There is a saying that goes,

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Breakfast is the number one way to staying fit.

Most people forget about it or hold off until lunch, but fueling up for your day is key. Downsizing your meals after will help keep you full as well.

4. Alternative to dorm food?

The food you have to pick from while on the meal plan your freshman year will more than likely get boring, and fast. For this purpose you should buy snacks to keep in your room that do not require more cooking than a microwave or refrigeration.

Some great choices would be to visit your local farmers market and pick up fresh, organic fruits to keep in your room. Raspberries, strawberries, and avocados are great breakfast items. Another trending idea is overnight oats. Put oats, milk and yogurt altogether in your fridge and let them soak overnight. Eat them in the morning for a quick, easy and delicious power up to your day.

Check out a recipe here: http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/overnightoats

Visiting the grocery store and stocking up on some Luna Bars or other low fat energy bars would be a great option. This way when you are running late to class you can just grab and go.

My roommates also like the brand of chips, Food Should Taste Good. They have great varieties of healthy chips that, you think would be gross, but taste amazing!

With flavors like Multigrain, Sweet Potato, and Blue Corn, it’s hard to go wrong. Check ow their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/FoodShouldTasteGood

5. Workouts to stave off the Freshman 15?

Exercising daily is so important in college. If you make it apart of your every day routine on day one, it will just feel like the normal thing to do.

While there are some people who do not like the gym (you may be one of them), go hiking! Get outside, go to the beach and throw the football around. Do laps in the community pool or try rock climbing if your town has an indoor gym.

Exercising does not mean going to the gym necessarily. However, some people do prefer to exercise indoors and there is nothing wrong with that. My last workout, my roommate and I did cardio. We get bored easily at the gym so to mix it up we did 20 minutes of hills on the treadmill, 20 minutes of fat burn on the stair master (we were sweating!) and 20 minutes of weight loss on the elliptical.

Mixing it up every time you go will confuse your muscles and help keep weight off. Building some muscle is good too because, according to the American Council on Exercise,

“1 lb. of muscle burns seven to 10 calories per day, while 1 lb. of fat burns only 2 to 3 calories.”

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Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg is a junior at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism. At school, Kait can be found interviewing people or hitting the gym. As the Colleges Against Cancer president, Kait helps to fight cancer and she educates her peers on the disease. Apart from school she works two jobs, enjoys traveling, and cooking for her roommates.