How To Beat The Freshman Fifteen

Your first year in college will most likely be filled with a mix of excitement, fun, stress and anxiety, in no particular order. It’s because of all these new experiences and emotions that many students gain the infamous “Freshman Fifteen.”

Although it’s not always necessarily fifteen pounds, many freshmen do gain a bit of weight during their first year. However, this weight gain is most definitely not inevitable; there are many things you can do before and during college to keep the weight off.

  • Exercise – The key to losing weight or preventing weight gain is to burn more calories than you consume, and the only way to do this is to build muscle. If you don’t want to go to your school’s gym, you can work out at home or in your dorm room; Youtube has countless free exercise clips uploaded by professional trainers or taken from full length videos. Everything from Pilates to kickboxing is available and best of all, you can pause, rewind or fast forward to go at your own pace.
  • Eat – Contrary to popular belief, food is not the enemy. You need food; what you don’t need is a daily dose of french fries, pizzas and deep fried Oreos. Take the time to learn about the types of food that are the healthiest and which you should avoid, and make a list to bring with you when you go grocery shopping. And of course, learn to cook your own food. That way, you can be sure of what you’re eating and make certain it’s as healthy as you want it to be.
  • Find a balance – You can’t completely deprive yourself of everything you like to eat, because all that will do is cause you to binge later on. However, you also can’t give in to every craving you have. You need to find a happy medium between the two extremes. If you go out to eat one day, cook for yourself at home the rest of the week; if your study group orders pizzas for dinner, go ahead and have a few slices, but don’t make it a habit. You don’t have to feel guilty for having fast food once in a while or going out to eat with your friends, the point is to even things out by making healthier choices the rest of the time.
  • Start NOW- If you begin working out before you get to college, it’ll be a lot easier to keep it up once you get there. You’ll most likely have to adjust when and how you work out because of your new schedule, but it would be harder to add a new exercise program and completely different eating habits on top of all the other changes you’ll already be going through.

The easiest way to start is to just do it; don’t wait until next week, don’t wait until Monday, do it now. The most important thing for you to understand is that you shouldn’t treat exercise and eating healthy like a diet.

They’re not for you to start and stop whenever you feel like it; they should be a part of your everyday life. Although at first, working out and cooking your own food will seem like a chore, eventually it’ll become habit.

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Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza is a senior at Florida Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Although reading is her first love, writing is a close second and she can usually be found with her nose in a book or hunched over a laptop typing away. Outside of school and work, she’s interested in all things fitness as well as continuing to grow an already massive nail polish collection.