5 ways to avoid the Freshman 15

It's not a myth

It’s that time of year again, new school, new classmates, new city, new friends and NEW FOOD. New food, ey? That’s right, new food. The days of parents making you dinner on a regular basis, or eating Mom’s banana pancakes or whatever nut berry brunch cereal she buys from Whole Foods are over. What else does this mean? It means succumbing to a new lifestyle of eating out more, going to parties that don’t serve pink lemonade, and likely ending up at Taco Bell after night out with a Cheesy Gordita Crunch in hand (I may or may not be speaking from experience here). From the words of someone who didn’t avoid the freshman 15, and embraced the freshman 25 and then some. Here are 5 ways to maintain a well balanced social life and diet, while still soaking in every aspect of collegiate life.

1. Breakfast Is Your Friend

Let’s not skip the most important meal of the day. Start your day right and EAT. Yes I said, eat. When that alarm goes off for your 8am class, throw on your new hoody repping your college mascot and head out the door, but also be sure to grab some grub before you make it to class. Use the dining hall to grab a piece of fruit or if you have a few extra minutes take advantage of that “Make Your Own Omelet” station. Consistently eating a well balanced breakfast in the morning will help regulate your weight, and will help you to avoid common weight fluctuations. You have a meal plan, use it!

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2. Make Exercising Social

Finding time to exercise while in college can be tough. Between class, homework, and school sponsored activities it’s a time suck. However, make that meet up with friends exercise oriented whether it’s utilizing the school’s facility, or going to a local barre or spin class. Also, did you know you can save on cute workout gear on UNiDAYS? Check it out here!

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3. Get Your Beauty Sleep

The party animal in you needs to get some rest, prioritize sleep. It’s been shown that poor sleep has been linked to weight gain. According to Healthline, “People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep” Try to shoot for 6-8 hours a night. We know it’s not uncommon to be in the library until 3am or be up until the wee-hours of the morning talking to friends in nearby dorms, but give yourself a curfew and stick to it.

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4. Don’t Drink Calories

If only skinny girl margaritas existed when I was in college I may of avoided those extra lb’s. However this tip is actually geared towards non-alcoholic beverages surprisingly. The more colorful and delicious the drink the more calories it contains. Any item that includes “frappuccino” or “mocha” avoid. Did you know the average venti-sized Starbucks drink contains over 500+ calories? If you need to cram for a big exam, save those calories and order black coffee or add low fat alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk.

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5. Late Night Eating Is Never A Good Idea

Let’s set the scene. You’re out with your friends, it’s starting get late, and instead of heading back to the dorms, where do you go? Taco Bell? Jack in the Box? White Castle? Remember my advice in the beginning of this article where overcoming peer pressure is going to become increasingly more difficult. Well this is it kids. As I always say “a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips” In my case it was 3 years of wearing jeans two sizes greater than when I started college, and looking like I shoved malted milk balls in my cheeks before every picture. If it’s post-dinner put down the taco, chicken nuggets or crave case and thank me later. Instead, opt for balanced meals and lighter snacks during the day.

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Bottom line, maintaining your high school weight is no easy feat, but these tips will help keep you on track. That being said, you don't have to stay at that weight. Just be you! If you do want to maintain your high school wait then remember, start your day with breakfast, working out can be fun, never sacrifice quality shut eye, opt for black coffee vs unicorn frappuccinos, and splurge on that 10-piece nugget during normal daytime hours on a cheat day. Gouda luck and happy eating!

Sources: Healthline, “10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important

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