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6 ways to beat the Freshman 15

You’ve probably heard horror stories about the dreaded Freshman 15. Those pesky 15 lbs that magically appear during your first year away from home and mom’s homemade meals.  Maybe it was your older sister who warned you or even your best friend. Either way, it’s probably on your mind. But, don’t worry, being healthy in college doesn’t have to be exhausting. Here’s some tips to help you get through it!

1.Take advantage of your campus gym
Joining a gym can be expensive. Luckily, most university’s offer a gym membership that is included in tuition. (You should definitely ask about this while on college tours, etc!)  Most rec centers have pools available to students at no extra cost. Try switching up cardio workouts for swimming; you’ll burn serious calories, tone muscle and relieve stress!

2.Never skip breakfast
With morning classes and busy schedules, it may seem like a good idea to run out the door at 7:50, skipping breakfast, and grabbing an iced coffee before your 8 am History class. However, skipping breakfast will leave you feeling lightheaded and lead to a lack of concentration.Trust me, being the “quirky” girl who drinks iced coffee for all meals doesn’t work and ultimately just harms your body in the end. Stick to protein-packed breakfasts over sugary carbs to keep you going through your busy schedule!

3.Join sports clubs or find a workout buddy
Exercising is always better and easier with friends. If sports are your thing, joining a team or club is a great way to get involved on campus and meet friends with similar interests! Plus, weekly practices with the team will keep you active and accountable. Go to the Org-Fair and see if your campus has an active club for girls, like CHAARG!

4.Eat smart
Let’s face it. The dining hall is filled with lots of unhealthy options and navigating through the pizza, french fries, and cinnamon rolls can be all too tempting. Filling your plate with vegetables, a portion of whole grains and protein will help you avoid weight gain and feel energized throughout the day. You can always treat yourself with a bit of ice cream for dessert!

5.Keep healthy snacks in your dorm
When hunger strikes, it can be all too convenient to overeat junk food at the dining hall. With fresh fruits, vegetables, granola bars, and trail mix in your room, you’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy alternatives.
Plus, with a microwave and a mini fridge, you’ll be surprised at how much you can make in your dorm for much less than ordering in! Here are a few simple, healthy recipes.

6.Limit your caffeine intake after lunch
Sleep plays a serious role in weight loss. Lack of sleep reduces the hormone leptin, which helps the body regulate hunger and appetite. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and try to limit distractions. Since you’ll likely have a roommate(s), bringing earplugs and a sleep mask is a great idea to drown out light and reduce sound to find some much-needed zzz’s.

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