The term “the freshman 15” is one that is often thrown around as a joke. However, this does carry some truth to it. For some reason many college freshman come away from their first year a few pounds heavier. Whether the true weight gained is actually 15 pounds or not is completely up for debate but it is definitely not something that most incoming freshman want to deal with. If you’re college bound you’ll want to know what steps you can take in order to make your first year in college a positive one.
There are a number of reasons why freshmen end up gaining weight. This is usually due to the fact that they are not able to exercise on a regular basis, maintain poor eating habits, do not get enough sleep and consume a large amount of caffeine and other unhealthy beverages, such as alcohol. Over time it is easy to see how these bad behaviors can result in the freshman 15.
Now that you know what bad habits are responsible, it is up to you to avoid them and develop good habits. Although tackling college for the first time can be overwhelming do your best to choose a schedule that will not overwork you. Arrange your classes in a way that gives you enough breaks during the day so that you can squeeze in not only exercise but a few quality cat naps. Not having enough sleep can make you sluggish, which may lead you to reach for a cup of coffee or that dreaded energy drink. Instead, make water your beverage of choice and carry a refillable bottle with you to and from classes.
Find out if there is a gym nearby or create your own workout that you can easily do in your dorm room and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to do 30 minutes to an hour of exercise everyday. Instead keep it simple. Your daily exercise can be as simple as taking a brisk jog or walk around campus. This will be enough to get your blood pumping and keep your entire body active. No matter how busy your class schedule is, you can manage to take a quick walk, right?
Eating habits is another area where you can successfully combat the freshman 15. Forget the fast food and junk food items. Put your money to good use and go grocery shopping for fresh fruit and veggies, which can be packed as snacks to eat in between breaks. Make a sandwich instead of buying one and have that for lunch. These food items are fairly affordable and work within any budget. Indulge in oatmeal, whole grain cereals and dairy products that will not only satisfy your appetite but will contribute to better mental clarity so that you’ll be able to tackle your studies.
While partying is a part of college life, do not go overboard with drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption will completely eliminate all the good of the exercise and better eating habits you’ve developed. Minimize your alcohol intake and avoid drinking just to get drunk.
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