Fight the Freshman 15 With 3 Easy Ways to Stay Fit
It is not uncommon for students to gain extra weight during their freshman year of college.
In fact there are researchers who estimate that the average college student can gain an extra 15 pounds during their first year of college.
And get this: during freshman year it is common for men to gain more weight than women.
There are a lot of reasons for potential weight gain during this time.
For some it is a matter of being away from home, the stress from coursework and classes, financial issues or the uncertainty of success.
Waistlines can fall prey to a lot of snacks or fast food.
It is easy to get food on the go these days with easy access to stores, restaurants, fast food, food trucks and even food delivery services.
Healthy food takes planning, preparation and it can even cost often more money to have on a consistent basis.
A lack of exercise can also contribute to a significant amount weight gain.
Here are 3 ways to help you stay lean and far away from an extra 15:
1) Find the free fitness
Most colleges have some sort of fitness area available for students on campus.
Have you checked yours out?
These areas often contain weight equipment, ellipticals, treadmills and more.
Oftentimes these fitness areas can be accessed with your student ID for free.
Most of these facilities maintain compatible hours for students and some even have early morning or late night hours too.
If your campus isn’t nearby, consider taking up regular walk paths, hiking, running, calisthenics (workouts using your own body weight), or grabbing a couple of free weights to help keep you moving.
(If you want the free weights to be “free” to your wallet, borrow some from a friend, neighbor or family member.)
If cost is not a factor, then pay the subscription for fitness you will use.
Whether you go to an actual gym nearby, you join an online community from your home or dorm, you pick up some fitness gear or you opt in for a subscription service – find something that you know you will use and then use it.
No one else can make you stick to a plan like you can.
Keep moving regularly and consistently and let someone else pack on the pounds.
2) Develop fab food habits
Resist the urge for a frequent Starbucks or dessert fix.
Try a regular coffee instead…or a juice or smoothie.
If you must have a sweet drink or snack, taper back your intake from all the time to some of the time.
Look for ways to incorporate legit fruits and vegetables into your meals and substitute them for the fake, fast, heavily processed stuff.
With many seasonings available and not expensive to come by, you just may find healthier options with tastes that work for you.
(I was skeptical about this one until I recently added a light, sweet glaze to a blasé bowl of carrots and it changed my life. I had to experiment with the ingredients a bit to get a healthier yet tasty option to junk food but OH MY STARS it worked!)
Eat dinner earlier instead of later.
This can help you avoid consuming large amounts of food right before bed.
Also avoid skipping lunch during the day.
This can help keep you from overcompensating for your hunger through bigger food portions later.
Note: this one is fluid based on your dietary needs and restrictions.
Consult your doctor or health professional if you plan any drastic dieting or extreme food intake changes.
3) Start Small
Refuse to wait for your roommate or someone in your dorm to lead the charge.
Take charge of your own health and wellness and with baby steps.
Instead of driving everywhere, take the time to walk across campus.
Pay attention to what you put in your mouth.
Find ways to live healthy right where you are with what you have to work with.
After all, 15 pounds times 4 years can equal 60 extra pounds by graduation.
And who wants to take a selfie with 60 extra pounds?
Health and wellness starts with you. Do your part to fight the freshman 15.
It’s your body; it’s your fight.
And who knows?
Others may follow your lead.