7 Ways To Avoid "The Freshman 15" And Lead A Healthier Lifestyle
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Health and Wellness

7 Ways To Avoid "The Freshman 15" And Lead A Healthier Lifestyle

Live life without ultimatums

7 Ways To Avoid "The Freshman 15" And Lead A Healthier Lifestyle

As first year college students, many of us have struggled with taking care of ourselves. Whether it is sleep deprivation, acquiring poor eating habits, or excessively drinking, we all can lead healthier lives!

1. Make An Exercise Plan

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One of the hardest parts of exercising is getting the motivation to do it. I won't lie, it is hard to get into the routine, but after two weeks you will feel a difference. Not only will you feel more energized, but regular exercise stabilizes mood swings and makes you feel happier. Some doctors say the best anti depressant is exercising because it releases serotonin. Decreased amounts of serotonin can lead to depression. Starting the new year two of my best friends and I have encouraged one another to regularly go to the gym. Sometimes the treadmill or elliptical can be boring for long periods of time. I encourage you to find a sport to participate in such as basketball, tennis, or in our case squash! This is a good way to expand your network of friends and meet new people.

2. Plan Your Meals

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I found planning meals is an important part of my day. I used to snack way too much instead of being consciously aware and eating a proper meal that filled and satisfied me. College dining halls can be discouraging because a majority of the food is unhealthy. Try to plan out something from the salad bar and include protein into it. Also, you can try and go online and see the weekly meals your dining hall will offer. If you feel the need for a snack then a healthy option would to carry fruit or nuts. Think of the body as a car and whatever we fuel it with will predict how it functions.

3. Get Enough Sleep

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Sleep is essential and something college students often don't think about. It seems unrealistic to get the recommended sleep amount of 7-10 hours, but it is possible if you have good time management skills. If you don't get proper sleep it can impair your daily functions, increase weight gain, lower your immune system, and create unpredictable moods (impulsive, angry, or depressed). When we sleep, our body works on repairing muscles and releases the growth hormone so we properly develop.

4. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F08%2F6361943332878300822111388903_college-life-6-5.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=1011&h=5228862f24eae0fcdf324955726299fac298376246b2fe98b7ec8b45b6136ea0&size=980x&c=3518897834 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F08%252F6361943332878300822111388903_college-life-6-5.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D1011%26h%3D5228862f24eae0fcdf324955726299fac298376246b2fe98b7ec8b45b6136ea0%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3518897834%22%7D" expand=1]

Now I know why people say their dessert is drinking alcohol. One beer approximately has 150 calories, one glass of wine has about 125 calories, and one shot has about 100 calories! Not only does alcohol severely dehydrate you, but it produces excess insulin which leads to a low blood sugar. The average college kid who goes out drinking doesn't drink to appreciate the taste. Rather, they just want to get as drunk as possible in as little amount of time. A majority of people can just put on unwanted weight solely by excess drinking.

5. Drink Enough Water

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There are so many features of water that many people do not know. Water speeds up our metabolism, lubricates our muscles/joints from cramping, hydrates our skin so it is silky smooth, and keeps our digestive tract flowing regularly. No wonder our body is made up of 50%-65% of water! Dehydration can be dangerous and cause us to feel dizzy, have a dry mouth, and faint. The recommended amount of water to drink a day is between 30-60 oz.

6. Eat Junk Food In Moderation[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F08%2F636194334161688518899378441_look-at-that-fucking-cookie.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=77&h=743bb04e2eb24bdc9c75a1ddbbf4003e6b15d6944f82f877146d68a70ce0a730&size=980x&c=1678793510 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F08%252F636194334161688518899378441_look-at-that-fucking-cookie.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D77%26h%3D743bb04e2eb24bdc9c75a1ddbbf4003e6b15d6944f82f877146d68a70ce0a730%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1678793510%22%7D" expand=1]

Eating junk food in moderation can be tough because a majority of sweets are packaged for more than one serving. Make sure you look at the nutrition label and see how many servings is in each box/package because that can make a big difference! I now live by the rule that 80% of the time I eat well, and the rest of the 20% can be dedicated to insomnia cookies or anything else I like to treat myself too. Excess sugar can lead to mood swings and give you a wave of tiredness. If you deprive yourself it can lead to binge eating which I guarantee will make you feel terrible.

7. Don't Diet

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F08%2F636194343018201294-684607993_giphy-10.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=197&h=70b1fad5f5a3b9bccec6b2da89ce09a7ebc7aefb705b30913d2678735badbf8d&size=980x&c=48860504 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F08%252F636194343018201294-684607993_giphy-10.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D197%26h%3D70b1fad5f5a3b9bccec6b2da89ce09a7ebc7aefb705b30913d2678735badbf8d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D48860504%22%7D" expand=1]

Bottom line, diets don't work! Diets can cause poor eating habits such as skipping meals and then binge eating later on. People who diet can be under stress which slows down their metabolism. They are thinking about losing weight when they should be focused on leading an overall healthy lifestyle. People have shown that during diets they have a tendency to lose weight and gain it back (weight cycling). Lastly, diets have shown to be the gateway into people developing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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