"The freshman fifteen" refers to the amount of weight many college-freshmen gain in the first year. This is usually caused by a variety of factors many students are exposed to such as not playing team sports such as in high school, eating unhealthy dining hall options, and drinking alcohol which is full of empty carbs. Here's how I omitted to gain fifteen pounds my first semester of college, and actually lost it (with minimal effort).
Compared to my mostly sedentary lifestyle during the school year and summer (due to school and work), I didn't get a lot of daily exercise in unless I tried. Now, I walk 3-4 miles a day from just getting around campus.
Many people don't get the daily water intake they should be getting. Once you're walking outside though, at the end of August/early September scalding heat, it's easy to consume an ample amount of water.
Walking up-hill a two to three times a day easily gets your heart rate up, and allows for you to get in a quick leg-workout as well.
4. Less snacking
In contrast to being at home, if it's one in the morning it's difficult to start making a snack in a dorm without waking one's roommate up. Besides, dorm snacks don't compare to home snacks.
5. Meal times
Something really unhealthy I did at home (along many others) is not denote specific times to eat. This made it easy to not eat until late in the day, and consume too many calories at once. The fact that dining halls are open only at specific times makes it easier to eat through out the day, as one's supposed to.
6. Better meal options
Although dining hall food has a lot of unhealthy options, they also have a decent amount of healthy options every day. Some of these even include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Unless your family at home went out of their way to always make dinner healthy, you probably had some not necessarily healthy meals. At college, there's always the salad bar that you can choose if your willpower is strong enough.
7. Being surrounded by trees
It's been scientifically proven that being around nature gives you benefits. It allows you to clear your mind and is a natural stress-reliever without you having to actually go out of your way.
8. Nature paths
Running on cracked sidewalks with having to watch out for cars wasn't always convenient when I did want to work out near home. In college, there's usually designated nature trails in walking distance for students to accessibly walk, bike on, or run.
Most colleges have a gym/ recreational center. You don't need to buy a membership like Planet Fitness back at home (since you're already paying the college a plethora of money), it's a great opportunity to utilize and has open hours that will fit into almost anyone's busy schedule.
10. Better sleep
Unlike at home, I can't have the lights on all night or be listening to music due to the fact that I have a roommate. Therefore, laying in bed not having anything to do helps me get to sleep at an earlier time each night. Despite the typical college standard of lacking sleep (due to exams, parties, etc) sometimes it can allow for better sleep.
11. More activities
Many people find themselves eating when they are not hungry, but in fact, bored. In college, there are almost always activities going on to distract you from the demised "bored eating."
12. More homework
Having more homework allows for many students to find themselves in the library, which conveniently, doesn't have many food options. It's also sometimes hard enough to find time to sit down and eat, let alone eating when you have a list of things to do.
13. Less spending
When I lived at home and had merely no expenses, I rarely looked at food prices at stores. Now that I know I don't have much money to spend, those chips don't look as appetizing (okay, they still do, but not to my wallet).
14. Realizing insane market-prices
Markets on campuses seem convenient, almost too convenient like there's a caveat. The fact that most products in them are very over-priced may be one. On top of not wanting to buy "expensive" food from off-campus stores, the overly-priced on-campus food products (from the markets) just exemplify my desire of not spending money, in turn, less snacking.
Going home six weeks after the beginning of the semester and hearing my family/old co-workers remark on how it looks like I've lost weight, only gave me encouragement to keep going.
Small changes can go a long way, in a short amount of time. Don't feel the need to hide that you didn't gain the freshman fifteen!