A Few Facts About Weight Gain
Throughout college, everyone hears about the Freshman 15. For a lot of people, this is true. For others, like me, I did not experience this phenomena until my second year of undergrad. For me, I actually lost about 15 lbs my freshman year due to the change in routine, scenery, education, and just the whole college experience in general. For me, a student in Boston, many colleges do not or cannot provide housing for students past their freshman or sophomore year. Learning how to cook for myself, clean for myself, and juggle a full time student schedule with a few jobs to work on the side was a big task. In a dorm environment, though you have to feed yourself etc., many things are still taken care of for you. My advice? Take the forming situation if you can. The food might not be as good, or you may have to wait for a shower, but in the long run, your social life and mental capacity for time and energy will thank you. You will have your whole life to do things for yourself.
Living alone, the first difficult change is actively making healthy decisions for yourself. Peeling carrots and washing celery takes longer than grabbing a bag of chips, but your body will thank you. Besides making healthy choices, many students find themselves unable to fully cope with the new stressors brought on by the college lifestyle. Fortunately, many students take advantage of their school’s health and wellness programs, where many have access to psychologists and/or psychiatrists. If needed, students may be put on medications to aid in managing their stress levels. If you need medication to help you take advantage of your most successful and stress free self, by all means, do it! At the same time, do beware, as many medications, including SSRI’s, can cause both weight gain due to the pill making it more difficult to lose that weight, or for others, it may cause unexplained, constant hunger. Do take advantage of the homeopathic and meditative aspects of wellness as well if you find yourself a victim of these drugs side effects. Lastly, college is a time for education and socializing, but make sure you are aware of what you are drinking, as much as you watch what you are eating. That one shot you take can rack up the calories more than you think. A light beer, with 140 calories, can be a smarter choice than the 330 calorie margarita that you are also eyeing. Drink in moderation, or if you are wanting to go a little crazy, understand what you are feeding your body.