The freshman 15 is an expression commonly used throughout the United States referring to the amount of weight gained during a student’s first year at college. Many universities serve all-you-can-eat buffet style meals, allowing students to eat as much food as they would like. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you avoid over-eating and live a healthier life style while away at college.
1. Eat small snacks and light meals throughout the day.
Eating small, healthy snacks every few hours reduces those hunger cravings you tend to get throughout the day and causes you to eat lighter meals for lunch and dinner instead of heavy, unhealthy meals. Eating multiple snacks throughout the day (as long as they are healthy choices) keeps your metabolism running, chases away the hunger and controls your blood sugar. The end result: You eat less.
2. Avoid unhealthy stress eating.
This is definitely one tip that every college student struggles with the most. Whether it be late night studying, cramming for a dreaded exam, or just simply trying to finish up some last minute papers, stress eating is bound to happen. Instead of going to the vending machine for a package of chips or cookies, try and fill your room with healthier foods like fruits, nuts, cheese sticks, yogurts, peanut butter, hummus, etc. Snacking on healthier foods helps reduce the constant unhealthy snacking involved with stress eating throughout the semester.
3. Eat breakfast.
It’s as simple as that! Make sure you wake up early enough to eat a good breakfast. Eating in the morning makes you less hungry later in the day and reduces the temptation to eat a lot of food during your meals. Eating breakfast will jump start your metabolism and give you more energy to make it through the day.
4. Stock your dorm room with healthy foods.
Filling your room with healthy foods allows you to avoid eating out and provides healthy choices rather than foods that will cause your body to crash later on in the day. Yes, buying your own groceries may be a little more expensive than simply going to the cafeteria for a meal, but it is way more effective in the long run. Trust me, your body will love you for avoiding the unhealthy cafeteria food and the many packages of ramen noodles.
5. Avoid sodas at all cost.
There are so many health risks that come with drinking soda, not to mention the fact that a lot of the weight that students gain comes from the constant consumption of carbonated drinks. Instead of soda, I recommend drinking tea, flavored water, sports drinks, decaffeinated coffee, 100% fruit juice, or any other low-calorie drink. No matter what drink you consume throughout the day, the number one rule you must always remember is to drink plenty of water. Water is a priority when trying to be healthier and will help drain out all the unhealthy toxins locked away in your body.