How To Beat The Freshman 15
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Student Life

How To Beat The Freshman 15

Or any year fifteen...

How To Beat The Freshman 15
Everyday Health Media, LLC

It is almost inevitable that you will gain a little weight while at college, especially in your first year (unless, maybe, you're on an athletic team). I indeed fell victim to this well-known enemy of first-year students during my second semester, but I do have some tips for how to balance your diet in an endless all you can eat buffet that is *technically* free.

Know What And How Much You Are Putting into Your Mouth & Body

This may seem fairly obvious, but if you are not a regularly "clean" eater, then some dining options may slip past you. My old dining hall had a soft serve ice cream machine on top of Sundae Sundays, which meant that I ate a lot of ice cream while I was at school...a lot more than I usually would have had I been home.

Also, try not to fall prey to those extended-family-extended-calories meals. If you have family in the area near your college, it may be tempting to visit and pig out on non-dining hall food. But trust me - DON'T DO IT. Definitely visit, but don't over-do it on the food! (Your body will thank you later)

Make an Effort to Work Out

Busy class schedules may make this seem impossible, but working out is good for you in more ways than one! Working out burns calories which helps you lose weight, but the activity also increases endorphins - making you happier - and had been shown to help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.

A great way to work out while fitting it into your class schedule is through PE or PA courses. Some colleges - like Mount Holyoke - even require you to take PE courses in order to graduate. These courses often meet a few times a week and you earn one to two credits. Involving yourself in one of these classes is a great and low-maintenance way to burn some calories during the week.

Joining a club sport, or even a varsity sport if you are so inclined, is another way to fit working out into your college schedule, while also having fun and making new friends. Most colleges have a plethora of club sports to join, from Quidditch and ultimate frisbee, to more traditional sports like lacrosse and volleyball. The best thing to do is get involved and see what fits your tastes!

Avoid Stress Eating at All Costs When Possible

Between social situations and final exams, stress eating is likely to creep up on you at one point or another. My advice - try to avoid it. Or, stress eat fresh fruit and veggies! While stress eating is a common part of my life, I have learned that it is best to continue to watch what it going into my mouth, as I know it is likely to have undesired consequences down the road. Stressful situations are inevitable in college, but my advice is to try and take control of your coping habits: yoga, meditation, working out, listening to music, procrastination (the last one is mine and maybe not so healthy).

Know Your Body & Accept the Changes

A big part about college is finding yourself and loving the person that you are - weight and all. I think that this is an essential step to take on the path toward losing the freshman 15 if you have gained it. I blame a good amount of my weight gain on the anxiety and stress that I experienced this year. I have never been the skinny girl, but I have grown to love my shape (stretch marks and all). For me, this weight gain is unwanted and I plan on trying my hardest over the summer to get back to a slimmer me, but for now, I am OK with what I see in the mirror.

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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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