How to stave off the dreaded freshman 15

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When you start college, one of the last things you’re probably thinking about is being healthy. You’re too busy making friends to be worrying about your weight. So what if you put on a few pounds? Of course, nowadays most students are familiar with the freshman 15, and they don’t want to finish their first year a lot heavier than when they started. If you’re worried about staying reasonably healthy while away at college, there are some things you can do.

Get in some exercise

So, this one is probably obvious. If you don’t want to gain weight, exercise regularly, and you’ll keep those extra pounds off. However, if it were that easy, there’d be no such thing as the freshman 15.

When you start college, you’re placed in an entirely new environment, and that can throw off any routine you have. The things you’re used to can all change, so even if you exercised regularly at home, you might struggle to do it now. The best way to keep yourself focused on fitness is to try and find the fun in it. Take up an exercise class with new friends, for instance, or go out and do active things together. It is possible to get to know each other by being out and about, rather than just sitting in a room together.

Regularly check your weight

If you have an unhealthy week, it’s understandable why you might want to forgo the scales. You know they’re going to say that you’ve gained weight, so you don’t need the visual confirmation. However, that’s precisely what you need if you want to stop yourself from going out of control. By seeing that your weight is going up, you have to acknowledge that it’s your actions that are causing it. If you never weigh yourself, you’re continually avoiding the problem until it’s too late.

Plan your meals

How many students do you think were skilled in the kitchen before they started college? We can assure you that most young people only know the basics when they become a freshman, although that’s sometimes their downfall. Students who don’t know how to cook tend to resort to takeaways and easy-to-make meals which aren’t always healthy. It’s important to use that first year (or the time before it) to know your way around the kitchen so you can plan your meals effectively. Putting thought into what you can eat will help you avoid making bad decisions, and prevent the freshman 15 from getting you down.

Being healthy isn’t expensive

You might have the assumption that it costs a lot to be healthy, but that isn’t always the case. When fruit and vegetables are in season, they’re actually very affordable. It’s only when they’re out of season and therefore harder to come by that they can be a little pricier. Before you go throwing your money at junk food on the basis of saving money, it’s a good idea to explore the market and see what’s actually on offer. It might surprise you.

Think before you drink

You might think the things you drink are relatively harmless, but they can actually be more calorific than food. It’s far better to eat your calories than it is to drink them, so try not to overdo it on the sodas or smoothies. With the latter, you might be putting more food into the blender than you’d actually be able to eat in a sitting. Think about that the next time you have a craving for smoothies. If possible, try to stick to water which can prevent feelings of hunger and isn’t full of calories.

In some cases, gaining weight during your first year of college might just be inevitable. If you spend too much time worrying about the freshman 15, then you could end up wasting the best time of your life. Keep these tips in mind, but try to relax – the stress will only make you gain weight faster.

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