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Freshman 15: Advice from Sophomores to Fight College Weight Gain

September 25, 2009 By: Category: Best College Tips, Campus Life, Freshman 15

As a sophomore, I am sad to report that the battle against the freshman 15 does not end after the first year of college. I still find myself tempted by the option of eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, finding time to go to the gym can seem impossible when my to-do list is filled with reading assignments and problem sets, and it’s just too easy to take comfort in a bag of potato chips at 2 a.m. But after a year in college, my friends and I have learned a thing or two about staying healthy and preventing weight gain.


Freshman 15 pizza picture by titanas

Here are a few tips to fight the Freshman 15:

Avoid the fourth meal. Eat dinner late and try to keep a reasonable sleep schedule so that you aren’t tempted by a pizza run at midnight. Late night snacks are usually high in calories and low in nutrition and if you must eat something, grab a granola bar or some fruit.

Even freshman who are conscious of what they’re eating may forget to think about what they’re drinking. Avoid too much beer and too many mixed drinks on the weekends. No nineteen-year-old looks good with a beer belly.

When thinking about how I avoid the freshman 15 (and the sophmore 15), I started to wonder how my friends do it. Here’s some advice from my fellow sophomores.

Be conscious of everything you put into your mouth— eat small portions and chew slowly. If you’re the kind of person that prefers to think of things numerically, Google your Basil Metabolic Rate to find out approximately how many calories your body burns daily, and make sure you don’t eat more than that. The best thing is to establish good habits early in the year before schoolwork starts to get too stressful.”

“I think it’s really important not to worry so much about the ‘freshman 15’ but instead to just focus on taking care of yourself by being sure to eat. And at regular times.  Mountains of work or personal obligations can easily take priority over getting a meal in the dining hall, and often late night junk, or nothing at all, becomes dinner.  But the stress of daily life combined with a lack of full meals will just mess with your weight in an unhealthy way.  I’ve realized it really is worth it to just sit down, chat with friends, and get creative with my meals to keep them healthy and tasty.”

“The truth of the matter is - you will gain weight at college, especially if you were a high school athlete who stops exercising the moment you set foot on campus.  To counteract your inevitable freshman 15, try joining club or intramural sport.  Not only will you meet people with the same interests, but you will stay fit and healthy and super hot for those late-night frat parties.  Not only is exercise conducive to staying in good shape - and helps when you have to climb five flights of stairs at three in the morning - but it helps you stay mentally sound.  There is nothing like a long run on a crisp, September day to clear your mind and get you in the study mode. ”

Thinking I’m forgetting something? Let me know how you plan to avoid the freshman 15 by leaving a comment.