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Packing on the pounds is inevitable freshman year.

There are so many temptations, such as, unlimited french fries at every meal, slices of pizza at 3 in the morning, and enough alcohol to keep Lindsay Lohan happy.  It’s hard to cut corners and stay fit and healthy in college when deep frying all of your meals is so appealing.  Fortunately, a few small changes can make a big difference in avoiding the freshman 15, and prevent you from having to wear elastic waist pants on a regular basis.

Be Weary of What You’re Drinking:

Beverages, alcoholic and other, are often some of the biggest contributors to weight gain.  It’s easy to not give it a thought that most drinks that aren’t water are empty calories and full of sugar.  For instance, a medium caramel frappuccino from Starbucks is 410 calories and has 64 grams of sugar.  Although delicious, frappucinos and other fancy coffee drinks are empty calories.  Limiting yourself to those kinds of beverages to special occasions or as a treat and replacing them with regular coffee is a much better alternative for a daily caffeine fix.

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Dealing with the Freshman 12 | Image Source: lcb10d.blogspot.com

Drinking  is probably the main cause of the infamous freshman 15.  For most students, this is the most partying that you have done, and it’s more than likely taking it’s toll on your body.  Beer is generally the most popular choice for weekend beverages, but it also is the most diet damaging.  Beer, while cheap and easily accessible, has empty calories that become stored fat.  In moderation, a beer or two is fine, but generally college students go overboard, leading to weight gain.  Instead, try swapping out beer with clear liquor, which is  a cheaper and more efficient option when cutting calories.

Steer Clear of the Dining Hall Trap:

As a freshman, you usually have to have a meal plan and you’re eating most of your meals in the dining hall. 

The dining hall is a diet serial killer because there is nobody that can forbid you from having a cheeseburger and ice cream every night.  Additionally, the healthy options in the average college dining hall are incredibly small, and are usually limited to salads and wraps.  It’s important to allow yourself to occasionally indulge in some chicken nuggets or other fatty foods in order to stay on track.  In doing so, you’re bound to eat healthier daily, which is the main gaoal in defeating the freshman 15.

Don’t Forget to Hit the Gym:

College students are super busy.  After a long day of tests, research papers, and lectures the last place anyone wants to be is on a treadmill.  Still, it’s crucial to make time to work out.  There are so many fun fitness options, like tennis, yoga, or zumba, that there’s no need for your work out to be boring.  Also, working out doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.  Going for a run is free, quick, and still the best fitness technique out there.  Lastly, be sure to find a friend to work out with.  Having a gym buddy will make your fitness regimen more lively, and keep you motivated.

College is a time for growth, and your midsection is no exception.

If you’ve gained some weight in college and are comfortable with it and happy with yourself, then that’s totally okay!  Keep living your life exactly how you want to.  On the other hand, if you’ve put on some pounds and you’re looking to make a change, these tips provide a few easy ways to tackle the freshman 15 without making any major life changes.

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