We all have heard it, the dreadful freshman 15. My friends and I joked about it during our senior year of high school, "We don't want to graduate and get fat!" Well in my experience, the freshman 15 is a myth. However, I live a very active lifestyle and eat pretty well, but here are some tips you can do to avoid that freshman 15.
1. Don't Buy It
This is as simple as it can get. If you don't have it in your room, you won't eat it. I know what you're thinking... I'm on my own! I can do what I want!! Well, lets be reasonable. We're in college now, so we have to make decisions on our own, good or bad. If you can have a mini fridge, keep it full of fresh fruits, veggies, yogurts, and water. It might be hard to keep fresh fruits as they don't last a very long time, but if your roommate likes the same things you do, you can split the cost and share them, so they won't go to waste. Try to limit the amount of juice you have as they are filled with sugar. Also, stay away from soda, or pop. I made a pledge to myself not to drink pop anymore, and I've stuck with that since my junior year of high school, maybe even when I was a sophomore, its been so long I can't even remember the last time I had a pop. But pop is the one thing you can keep out of your diet as they have so much sugar in it and the carbonation isn't great either. It stays in your body longer then you think. If water gets boring, go for green tea, or any tea just watch the amount of sugar in it. You can even keep a lemon in your fridge and put it in water.
2. Meal Plans
Usually when you're a freshman you have a meal plan through the school. They will usually offer many different varieties of food, and one rule of thumb is, don't eat every single thing in sight at one sitting. The food will be there from the very first day you move in until your last final, and believe me, the food gets pretty old pretty fast. Try to think what your mom would serve you for dinner and stick with that. I tried to hit every food group at each meal. Actually, I kind of turned into a vegetarian because I didn't like any of the food in our dining hall. I usually eat salads for my meals, unless there is grilled chicken available. Try to limit the amount of red meats as they are harder for your body to digest and they contain more fat. Don't eat anything fried, cooked in a lot of oil, or sweets. I would have a cookie or ice cream every now and then but it wasn't the only thing I ate. Also, try not to eat out every single night/weekend. Some restaurants offer good options, but most of their dishes are high in fats, salts, and calories. So if you do eat out, eat only half of your meal (unless you’re really really hungry, or don’t have a fridge), and then save the rest for another time.
If you have a couple hours before a class, or you're so bored you don't know what to do, go for a walk or even a jog. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, the more the better. Going out for a run helped me relax and think from my day. I love working out so this wasn't a big deal for me, however, if you can't run for whatever reason, at least go for a walk. I enjoy being outside and I love the fresh air. This gave me some alone time and away from others for awhile. Most schools have a gym free for students so I would take advantage to that as gym memberships can be expensive. Take a friend out for a nice evening walk or go by yourself to enjoy nature and relax for the day.
Everybody loves snacks, there's no doubt about it. Some snacks I had in my room were crackers, popcorn, rice cake snacks, pretzels, and peanuts. I didn't eat a lot of these, but when I did I had about a handful or so, I would never eat the whole bag in one sitting. I usually never had sugary snacks, however, the butter in some of these wasn't the best either. With snacking, it is best to eat fruits and veggies. I loved eating celery and peanut butter together for a quick and easy snack. I would also grab bananas, oranges and apples from the dining hall and have those as snacks as they last longer then some other fruits. I don't like to eat late, so I gave myself a rule of not eating past 8 pm, for example. When you eat right before bed the food can sit in your stomach longer and be made into fats quicker. When snacking, just do so in moderation.
These were some of the things I did to stay at a healthy weight. I didn't gain freshman 15. I stayed healthy and ate right for my body. The key thing is to eat in moderation, and don't pig out. Any questions, just ask :)
See you soon