Fighting the freshman 15

Yes, it exists. No, it is not necessarily 15 pounds. The fact is – the lifestyle of college that students can get sucked into can cause you to gain weight. There are a lot of reasons why this happens. Maybe you played high school sports and are suddenly not as active as you used to be or maybe you just can’t get enough of the dining options that your school offers. There are several ways that you can fight unnecessary weight gain during this new time in your life.

First of all, you are on your own now, YOU and only you are responsible for when and what you eat. It comes down to making the right choices – choosing lean meats, vegetables and fruits over pizza, ice cream and cake. Also, eating a healthy breakfast everyday is vital to getting your metabolism started for the day. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have a healthier body weight compared to those who don’t. So, as hard as it may be sometimes to wake up a little bit early in the mornings to eat some eggs and fruit – your body will thank you.

Another huge culprit in the weight gain in college is definitely an obvious one – alcohol. The calories in alcoholic drinks can add up if you choose to partake. There are alcoholic drinks that are better caloric options than others, but it is all about moderation. Choosing a light beer over a regular one and choosing to mix vodka with juice or tonic are “healthier” options. Tied into drinking comes the late night snacking. Yes, it is so easy to stop on your way home from a friend place, slightly intoxicated and scarf down a slice or two of some pizza that could pass for cardboard. Sometimes, it is completely necessary. The point is – if you are going to eat on top of all of the calories that you just drank, be prepared to work it off in the gym. An extra 1,000 calories consumed without the equivalency of that being burned off in a week of working out means that you will probably gain weight. Every 1,000 calories is one pound.

Staying active is also vital to maintaining your weight or preventing weight gain in college. Whether it is through intramural sports, pick-up games at the gym or a good workout routine – you need to be active anywhere from 4-6 days a week. This is especially true if you played sports during high school. Make a workout schedule and stick to it. When your motivation to workout is lacking, have a friend who will drag you with them to the gym. Try out the fitness classes offered at your school’s gym or at a local fitness center in the community. Even try little ways of being active such as walking instead of taking the bus.

Ultimately, college is a new lifestyle that you and your body must adapt to. Make the necessary changes now – it is much easier to keep weight off than it is to get rid of it.

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