Freshman Fifteen.

Ah, the famous Freshman Fifteen. Sure, you’ve heard of it, but it won’t happen to you, right?

Wrong.

You see, college life involves a lot more sitting. Your classes are longer, and you sit in class. You have to study more, and you sit while studying. Unless you’ve joined a college Sports team, you don’t have all those after school sports burning up those extra calories. Plus, you’ve probably stopped growing.

On top of that, you don’t have all those healthy home-cooked dinners or your parents encouraging healthy eating habits. Now you can eat what you want, when you want and that can be very tempting.

You probably used to burn around 500 more calories a day, as a matter-of-course. Now you don’t. You probably used to eat less junk food as well. So you burn fewer calories, while consuming more. This means you’re well on your way to those Freshman Fifteen without really thinking much about it.

How do you prevent this? It’s easy, really. You either need to increase the calories you burn each day, or eat less.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a life skill that will serve you well during and after your time at College. Here are three ideas to help you along your way:

1. Join a College sports club. You’ll burn calories and meet people at the same time. Clubs are a great way to get involved and make new friends. You will stay in shape, develop a good work-life balance at the same time.

2. Don’t eat while you study, or reward study with food. This can create addictive comfort-eating. You will learn about Conditioning in your Introduction to Psychology course. But basically, pairing an event (taking a break from studying) with a reward (eating), will create a strong mental association. It’s not that far of a leap to then to start eating to make yourself feel happy. Soon, you could find yourself needing to eat to feel happy and this will undoubtedly lead to weight gain now and later in life.

3. Choose healthy food most of the time, then take one day off and eat what you like. If you are going to an event or out to eat, save a few calories during the day and then treat yourself. There are times to indulge, just don’t do it all the time.

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