How to Avoid the Freshman 15

Name: Shawna Khalafi Age: 20
School: University of Miami
Majors: Broadcast Journalism & Communications Studies
Minor: Psychology


The first year of college is full of new experiences, friends, and possibly a few unwanted pounds: the infamous “Freshman 15.”

Dining Hall Damage

It can be easy to form bad habits with the limited food choices in some residential dining halls. The trick is to switch it up: try a new station each day of the week or opt for the salad bar as a light lunch. If your dining hall offers a buffet option, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to pig out. Everything is fine in moderation, as long as you’re meeting your nutrient needs. For extra guidance, enroll in a nutrition course or download a food diary app on your phone.

Midnight Snack Monsters

From parties to exams, all-nighter’s are a necessary evil in college. However, your late night cram session should not entail a late night snack binge session. To gain energy to stay awake, consider an apple as a substitute for your coffee. Avoid carbs late at night, and stay hydrated with plenty of water.

Excercise for Excellence

No, walking across campus doesn’t count. If the gym doesn’t inspire you to move, try joining an intermural sports team or signing up for yoga classes. Excercise will not only keep your body in shape, but will also keep your mind at ease throughout the everyday stresses of college life. Excercising will also help regulate your appetite so you can make better food choices.

Snooze to Lose

Remember to relax. You burn more calories in your sleep than you do sitting in class. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to doze off in the middle of your professor’s lecture, but try to incorporate naps and a good night’s sleep into your busy schedule. Not only is sleep beneficial to your body, but it also improves your mood, attention, and memory: all abilities that are vital for a successful freshman year.

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