The “freshman 15” is such common terminology these days that it almost seems to go without question that women will gain weight when they first go to college. Whether the increase comes to fifteen pounds exactly, a few more or a few less, weight gain doesn’t tend to be on the top of any woman’s priority list. But the idea that the college lifestyle is associated with a few extra pounds didn’t just crop up from nowhere. There are actually some concrete reasons that this happens. At home you may have been used to regular home-cooked meals that are properly spaced and timed. College, on the other hand, doesn’t come equipped with a dorm mom who will feed you and accurately represent the good pyramid. Freshmen often become overwhelmed with the choices. Unfortunately, the poor dietary choices often don’t stop at the culmination of freshman year. Many students face additional weight gain or even health problems as the burgers and fries take their toll over the course of four years. Solutions, if enacted early on, can be quite simple. For instance, instead of using your allotted meals to cash in at quick-service restaurants, visit an actual dining hall and load up on nutritious salad bar options. As another example, instead of dropping major bucks to order out every night, invest in a mini-fridge to keep in your dorm room. Stocking it with quickly prepared but healthy meals and snacks can help you resist the urge to dial your friendly neighborhood pizza delivery man at midnight. Yet another option – take snacks with you to class if you’re going to be out of the dorm for a while. Otherwise midday hunger may set in and you’ll most likely break down as you pass by that vending machine in the hallway on your way to class. A lot of women get the idea in their head that keeping the weight off in college is like fighting the impossible fight. On the contrary! It can actually be quite simple – the key is to be proactive rather than reactive. That way you won’t be miserable either, as trying to undo unwanted weight gain can be not only a struggle, but also a bit depressing, especially if it doesn’t come easily. Put some essential practices into play right at the start and who knows – you may leave college in better shape than when you started!