Freshman15: Fact or Fiction?

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It may sound silly but the Freshman15 was probably one of my biggest fears coming to college. You have so many other things to worry about; weight gain should not be one of them. Luckily it turns out, studies have shown that the dreaded Freshman 15 is more fiction than fact. Yes, you are likely to gain some weight freshman year and over the course of your four years at college, but not too much as long as you are careful. It really depends on you and as I was reading through all these websites I started thinking about my daily life and no wonder we're likely to gain weight our freshman year!

                We go from our senior year of high school where our everyday lives are like clockwork to freshman year of college where it's pretty much a free-for-all. In high school, you're on a schedule. You get up at the same time every morning so if you eat breakfast you have it around the same time every day. Lunch at school is the same time every day. Then, usually everyone has dinner around the same time. For me, I knew it was dinnertime as soon as my dad got home from work. Now, you're in college and it's all different. Eat whenever you feel like it or whenever you have the time. With late night snacks, more stress, and less activity- of course you're likely to gain weight!

                If you follow a few tips you'll have nothing to worry about. First, reevaluate you're daily life. Try to regulate your meals and eat at normal times. For example, I've found myself getting dinner when I get out of class at 4:30 and then I'm hungry again at 11:30 - don't do that. Try to control your snacking. It's so easy to just snack here and there (caught myself eating while I type this). Some people snack because they're bored or others because they're stressed and college causes you a lot more stress than your used to. Especially those late nights where you stay up to study or write a paper, it's so easy to reach for some chips or something but RESIST! Next, stay active! It's so tempting to just lie in your bed on a Sunday afternoon after a long weekend, but get up and go to the gym or something (work off the liquid calories you may have taken in over the weekend and yes those beverages you consumed have a lot of calories and people don't even realize it). It takes five seconds to get a gym membership - you literally click a button online and it charges to your bursar account then you're good to go. Exercise can also help relieve stress, so workout instead of eat. If you don't like going to the gym you can join an intramural team, the White Building offers all kinds of fitness classes daily, or just go for a run around campus! Finally, get some sleep! Lack of sleep has been shown to cause weight gain. This is an easy one - everyone loves to sleep so here is your excuse.

                So really whether you gain weight or not is on your shoulders. It's all up to you. So take a step back and look at your habits; is there something you need to fix? Are you helping or hurting your odds? Make the changes you need to stay healthy.

Healthy ways to boost your energy:

1 Comment

Kelly, you are not alone in fearing the freshman 15! I was super worried coming to college that I would have to monitor my eating habits. However, I've been surprised how easy it's been for me to avoid the weight gain. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I haven't really gained any weight; in fact, I think I might have lost a few pounds. Most days I eat three meals, although they aren't that big, or at least what I was used to when I was at home. The smaller portion sizes might help keep off the food. I have food in my room, but I don't find myself excessively snacking, especially when I have to get down to business. But I think the biggest thing helping me in my weight control journey is walking. So far, I have been able to bear the cold and walk to my classes or downtown for social functions. I didn't realize it until now, but it's true that walking daily will definitely help moderate weight gain. I found a great article about causes of the freshman 15, and there were some things that I hadn't thought about before that might cause for weight gain. Emotional eating is something I think we can all say we have been suspect to in the past, and in college, with heightened emotions and no parents to control your actions, it's totally believable that you could spend a day crying over an ex-boyfriend while watching sad romance movies and eating your way through a King size Hershey's bar. Additionally, because gym membership is the only way to really work out (besides running and simple cardio in the room), a lack of exercise can also cause you to gain some lbs. At my house, we had a home gym, so I only ever needed to just go to the basement to work out. I will admit that I rarely work out at college unless it's simple cardio in my room, although I was never really a workout freak before I came to school. But I think there is one thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else: I think the freshman 15 is becoming a bit of a fad. In today's society, where we have been trained to be frightened by the freshman 15, I think it's totally believable that some students might be taking extra precautions to stay healthy and fit in school, which is totally awesome. Either way, the freshman 15 is certainly something looming on everyone's mind.

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