Many studies (and even students themselves) suggest that the fateful, albeit semi-mythical Freshman Fifteen beast exists. Whether it is fact or fiction in your life, chances are great that between the sedentary sitting involved in attending class, late night studying, less than stellar meal plans, and the revelry of being a young adult, you’ve gained a few pounds. The good news is you’re not alone. And the even better news is if you make small changes in your daily routine, you can stop the semi-mythical beast of the Freshman Fifteen from settling on your physique.
Research has shown that we are what we eat and how we take care of our bodies greatly affects not only our moods but also our overall sense of well being. Fueling your mind and body with healthy foods will not only prevent weight gain but help you keep it off. Have nutritional snacks (like dried foods, nuts, and yogurt) within reach to resist the temptation of consuming junk during your next late night study session. And speaking of all nighters, studies show that people who get regular, consistent amounts of sleep are thinner than those who do not. Increase your sleep bank to ward off any unwanted extra pounds.
You can also avoid the Freshman Fifteen during your next visit to the dining hall. Choose the most wholesome, simple foods and avoid any (if not all) processed foods. If you attend a party, apply portion control and steer clear of high calorie alcoholic beverages like mixed drinks and beer. Replacing your favorite cocktail with low calorie alternatives like wine, light beer, and low or no calorie mixers will curb the possibility of weight gain.
Finally, get moving. Exercise will help you work off the stress that your studies create, increase the feel good hormones, and keep you from putting on the pounds. Hit the gym. Walk. Run. Take the stairs to class. Join a sports team. Make an extra loop around campus. Or find an activity you enjoy to effectively chase off that semi-mythical freshman fifteen beast.