When you left for college, did you have people say to you, “watch out for that freshman 15?” If so, you probably just thought it was a joke or a myth, right? Well, unfortunately it is a very real problem for some students.
For the majority of us, college is the first time we are really living on our own and don’t have mom/dad telling us what to do. So we make the decisions to stay up late, eat things that aren’t the best for us and most likely not exercise enough. Since we chose these things it may lead to mild weight gain, which is why it is called the freshman 15. So, while this does not effect everyone, with this blog, I hope to help you beat the freshman 15.
Some of the biggest things that attribute to the freshman 15 are binge eating (consuming unnecessary calories), or not eating, staying up late, stressing and not exercising.
So, how do you change this? First off, when trying to not gain weight, it is okay to eat. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you miss a meal here and there you will loses weight faster. In fact, it is quite the opposite. And yes, missing one meal wont hurt you, but continuously doing it will cause major havoc on your body. Over time, a lack of food causes a lack in muscle mass, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance and organ damage and failure. So don’t be afraid to grab a couple slices of pizza, a double bacon cheeseburger, or even something out of the vending macine if that’s what you are really wanting.
But beware, over eating can cause just as big of a problem as under eating can. Over eating can be caused by thinking you are hungrier than you really are and letting your eyes make the portion size. Slowing down when eating and paying attention to when your body says it’s full will allow you to still eat the things you want but in smaller healthier portions.
Man, staying up late … the very definition of almost every college student.
Most of the time, if you ask a student why they are tired, they will probably say it is because I only got a few hours of sleep last night. Now, I’m not saying you’re going to lose weight while sleeping, but it will help keep your metabolism in tip top shape so your body can process food faster. Along with not getting enough sleep, not exercising can attribute to the freshman 15 as well. To exercise, we don’t have to be extreme weight lifters, we just need to do some physical activity like walking or running for 30 minutes.
Working out allows you to control weight, improves mood, boosts energy and promotes better sleep. Hopefully this can help you be more aware of the things you might be doing and can avoid the freshman 15.
by Hannah Krueger ’16