Tackling the freshman fifteen

As we head off to college, we are all warned by our older peers of the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. We all secretly thought to ourselves, “I will NEVER be one of those girls who blows up like a balloon their freshman year!”  Wrong! The majority of us know how easy it was to fall victim to this infamous freshman fifteen.

I grew up in an extremely healthy family. We all played sports and going to the gym was part of our daily routine. My mom cooked us a health filled family dinner every night. We never under any circumstances ate fast food. Unfortunately for me, I never took the time to learn my mothers cooking skills while being home. So when I was sent out on my own and hunger time came, I went running for an easy meal- fast food. Eating fast food for a couple meals a week, adjusting to the new college lifestyle, and neglecting the gym quickly started to add up during my first year of college. I learned about the freshman fifteen the hard way. Luckily for you I am able to share some advice on how to tackle the freshman fifteen!

First off, I would highly recommend learning to cook early on. Sure, McDonald’s Happy Meal’s are cheap and easy, but is it really worth it? Not only is it absolutely disgusting to eat a McDonald’s sandwich five times a week, but do you know how bad those things are for you?! All fast food sandwiches are loaded with sodium and the majority of them contain trans fat- the worst fat for you! I don’t know what I was thinking eating this multiple times a week for almost a year, but boy am I glad those days are over.

I still have not exactly learned to cook. I have however learned about how to do a little thing called grocery shopping.  Just buying simple things such as cold cuts, fresh fruits, salad items, cereal, milk, yogurt, and other basic food items goes a very long way and gives you healthier options when hungry.

Being in college, it is inevitable that alcohol is going to be consumed at one point or another. What many college students don’t realize is that the majority of their freshman fifteen calories can come from alcohol. A 12 oz beer has an average of 149 calories, 1 oz of liquor an average of 65 calories, and a glass of wine an average of 75 calories. This doesn’t even include mixers, chasers, etc.  This can all start to add up very quickly. Drinking in moderation is not only better for your health in general, but it will also not cause weight gain due to alcohol.

Most importantly- EXERCISE! I don’t know how many times I have heard my girl friends talk about how they ditched the gym to go to a social event. Neglecting the gym is honestly one of the worst things you can do if you are not eating like you should. I know first hand that college schedules can be very demanding and its not always easy to find the time to exercise.  Sometimes you need to get a little creative in order to get your daily exercise in..

-Walk to class instead of take the shuttle. Campus is huge! Chances are you will get in a couple of miles a day if you walk everywhere. This all can really add up.

-Take the stairs instead of the elevator. This not only burns calories but works your gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.

-If you have plans to hang out with a girlfriend and you want to kill two birds with one stone, do an exercise class! Campus gyms offer tons of girl friendly exercise classes and they are a great way to meet new people.

It took some time, but I have surely learned my lessons. I haven’t touched fast food in over a year. I have made going to the gym a priority within my busy college schedule.  Of course, there are going to be times when you indulge on some fast food fries or go out with the girls instead of going on that run. But making an effort to stay healthy will benefit you in the long run. My advice to you: lay off the fast food, grocery shop, watch what you drink, and don’t forget to exercise. Not only will you look great but you’ll feel great too!

How did you avoid the freshman fifteen? Any tips on eating healthy in college?


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