Thursday , March 23 2023
How to Avoid Weight Gain in College

How to Avoid Weight Gain in College: Avoiding the Freshman 15

Practical tips on how to avoid weight gain in college, combat the “freshman 15,” and maintain a healthy weight. Many first-year college students face unnecessary weight gain and the dreaded freshman 15. This isn’t surprising. College can be a new and exciting time in a young person’s life. For many young people, this can mean moving away, sometimes far away, from home. For the first time, young people find themselves living independently. As for the health-related content writers from, freshman year can also, regrettably, mean unnecessary weight gain. Here are some tips to avoid the extra weight gain and the freshman 15 your freshman year of college.

Avoid Weight Gain in College by Learning to Navigate Your Dining Hall

Many college students live in dorms their freshman year and that means eating at the dining hall on a meal plan. Cafeterias can mean bad news for your waistline. Soda machines bubbling with empty added calories, endless helpings of your favorite fried foods, and various choices for dessert with every meal can lead a freshman to poor food choices and weight gain. The lack of portion control that comes from eating in an all-you-can buffet every day can add pounds and inches to your waistline.

Don’t fear your cafeteria. Along with the bad and the ugly of dining hall cuisine, there also are a lot of good, healthy options. Check out the salad bar for an appetizing and filling side with every meal. Avoid weight gain by selecting the healthy lean protein options available such as baked chicken, veggie burgers, or low-fat cottage cheese, instead of plowing through the hamburgers and fries.

In the morning, don’t go for the sausage and pancakes with syrup, but look towards the whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, or toast for more slimming, healthy breakfasts.

Use the smaller plates meant for a salad for portion control and don’t go back for seconds, unless you are hungry.

Excessive alcohol consumption also can contribute to excessive poundage and weight gain, so drink in moderation.

Also, try to keep late-night snacking to a minimum and eat regular small meals and snacks throughout the day.

Eat smarter, healthy snacks and meals, watch your portion control, and instead of packing on the pounds, you could be taking them off.

Banish the Freshman 15 by Managing Your Stress

College can be a new, exciting time in your life, complete with new responsibilities and new challenges. College also can mean a good deal of stress. The stress of being away from loved ones, living independently, or the rigorous academic challenges of college-level school work, can lead to unnecessary weight gain for new college students. Stress can wreak havoc on your metabolism, make you more likely to binge, make unwise food choices, or cost you the healthy recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.

Combat stress to combat those extra pounds. Consider doing a little yoga or meditation. Call a loved one, get a massage, sing obnoxiously along to the radio while in your car, watch a side-splitting comedy with friends, anything to relieve unwanted stress.

Maintain a Healthy Weight in College by Establishing Healthy Routines

To keep those freshman 15 pounds from creeping on, start staying healthy and fit, and making lifestyle choices you can keep for the rest of your life. Make exercise a regular part of your daily routine to avoid unnecessary weight gain in college. Many colleges allow students free access to the campus recreation center, so head to the gym for some free workouts. Exercise is key to avoiding weight gain and reducing stress, so head to the gym or outside for a leisurely evening walk around the campus.

Make Healthy Food Choices

Dorm room pizza is a common occurrence every night of the week. It’s cheap, delivered right to the door, and easy to eat while studying. It’s also filled with more saturated fat than anyone needs in his diet.

Healthier options for dorm room pizza include:

  • Reduce the amount of cheese on the delivery pizza.
  • Choose all veggie toppings; greasy meats like sausage and pepperoni add large amounts of fat.
  • If someone else ordered the pizza and it’s covered in pepperoni, sausage, and loaded with cheese, sponge the grease off of the top with a napkin, and eat just one slice, or remove the pepperoni and sausage.
  • Whip up a custom dorm room pizza with items that can be kept in a small dorm fridge: whole wheat English muffins, squeezable pizza sauce, low-fat mozzarella sticks (these are great to take to class too). Warm it up in the dorm kitchen’s microwave or toaster oven to have a snack that’s low in fat, high in fiber, and healthy.
  • Stay away from the Ramen noodles. Yes, they’re cheap but loaded with simple carbohydrates and tons of salt, both of which will leave the body feeling bloated and heavy.
  • Boxed macaroni and cheese can be found in a somewhat healthy version these days. Choose one with whole wheat pasta, use nonfat milk or water to make the cheese sauce, and don’t add butter.
  • If there is a dorm fridge available, buy baby carrots to munch on between meals. They will last longer than most other veggies.

Regular Exercise

Exercise and being active is also major factor in avoiding weight gain. College students interested in weight loss and not gaining the “freshman 15” during any year will want to remain physically active regularly.

  • Walk or bike to any classes that are close enough. Saving money on bus fares is a bonus.
  • Search for any necessary college textbooks or needed lectures that can be downloaded to an mp3 or put on a CD to listen to while walking or running around campus.
  • Resistance bands can be easily used in the confined space of a dorm room and don’t require any storage space.
  • Most colleges have a gym for students. If not, there is usually one located on or near the campus.

Make sure to keep all-nighters to a minimum and get your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.

You can avoid unnecessary weight gain in college and dispel the freshman 15 by making sensible food choices and establishing healthy lifestyle choices that can continue for the rest of your life.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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