How to Avoid the Freshman 15

04One thing that many new college students have in common is the sudden weight gain that they experience during their freshman year. The combination of eating more fast food and junk food snacks combined with a lot of stress has a tendency to pack the pounds on. Although weight gain may be a problem throughout college, getting the situation under control during the freshman year will help keep the student fit and healthy throughout their studies and beyond.

Turn to Exercise for Stress Relief

There is really no way to eliminate the stress that is a part of the transition to college life or of trying to maintain good grades. Instead of turning to junk food snacks to get relief, take an exercise break. Go for a walk around campus, an exercise class, or sign up for yoga.

Keep Healthy Food Available

A mini-fridge can be a college student’s best friend. Instead of ordering pizza for those late night study sessions or bringing bags of chips, stock the fridge with Greek yogurt, fruit cups packed in all-natural fruit juice, and fresh veggies like carrot sticks and ready-to-eat salads with low fat dressing. Also, keep some whole grain tortillas to use as sandwich wraps instead of white bread. If there is also a microwave or toaster oven in the room, use tortillas, a jar of marinara sauce, and low fat cheese to make healthy, low-calorie pizza.

Do Not Overlook the Drinks

Sodas with sugar and caffeine may help get students through late night studies, but they also come with a lot of calories and an energy crash later on. Keep plenty of bottled water on hand instead. For a more flavorful drink, get calorie-free flavored water. Another option for healthy drinks is green tea. Hot or iced, it is a healthy drink that is also believed to aid in weight loss.

Putting some thought into what they eat and drink will help freshmen avoid the freshmen 15 and make them feel healthier and improve mental clarity that will also make them more successful students.