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How to Avoid the Freshman 15

todayAugust 15, 2015 19

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by Sierra Schuette
Blog Content Contributor

Staricase at Texas State. Photo by Nathalie Cohetero
Photo by Nathalie Cohetero

Oh the dreaded Freshman 15. This common expression refers to the average fifteen (originally ten) pounds that college students gain within their first year of school. Technically, this is an urban myth as studies have shown conflicting results in weight gain of freshmen. However, it is true that students gain a moderate amount of weight during this time. So, this is my warning to you; keep yourself healthy and active all throughout college.

What usually contributes to first year weight gain is living in a dorm and having an on campus meal plan. Dorm food may consist of Ramen, Mac, Campbell’s, and Coco Pebbles. Are we eight years old again? If you looked in someone’s dorm room cabinets you would think so. There is obviously a problem with what freshman are keeping in their dorm. Drop all the sugary goodness and trade it for some fresh fruit and even something like a Lean Cuisine. If you start buying healthy groceries the first week of school it will be much easier to continue choosing healthy items throughout the year.

Another big issue is what you choose to eat at dining halls. Dining halls like Commons and Harris can really hurt your health if you aren’t careful. With so many options and an all-you-can-eat dining style, you can end up over stuffing yourself with poor food choices. It is easy to point out what you should not eat every time you are there (pizza, hotdogs, burgers, fries, brownies, cake, waffles,etc.). Head to the salad bar and get some fresh greens, then you can add an entre that isn’t too terribly bad, like rosemary chicken.  Every dining hall has a soda fountain, what you choose from it is also important. Soda is full of sugar and yucky unnatural additives. Try Powerade, lemonade, or tea if you must have something flavored. The best thing you could do here though is just drink water! Some places, like Commons, have fruit water which is yummy and very beneficial to your health.

Try to avoid places like Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut on campus. I know that the food tastes great, but it is not great for you. If you need that coffee fix to get you through the day invest in a keurig to keep in your dorm, this way you know exactly how much sugar you are putting in. If you really just love the taste of Starbucks in the morning, try to cut down and ask for the skinny versions of drinks or stick with just plain coffee there so it is not loaded with all the artificial syrups and flavoring. Chick-fil-a does have salads and wraps, however the dressing is where you may go wrong. Stay away from ranch and other thick dressings and aim for vinaigrettes.

Walking back and forth to your classes around campus sure is a workout, but it is not always enough. Try not to get in the habit of going back to your dorm and watching Netflix for three hours plus. Your tuition is paying for this amazing recreation center, so get your moneys worth. If you do not want to go to the rec bring your bike to school and go for a ride. Get into yoga, Blazing Heart Yoga offers classes by donation. Go swim at the river, go on a walk at Purgatory park, just be active.

Best of luck to all of you freshmen this year. Have fun and stay healthy.

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