Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15 are numerous and easy -- as long as you work at them. Think about it: there are lots of reasons people dread going to college — the studying, the separation anxiety, the expense — but perhaps none of them is more feared than the risk of dramatic weight gain, the Freshman 15. But my dear, don’t fret! It’s not a foregone conclusion that your first year of college means sacrificing your beach-bod! There are plenty of ways to avoid the Freshman 15, you just have to be willing to do so. Finding the gumption can be hard, but really, it's a breeze! Here are a few ways to avoid the Freshman 15.
1. Walk across Campus
If your dorm or apartment is across campus from your classes, don’t fret, and certainly don’t drive! One of the best ways to avoid the the Freshman 15 is to skip the trip in the car or on the scooter and walk across campus for a bit of much-needed exercise and calorie-burning. Also, if you walk, you’re less likely to snack in the car.
2. Don’t Buy Junk!
Speaking of snacking, this is where a lot of can you avoid the Freshman 15. Why is it that we eat more junk food at college than at home? Because mom didn’t buy bags of Doritos and bottles of soda. So if you don’t by junk food, either, you won’t eat nearly as much of it, thus skipping those empty (though admittedly tasty) calories too.
3. Avoid Fast Food
Here’s another easy way to avoid the Freshman 15 — avoid fast food! I’m not saying to ban Taco Bell altogether, but certainly don’t eat fast food every day. The calories and fat in fast food are astronomical! You’ll learn more in your fitness and nutrition class, but until then, trust me. You won’t want to be eating a Big Mac and fries more than once a week.
4. Don’t Skip Meals
While this may sound counter-intuitive, skipping meals can hurt your studies and your diet. If you’re hungry, your brain doesn’t have the chemicals it needs to process your important thoughts, you’re distracted by your rumbling tummy, and (perhaps worst of all) you’re more likely to binge as soon as you can. Avoid the Freshman 15 (and get better grades!) by eating four or five small meals a day, including breakfast!
5. Avoid Soda
This is another empty-calorie adder, so cutting soda out of your diet is a great way to avoid the Freshman 15. If you can’t give up soda entirely, then at least switch to a low-cal or diet version. An 8-ounce serving of regular soda is loaded with sugar (37 grams) and all of the calories related to that. Eek!
6. Take the Stairs
I know it’s tempting to take the elevator with that loaded backpack full of books, but, my dear, you’ll get a lot of exercise and burn a lot of calories if you take the stairs instead. And besides that, you’ll also be firming up your buns and thighs. Yay!
7. Don’t Over-Indulge
Exercising will-power is one of the only ways to avoid the Freshman 15. All of the welcome-to-school parties are tempting, but pass on a few of them so you’re not inviting the extra pounds to leap right on. I’ve been to these parties. The menu tends to consist of fattening beer, chips, and pizza. Go to a few, then skip the rest. Save your calorie intake for your dinner date with that hottie from your algebra class!
Like I said, there are tons of ways to avoid the Freshman 15. They take a lot of self-discipline, but you can do it! Just follow these simple tips and you can face your Freshman year without worrying about the Freshman 15. Now, granted, I used college as an EXCUSE to gain weight… but I was young and foolish! I know it's all so tempting when you're on your own for the first time and finding your independence, but trust me, you'll be glad you found ways to avoid the Freshman 15 once you're ready to be a sophomore! If you’re going away to school, how will you stay fit, and which of these ways to avoid the Freshman 15 will you use?
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