Many teens and young adults find themselves battling the infamous Freshman 15, the supposed weight gain that happens to new students during their first year in college. Unfortunately, students often lose the fight, as those unwanted pounds are stealthy and typically take their prey by surprise. One minute, freshmen are feeling svelte and confident, and then the next thing they know, they’re suddenly reduced to wearing loose-fitting sweatpants because all of their jeans are suddenly too tight.
Here are a few reasons why freshmen are so susceptible to this stereotypical weight gain, as well as a few tips on how to combat becoming yet another victim of those sneaky extra pounds.
Yes, we know, most freshmen are usually too young to drink legally, but drink, many do. Unfortunately, for freshmen, all those beers and wine coolers or whatever else they’re imbibing contain a lot of calories. For instance, a typical eight-ounce serving of a light beer or a wine cooler contains between 100 to 150 calories. Drinking a few of these each night will pack the pounds on a freshman pretty quickly.
THE FIX: Steering clear of excess drinking will not only help a student avoid gaining those infamous Freshman 15, it will also help them to stay out of trouble.
Unlimited Meal Plans
Many campus meal plans include an all you-can-eat option, and a lot of students take advantage of this feature. Typically, these buffets are the cheapest way for college students to dine, but they are also the easiest way for them to gain weight.
College students also have a tendency to skip meals, which can cause them to be ravenous by the time their classes end. This, in turn, may cause students to stuff down large quantities of food at their next meals.
THE FIX: Freshmen who find that they are gaining weight should try to avoid the buffets. If they must go to the buffet, then they should at least choose a salad or other healthy option.
To break up the monotony of campus food, it is also a good idea to occasionally order healthy, delicious food from a local takeout service. Students should locate a few restaurants that use natural, wholesome ingredients in their meals so that they will know what healthy options are available when they desire something other than campus fare.
Lack of Exercise
For many freshmen, their college years may be the first time that they won’t be engaging in a sport they may have played their whole lives. Students who once participated in travel hockey, soccer, football or any other number of sports suddenly find themselves without a regular activity to keep them moving. Unfortunately, some of these students don’t cut back on their caloric intake to make up for this drop in physical activity.
THE FIX: Freshmen need to get out and get moving. Campuses often have lots of opportunities for freshmen to exercise in fun ways that will also help them to meet new people. Freshmen should look into joining a running or hiking club or maybe playing a club sport such as roller hockey or soccer.
The Freshman 15 does not have to become a reality for every college student. If they are careful about their dining and drinking choices and include at least a little activity into their daily routine, most should be able to avoid these unwanted pounds.
Mandy Nielsen writes for Delivery.com, a site she recommends for finding the best Food Delivery Los Angeles.