How to Outsmart the Freshman 15

By on September 17, 2008

Between finding classes, being away from home and meeting new people who has the time to factor in dieting? It has been proven that many freshman college students do not.
We’ve heard of the deadly but well known phenomenon “the freshman 15.” For years it has been common knowledge that first-time college students have a tendency to return home carrying a little more weight than they left with.
No one wants to fall victim to this terrible tragedy. Hopefully these few tips will help you beat the 15- or at least reduce it to five.

1.Avoid the late snacks- Everyone loves the late meals, especially on the weekends, but these snacks are a large contributor to the weight gain. Did you know that a medium cheese pizza from Dominoes contains over 1000 calories? The late night timing, usually right before going to bed also plays a huge factor since you will then have a large amount of calories just as your body begins to slow down its metabolism. Translation: If you’re not moving, those calories won’t be going anywhere either. Still want to indulge in the occasional midnight snack? Stick to fruits, nuts, popcorn without butter, or any 100 calorie snack pack.
2.Pick healthier foods in the cafeteria- Make a salad with light dressing or get a sandwich on wheat bread. Even some of the entre dinners that are offered will be a better choice than the greasy food at the grill. So if you find yourself in the line about to be asked if you want fries, try looking around to find better alternative foods. Selecting healthy, natural food not only cuts back on calories but decreases many other unhealthy ingredients that are used in fried foods.
3.Drink less beer and alcohol- Yes, it is nice to have a drink every now and then, or every weekend, but be aware that alcohol contains a lot of calories! The average light beer contains about 100 calories. Drink seven of these on a Saturday night, and you will be putting a lot of extra calories into your body that, unless burned off, will be converted into fat. Mixed drinks such as flavored martinis and cosmopolitans can contain up 350 calories in just one drink. Everyone should be entitled to having a good time, but if you’re serious about beating the extra weight, try to cut back just a little.
4.Exercise- If you can’t seem to do any of the first three steps, make sure you at least do this. Go for a run, take a trip to the gym, or better yet, do both. Running at a seven mph pace can burn anywhere from 700 to 1000 calories per hour. It may not always be easy, but find the time to work out. Regular, consistent exercise will help defend you against gaining the extra pounds, help you sleep better at night, feel better during the day and will promote a healthier mind and body. When the warm days at Quinnipiac roll around again and you have followed these simple steps, everyone on campus will thank you- or be green with envy.


About Tim Webber