First and foremost, I want to debunk the “Freshman 15” myth. There is no concrete evidence that proves college freshman gain 15 pounds during their first year of school. However, there are studies that show college freshman gain approximately 2 to 5 pounds. Although it is not much, it is still concerning for students who want to stay fit in college. In this post, I will share my best tips to avoid gaining weight during your first year of college.
- Choose Healthy Foods
Being in a tiny dorm space filled with junk food under my bed is not the best situation one can put their self in. However, I have seen so many college students, myself included, with stacks and stacks of junk food in their dorm room. There may or may not have been nights where I completely devoured bags of Hot Cheetos. If you are a binge-snacker, I suggest filling your dorm with fruits, veggies, and more healthy snacks. Instead of having bags of chips, replace them with nuts, bars, or whatever healthy snack your heart desires. Many supermarkets near college campuses provide multiple healthy options. However, I highly suggest checking out Trader Joe’s healthy options (They are absolutely delicious). Although junk food is not the best for your diet, you do not have to give it up completely. Eat a little bit each day and pace yourself.
Whether you are drinking your third chai latte of the day, an energy drink, or a cup of beer at a frat party, those calories add up quickly. Instead of a sugary coffee, stick to black coffee or tea.
Freshmen should not be drinking alcohol in the first place, but it is bound to happen since alcohol is a huge part of college culture. “Calories from alcohol are ’empty calories’, they have no nutritional value,” according to drinkaware.co. “Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet.” One pint of beer has as many calories as a large slice of pizza, so just remember, to limit your intake of alcohol or just avoid it if you are worried about gaining weight.
3. Do not skip breakfast
As many people have said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you have an 8 a.m. class. You need the extra energy to stay focused in class! Additionally, skipping breakfast has been linked to weight gain, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2003. They found that people who regularly skip breakfast had a higher risk of obesity. A second study, published in the Journal of Rural Medicine in 2014, found similar results and even noted that skipping breakfast was more strongly linked to weight gain than eating before bed — another common dieting faux pas. So remember to not skip breakfast!
Here are some healthy breakfast ideas to get you guys inspired!
4. Stay active
Grab a buddy, and hit the gym! Having friends to work out with makes exercise more fun, and it is not nearly as easy to ditch a workout when you know there will be people expecting to see you at the gym. ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has a wonderful gym filled with all the equipment you would ever need. Here is a video to help you all when it comes to working out in the gym!
I am going to be honest with you all, I hate the gym. I know that there are some people out there who are just like me who want to know how to stay fit without having to go to the gym. I walk to all of my classes, and I love to take leisure walks around Downtown Phoenix. There is just so much to explore! There are days where I just plug in my earbuds, listen to my favorite tunes and leisurely walk around the city. It is a nice way to have some alone time and simultaneously stay fit. It is also a great way to explore your college town!
Here are my favorite songs to listen to while I walk around the city:
5. Get more sleep!
As a college student, I understand an eight hour night’s rest is rare. However, studies have shown that if you snooze, you lose more pounds! According to a study done by the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be obese. Make sure you are getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Not only will it help you lose weight but also give you extra energy to conquer the day!
Remember that all bodies are beautiful, and you are not defined by the number on the weight scale. Never forget these words of wisdom from Christina Aguilera herself.
Have a safe, happy and healthy first year in college!