Posted 4/4/12 by Claire in Lifestyle

How to Avoid the Freshmen 15

One of my biggest fears freshmen year was the Freshmen 15, I’ve seen my friends go off to college skinny as a twig and come back with some extra and unwanted pounds. Like most people, I didn’t want to fall victim to the horrific freshmen 15 and then some. Other than the fact that it’s unflattering gaining such body mass in a short time frame it’s simply not healthy especially since obesity has been know to “track” — meaning if over weight when you’re younger the likelihood of being overweight in your adult years increases.

It’s important that you start your first semester off healthy and get into a comfortable routine, that way when finals and stressful times head your way it’s ok to eat a few extra slices of pizza or gorge yourself on comfort food.

  • Consider going to the gym a few times each week (3-5) and get some extra cardio and weight lifting in. Also stretching is a simple way to stay in shape and helps relieve built up stress or tension. If you have some free time take a kick boxing, yoga, dance, or cycling class; these classes are designed and structured to focus on all groups of muscles that you may have not been paying much attention to since you started college.

Now, I know not everyone has the time to hit the gym 3-5 days a week and I also know that some people don’t like going to the gym. Its OK there are other things that you can do to avoid gaining that extra weight.

  • When you’re eating in that “all you can eat” cafeteria can be tricky due to most foods being fried and the over abundance of cheeseburgers, french fries, soda, and ice cream with cookies. One trick I used freshmen year was eating my colors. Crazy right, but yes eating your colors usually means that you’re eating your fruits and vegetables as well as proteins, sugars, and fats. If I had a cheeseburger and fries I also added a side salad with grapes and a fruit juice. Also try to not eat a desert every single meal, if you can stick to desert for dinner that will cut off a few extra calories.

Another way of keeping off that freshmen 15 is to walk all over campus

  • Walking is a great way to stay slim, instead of driving your car to class keep it parked and walk from class to class.   When you’re given the option of taking the stairs or elevator you should always take the stairs. I’ve walked up 8 flights of stairs multiple times my freshmen year; you were blessed with the capability of walking might as well used it. Also if you have free time between classes try talking a nice walk around campus, the fresh air and breeze is relaxing and will help clear your mind from the stressors of the day of being a college student.

The cafeteria isn’t always open and on those times that it’s not you’ll most likely be snacking on the food that you have stored away in your dorm room.

  • Snacking is never a bad thing unless you’re over snacking and snacking on junk food. Try to avoid keeping tons of chips and high caloric foods in your room, the more you have stored away the more tempting it will be to consume it. Do yourself and favor and keep some carrots or grapes in the refrigerator and try eating those 100 calorie snacks instead of a bag of cheetos.

Finally, stay happy.

  • The happier you are the more energy you’ll possess. It’s easy to become boggled down my depression your first year away from home. Depression correlates with obesity, and you my find yourself wound up with extra weight and in a pile of empty candy wrappers. Its hard being on your own for the first time and keeping up with classes in a new environment isn’t always easy, and many people use food as a crutch to feel better. Eating for happiness will only bring sorrows later.

Get started on a healthy routine and it’ll become second nature, because from here on out it only gets harder to stay healthy. The more stress that is placed upon you each year is another obstacle that you’ll have to tackle, be healthy now to lead you into a healthy life in the future. Say no to the freshmen 15, go home over your Thanksgiving break and have the ability to stuff your face with a home cooked meal without the feeling of regret.


I'm a Psychology and Sociology Dual major at the University of Missouri- My emphasis is Social Behavior/Human Interaction and Criminology. I grew up in the small town of Carrollton MO, which is about an hour outside of KC.I believe that everyone has a motto that they live by so here is mine, enjoy"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter; and those who matter don't mind" -Dr Seuss