Good morning class, today we are talking about the “Freshman 15″.
Pay close attention, because we are sharing some very important information about the topic we all wish would just disappear.
What is the Freshman 15?
The term refers to the weight gained in your first year of college, also known as your freedom year. According to Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, she tells WebMD, “Food is a way to exert control for freshmen, when they feel little control in many areas of their lives.”
How and why does this happen?
One of the causes can be the change in your daily routine. Being at home you were accustomed to eating balanced meals and snacks prepared for you by your parents or by yourself. Whole wheat turkey sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, fruit salads, etc. are now replaced with reoccurring pizza nights and unlimited trips to the school cafeteria. Daily practice sessions with your sports team or gym class are now swapped with chilling in your dorm room with a bag of Cheetos or attending parties flooded with burgers, alcohol and more alcohol (F.Y.I. The legal drinking age is 21. No underage drinking, folks!). During your freshman year you now have 100% control over your lifestyle and what you eat. But if given the choice between pizza or veggies, a majority of people will be choosing the more unhealthy option.
Here are the tips you need to avoid the Freshman 15:
- Activities such as watching TV or studying can be done without mindless snacking. When you do sit down to eat, make it a goal to be more mindful and actually enjoy your food.
- Eat at regular times. When you get into your new routine, figure out the times that best suit you for eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Stock smart foods. Remember all those healthy eats you had at home, you can have them in college too! Stock up on food that combines protein and carbohydrates to fuel you. Good options include quinoa, lean meats like chicken, oatmeal, fruit, carrots, hummus, Greek yogurt, fruit. A Nutribullet will also come in handy when you need a quick and nutritious meal before class!
- Become knowledgeable of the school cafeteria. When you literally have no time and have to resort to something quick, you’ll need to know where the healthy options are. Look for dishes that are grilled, steamed or fresh.
- When you are bored, resort to exercising instead of eating. When you need to clear your mind from all of the studying go take a walk or go for a run. Moving your body and breaking a sweat is important to keep any unwanted pounds away. Plus, exercise helps your brain retain and remember more information, so you can make the most of those study session. Make time to find your school gym, but if you don’t have one we have you covered. Check out our WOD’s, exercise posts and our Instagram page to get you inspired and moving!
- Similar to eating the wrong foods, you can easily pack on the pounds with drinking. Remember, water is your best friend! If water is too bland, drop the sugary drinks and add fruit to water if you need a bit of flavor.
Here are your school supplies to keep you on track:
- Using a journal to either track your workouts or using it for a food diary is an excellent way to get accustomed to your new routine. Seeing what activities you do and what you eat throughout the week is another guaranteed way to keep you accountable and on track.
- Get a lunch box or bag to pack your lunch and snacks so you will have no excuse when hunger strikes. Trust us, you’ll want to avoid unhealthy vending machine options as much as possible.
- Invest in travel friendly fitness equipment, like resistance bands, dumbbells, ankle weights, kettle bells, etc. These are small enough to store in your dorm room when you need to sneak in a quick workout.
- A water bottle – think of it like your phone and carry it with you everywhere you go.
Do you have any tips on how to keep the Freshman 15 at bay? Share your experience with us on Twitter!