Is the “Freshman 15” Avoidable?

Starting college can be nervewracking for students who are getting ready to launch their adult lives. Picking a major to study, meeting new friends, and establishing an independent living environment can rev up anxiety levels. College students also have concerns about gaining weight in their first year. Referred to as the “freshman 15,” can it be avoided?

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Why It’s Easy To Gain Weight

Food Everywhere

An endless supply of tasty food is at the hands of students on college campuses across the United States. For many, it may be a change from having family dinners every night. Ordering a pizza for an all-night study session, grabbing a burger to hang out with friends, and dining rooms that offer an endless supply of food could attribute to weight gain.

Many students are excited about the opportunity to have more freedom in their lives. Many young adults can get a thrill of eating junk food whenever they want without their parents questioning them. Many parents also purchase food plans for their children, and they feel obligated to use all possible food vouchers.

Poor Choices

During the freshman year, students can become overwhelmed with the class schedule. Many of them might find it more appealing to put on a movie or take a nap instead of hitting the gym between classes. During final exams, stress eating can become more common. Having food nearby can be a must for some students who are trying to keep their head above water the first year.

How To Combat The Freshman 15

Use Food As Your Friend

Using food as fuel instead of comfort can go a long way in preventing the freshman 15. The daily life of a college student can be hectic, but skipping meals can be a recipe for disaster. Carrying healthy snacks, like yogurt or carrots, can keep from overindulging later in the day.

Get Moving

Becoming a fitness buff isn’t necessarily a requirement to avoid the freshman 15, yet it is essential to include daily exercise. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, get involved in outdoor activities with friends, or join health groups at the gym.

Better Choices

Perfection isn’t mandatory, but becoming aware of choices is imperative. Choosing to eat unlimited amounts of french fries and ice cream will put your diet in a pitfall. Instead, swapping healthier options like a salad instead of fries, or yogurt instead of ice cream can go a long way.

Is The Freshman 15 a Conspiracy?

It’s debatable if the freshman 15 even exists. Some students have shown that students do gain weight during the first year of college, but not the whole 15 pounds. According to a 2006 study of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, only five percent of freshman gained 15 pounds or more. Almost half of the students either lost weight or reported no change.

The freshman 15 might not be at the top of the priority list for new students, but it should at least be considered. Even if it is a conspiracy, young adults can take proactive measures to take care of their health during the first year of college.