Time and time again we hear stories about how the skinniest girls in high school went off to college, and came home for the summer 15 (sometimes 30) pounds heavier than they were. This is what's called the freshman 15. Now you're probably thinking, “Oh, I won't let that happen!”, because who really heads into their first year of college planning to come back 4 sizes larger? However, for many this has been exactly what has happened. Don’t let this be you! Here are a few tips on how to avoid the freshman 15, no gym membership or exercise required!
1.) Don't take a tray
As crazy as it sounds, avoid taking a tray when venturing into the cafeteria. Often times when we go into the cafeteria, we decide what we want with our eyes before our stomachs and end up putting too much food on our plate. Once we have it in front of us, we feel obligated to eat all of it and eat much more than we need. A good way to avoid overeating is by only grabbing what you can hold in your hands. If you are still hungry after that, you can go back for more! Again, only grabbing what you can hold in your hands.
2.) Tea before coffee
It’s no secret that this generation of teenagers is a bunch of starbucks-lovers and coffee drinkers. Sure, every now and then when you get a limited amount of sleep because you were up late studying, a big cup of coffee seems like the only saving grace for the day. Every now and then it's understandable, but if you’re looking for a caffeinated drink for everyday life, try finding a natural tea you enjoy! Natural teas are a growing business right now and come in a ton of different flavors, are much healthier and still give you a gentle boost of energy!
Though being a new college student can be very stressful, and you may have much more homework than in high school, try to get your homework done right after class so you leave yourself time for the full recommended 8 hours of sleep. If you do this, you will feel much better during the day and are less likes to get a craving for some extra salty McDonald's fries or large chocolate shake. This will also help you avoid the late night Insomnia Cookie run, or pizza and milkshake delivery.
4.) Limit the take out
Now if your schedule is anything like mine, you have a good amount of time between all of your classes. This can be convenient for doing homework, but often times I find the temptation to grab some food. Most of the time, the closest place to catch a bite to eat are fast food places that don't carry anything even remotely healthy. Now, eating out while you're in college is nearly inevitable, but try giving yourself a limit on how many times you eat out per week. Some healthy alternatives to eating out are packing yourself a lunch, or find a nice restaurant near campus where you can get a healthy soup or salad!
5.) Limit your party drinks
Though I know many of you are under age, some if not most of you may like to live life on the edge and enjoy a drink (...or five) each weekend. To avoid that freshman fifteen I suggest you put down the alcohol! Not only is alcohol high in calories, but it also slows down your metabolism. So, not only are you splurging on calorie intake, but you are also creating a prime environment for your body to store those extra calories. “Beer belly” isn’t a myth, so if you do decide to go out, limit yourself!
I've seen the freshman 15 in action, don't let it happen to you. Follow these 5 tips and fight against the dreaded freshman 15! You're sophomore self will thank you.