Avoiding the freshman 15

I'm sure you've all heard of the freshman 15. Supposedly most people gain about 15 pounds in their first year at college. This happens for various reasons, mainly unhealthy eating and not enough exercise. It is not that hard to avoid this, though, and you should definitely try to avoid it since it is bad for your health to gain that much weight so fast.

Many freshman in college are overwhelmed by how many options they have for eating when they get to school. Most schools have a dining hall thats unlimited buffet, along with many fast food joints and other places on campus. It is their first time out on their own without their parents holding their hand, and they eat whatever they want to. This may sound good, but if it equals pizza, hamburgers and ice cream all the time it is not good, and you will not only get fat but also take years off your life. I have found that if you look hard enough there are healthy or at least semi-healthy food options available on campus. When I go to the dining hall (rarely) I get a salad and I try to find something healthy like a sandwich or a classic meal like pork chops and green beans. Only eat one serving. I have heard people say to only put on your plate about half as much food as you want, and while this probably works for some people it doesn't for me. I just try to not go back for more and eat healthy.

Another reason for gaining weight is not getting enough exercise. Many campuses have a bus system that kids use instead of walking, so they lose out on that exercise. Then they sit in class for a few hours, then go back to the dorm where they sit the rest of the night. Most campuses have a gym that students can use for free, and obviously it would be good if you used that. I find that it is out of the way for me to go there, and I am not motivated enough to make myself go on a regular basis. If you don't want to go to the gym, there are other ways to get exercise. Leave early for class and walk instead of taking the bus. Join an intermural sports team, that is a good way to get exercise on a regular basis. Take the steps instead of the elevator, and park further back in the parking lot than usual. This has 2 benefits: you get exercise walking further and your car doesn't get as many dents in it.

Another reason for the freshman fifteen is the college lifestyle. Staying up until 3a.m. and snacking and eating junk is a sure way to make you gain weight. If you have to eat late at night you need to eat something healthy, such as fruit or a smoothie, or a bowl of cereal. Eating chips and ice cream and pizza every night will catch up with you, and one way is by gaining weight. Another bad thing about staying up late is you are tired in the morning. You cannot think as clearly when you are tired, which means your grades are probably not as good. If you think about it, most people are not very productive after midnight. Instead of staying up late every night, only stay up if you are doing work or its the weekend. I have started to do this and went from mediocre grades to dean's list in one semester. Another useful tip is try getting up earlier in the morning. I have found that I am most productive in the morning, and am least productive in the late afternoon. Try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier and doing some work and stuff in the mornings. But do not push your homework until the night before or the morning it is due. Trust me, this makes life to stressful. You will enjoy college more if you do your work ahead of time.

For more on not being lazy and being more time efficient, read this post.

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  1. Jeremiah said,

    Nice post. Oddly enough, I wrote a similar post a few weeks ago. I thought you might be interested in it:
    10 Reasons the Freshman Fifteen Gets You

    Anyways, I like the site. I think maybe you should explain to your readers somewhere about where you go to college, how long you have been there, etc. It seems like it would give you some additional credibility.

    on August 19, 2007 at 12:40 AM

  2. the man said,

    Thanks for the review! I added some personal information to the "introduction" thread on linked on the right sidebar.

    on August 21, 2007 at 1:17 AM