There’s nothing more embarrassing than coming home for the holidays during your first year in college with a spare tire sitting around your waist. If your grades are also not very impressive, then your parents will quickly start to worry that you’re wasting your education, and who knows what your friends might think or say. There’s a lot to take on that first year, and that means making some huge adjustments in your lifestyle that may seem a bit cumbersome, but well worth the effort. If you want to come home looking fit and healthy, here is how to avoid gaining the freshman 15 in college.
- Find a way to stay active.
When you’re in college, you spend a lot of time sitting in lectures, reading, writing papers, and studying until the sun comes up. It can be a huge change from high school life when you were forced to do a period of physical education each day and had more time for sports. This is why you have to make time for exercise or other aerobic activities, otherwise all that sitting can really take its toll. And it’s not just the freshmen in the dorms that gain weight. Last year, many students earning Northeastern’s online masters in taxation reported that their sedentary lifestyle while studying led to unwanted weight gain.
- Avoid eating fast food.
On top of all of the time college students spend sitting, they also tend to be so busy that it becomes difficult to resist the urge of fast food. It’s quick, easy, and to many people, it tastes good. Unfortunately, it’s just about the worst thing you can eat for your diet, whether you lead an active lifestyle or not.
- Make sure you’re not eating under stress.
Many people start to over eat as a way of coping with stress. Sometimes it can be easier to get through your reading, writing or studying if you have a lot of snacks on hand. Unfortunately, once you get into the zone, those snacks can disappear quickly, and before you know it, the mirror will be showing you exactly where they went.
- Take it easy on the booze.
If there’s one trap that many college students fall into, it’s that of constant partying. Now of course, you want to find ways to enjoy your college experience and let out some steam from time to time, but you want to be careful not to let it get out of hand. Not only will your grades start to suffer if you party too much, but you will also be spending a lot more money on the bigger clothes you’ll need from gaining a new beer belly.
- Prepare your own meals.
One of the best ways to be sure that you’re getting the healthy balanced meals that you need is by preparing them yourself. You won’t have your parents to do this for you anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn all of your favorite recipes. College is a great time to start learning how to shop and cook for yourself, and your parents will be so impressed when you come home and show off how responsible and independent you are.