Fighting the Freshman Fifteen: 8 Top Tips


Students are heading off to college over the next few weeks. For this week’s post, Erica Carneglia, a dietetics student from Miami University offers her perspective on avoiding the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” pounds of weight gain. If you are a returning student, use her suggestions to make this year healthier than last! 

You still need to eat breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Just because your mom isn’t there to call you to breakfast, that doesn’t mean you don’t need it! Try to spread your calories out into 3 or more intervals. 

In order to keep your metabolism going, your body needs an even flow of nutrients. When your metabolism isn’t moving, your body can start to store fat, which is where you can run into problems.

Establish a schedule. Creating a routine in college can be a lot harder than it sounds, especially when your class schedule changes almost every day and you never know when a nap is going to sound like the best idea in the world. That being said, it’s important to make sure you fit all of your meals into your busy day in order to maintain that balanced flow. Having a routine can keep you on track on some of your craziest days!

Breakfast always has and always will be the most important meal of the day. You’ve been hearing this for years, and frankly that’s a good thing; you need it in order to stay full throughout the day and prevent major snacking later on. More specifically, skip that bagel or croissant and try to get plenty of protein at breakfast. This will keep you full longer, keep your muscle maintenance at an optimal level, and allow you to start your day alert and ready for whatever the day throws at you. Some Greek yogurt with fruit and granola is a great option, and if you have some extra time grab an egg white omelet from the dining hall with plenty of leafy greens and bright vegetables!

Think about what mom would say. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Stay away from fried starches, processed meats and pastries! They tend to be higher in saturated fats and sodium, and lower in vitamins and minerals. Lean meats, fruits and vegetables all provide more nutrients for fewer calories, which can sometimes be exactly what you need.

No, vending machines are not healthy when no one is looking. Save those quarters for laundry! Try and get healthy options from the dinning hall in the morning to bring to class with you, such as almonds, or anything else that can be stored without refrigeration.

Go get that fro-yo with your friends. It’s all about moderation. If you have a sweet tooth and know you’ll down a couple bags of m&m’s if you don’t have any chocolate for a week, have a little bit! If it’s unrealistic for you to completely cut something out, don’t do it. Find similar, healthier options that you can have in moderation and substitute for your favorite sweets.

Try out that new spin class. Taking time to workout in college is hard, especially if the gym is on the opposite side of campus. If you’re new to working out on your own, sign up for a few group classes and try out as many as you can before you find one you like. That way, you can make a schedule and attend the classes weekly, keeping you active throughout the week.

Skip that midnight pizza delivery to the dorm. Almost everyone gets hungry late at night. What’s important is not that you’re eating, but what you are eating and how much. Try and keep the portions small and nutrients high! Unbuttered popcorn is great, and sometimes some sliced apples with peanut butter will do the trick as well!

Follow these tips and your skinny jeans will still fit in May!

© 2015 Erica Carneglia


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