Written and Media by Kelsey Neier. [divide]
“He ended up gaining the freshman fifteen.” The words no college student wants to hear. It’s something that our parents and friends warn us about right before giving us a pat on the back and sending us off to college. It’s something that freshmen don’t want to believe until they look in the mirror or on a scale and start to see a difference. Yes, gaining the dreaded freshman fifteen is real, and it happens quite frequently. Many different factors play into gaining weight in college, but there are ways to prevent it before the freshman fifteen becomes the freshman fifty.
Our bodies are made to consume healthy foods, not food that’s processed and full of sugar. Even though it seems like we have limited options to choose from we actually have a variety of different foods within our grasp. There are ways you can outsmart your campus dining options by finding the healthy foods underneath all the pizza and alfredo noodles. Take a look at what athletes are eating and drinking. They have found the secrets to eating the best foods the campus provides. There are also grocery stores around to buy some of your own fruits, vegetables and proteins. Portion control is key to not overeating. Make sure you ease up on the mashed potatoes. Remember, you are in charge of what you put into your body.
Make sure that when you eat it’s during normal times of the day such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sleep is key, because if you’re up late every night chances are you’re going to get hungry and pig out. If you must stay up late try to snack on something healthy like mixed nuts or peanut butter and bananas. Grapes and strawberries are also great fruits to snack on. Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. When your body is getting plenty of sleep you won’t be up late at night and feel those midnight cravings hitting you.
People swear that you only need to eat healthy, while others believe that a great workout means you can eat two tubs of ice cream in one sitting. I believe that both are necessary for maintaining a healthy weight. You need to be able to feed your body what it needs. You must workout on a consistent basis. Your workout can be as small as going on the treadmill every other day or walking a mile every night. You can work your way up to lifting weights, running and other forms of cardio. Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution DVD’s give you a total body workout and you’ll definitely notice a difference after using them. Results will take weeks to months, but if you switch up your food choices and hit the gym consistently you will see a change.
It’s no secret that college packs on the stress. There’s the stress of homework, quizzes projects and tests. There’s the fear of growing up and leaving your family and friends back home. You’ll most likely make new friends and maybe even a relationship which is even more added anxiety. College isn’t fun and games all the time. It’s all a drastic transition, but it will get easier. The best thing to do is to take it one day at a time. Worrying will cause stress eating and break you down physically, mentally and emotionally. The best thing you can do is let it all go and remember that your life is in God’s hands. He already has it all figured out for you. Spend some time reading the Bible and I promise you it will help calm your nerves and prevent you from overeating and stressing.
You should never feel like you’re alone. Find a workout buddy or talk to a friend or professor if you’re struggling with an area of your life. Someone will always be there for you. Pray on big decisions you’re dealing with and be sure to thank God for the blessings He gives you. College only lasts a couple years, and we shouldn’t spend that time worrying and overanalyzing the small stuff. Most importantly we need to treat our bodies the right way now to prevent any problems for our future selves. Workout, eat healthy, stress less and pray more and you will start to see the light at the end of the freshman tunnel.