The Freshman 15: How to Avoid it With These 10 Tips

Your parents warned you about the Freshman 15. Older college students told you the horror stories, but nothing is like experiencing it for yourself.

Between living in the dorms and adapting to the party culture of college, I found myself 20 pounds heavier after my freshman year. If I could go back in time and do something to avoid that weight gain in my first year of college, these are 10 tips I wish someone told me before move-in day.

1. Drink LOTS of water. This helps flush out all the toxins in your body and constantly keeps you hydrated. Camelbak should be your new best friend. Also try smoothies.

2. Make a workout schedule that fits your lifestyle. Staying active is so important to being healthy and fit. Everything from running to hot yoga is a great way to keep weight off.

3. Avoid beer. Liquor has fewer calories. Therefore, fewer calories you have to burn off the next morning in the gym.

4. Late-night indulging is inevitable when you have Whataburger, Taco Bell, Papa Johns and countless other fast-food restaurants. Try avoiding them at all costs — they’re just more unnecessary calories. It’s okay to enjoy yourself every now and then, but not all the time.

5. Limit yourself to going out once a weekend. More drinking leads to eating out more often, which of course leads to weight gain. Papa Johns twice-a-week sounds like a good way to get cellulite twice as fast.

6. Carbs are not your friend and are a good thing to avoid as much as possible. After a night out, we tend to crave them the next day, but it becomes sugar stored in our bodies. Substitute protein for carbs. Grilled Chicken > Pizza.

7. Stop drinking soda. The amount of sugar in one can is unbelievable. If you drink more than one can a day, I see diabetes in your future.

8. Try cooking. Cooking helps monitor what goes in your meal and how much of an ingredient is put in that particular piece of food. It’s a much healthier option. If you can’t cook, find a friend who can and is willing to teach.

9. Not an active person? Make sure you’re being proactive with your day. Walking those extra steps to class and/or taking the stairs instead of the elevator benefits overall daily activity.

10. Find a friend who is motivated to change their lifestyle, as well. Doing this with someone who also wants to be more active and healthy is an easy way to accomplish the goals that have been set.

It’s only winter break, so there’s still an entire semester left to prevent this all from happening. Learn from the mistakes of people who have experienced it before you.

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