The Collegian

Conscious effort helps avoid ‘freshman 15’ during first year

AJ Spytek

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We have all heard of the “freshman 15,” but how accurate is it? According to the Hartford Courant, the 15-pound weight gain may be a bit drastic, but college students tend to gain a few extra pounds during their first year. This weight gain happens for a multitude of reasons.

From the all-you-can-eat buffet to drinking on the weekends and staying in your room in the winter months, weight gain is not a mystery. But, there are three ways to fire back at the freshman 15.

Watch your alcohol intake
The alcohol education website Rethink Drinking offers a calorie calculator with different drink options, their serving sizes and the calorie count.

An alcoholic drink is empty calories, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it.

A beer every now and then is one thing, but binge drinking is completely different.

The average beer has 153 calories for every 12 ounces. Assuming you have six beers in a week, that is 918 empty calories. After a year, that is 47,736 calories or roughly 14 pounds of additional weight.

This is not to say that you should quit drinking. Simply cut back on your alcohol intake and make healthier choices throughout the week.

Step up your exercise and health plan
You can also step up your walking by finding a slightly longer route to class to follow instead of the easiest route. Burning calories and losing weight does not necessarily mean you need to join a gym.

However, the gym is an option if that’s where your heart is set. The Wellness Center has classes available or other options if that’s not up your alley.

If you are anything like me, a class does not fit into your daily schedule. Instead, you could Pinterest a few simple ideas and make your own workout routine.

You are not alone in this struggle and you are not alone in wanting to shed a few pounds before spring break.

Grab a friend or two for a round of simple workouts you can do daily and think about where your calories are coming from.

Meal Plan
Before you snack, ask yourself if you’re eating because you need to, or if it’s out of boredom.
Preparing your meals can also solve the struggle of having a lack of time.

Planning ahead of time can set you up for an entire week if you try hard enough.

Stock up on smart snacks to avoid falling into your temptations. Replace that bag of chips on your nightstand with something healthier.

Snacking isnt something you have to stop cold turkey. Making some small improvements to the way you snack can create big benefits.

College is difficult and can be a stressful time, but thankfully, if you make a conscious effort to improve your habits, the freshman 15 doesn’t have to be a prerequisite.

AJ Spytek is a history education major and can be reached at [email protected]

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Conscious effort helps avoid ‘freshman 15’ during first year