Avoid weight gain in college

Miranda Bader Juice Editor


College can be the time of our lives, but we also learn how stressful life can really get. Between classes, work, extra-curricular activities and personal lives, we can easily lose our balance and fall into the trend of late night snacking and unhealthy habits. Believe me, I gained the freshman 15 and then some, and I didn’t even notice it until swimsuit season came around the following summer. Luckily, I have picked up a few healthy tricks to help students avoid this from happening to them.

Tip 1: Ditch the pop. For me, this was a devastating break up. I grew up in a home where pop wasn’t something that was always available. I was also active in almost every sport, so I couldn’t afford to drink the sugary goodness and stay in shape. When I came to college pop was everywhere, in vending machines, at restaurants, in the cafeteria, etc. It was like I had been sheltered from it my whole life and could suddenly drink it whenever I pleased, and I eventually became dependent on it. Every morning, every meal, and then again at night when I was staying up to finish homework, I would have some type of pop at my side. So, what did I do to wean myself off? I switched to diet, which was in no way easy, but so worth it. Since May of 2013, I have only had a hand-full of sips of regular pop, and lost over 30 pounds.

Tip 2: Pack a lunch and leave your money at your residence hall/apartment. Not only will this save you hundreds of dollars, but packing your own lunch will leave you eating what you have, and not having money to get more food will keep you from eating more than you need.

Tip 3: Don’t forget about your jeans. The elastic on your comfy sweat pants is your worst enemy. After you have stuffed your face for weeks, your favorite jeans will leave you with a muffin top. Make it a point to wear jeans at least twice a week (if it’s as difficult for you to dress up for 8 a.m. class as it is me).

Tip 4: Cut down on alcohol. This is pretty simple. If you drink at all, you will get a beer gut. Say good-bye to that six-pack you may have had in high school. If you do decide to go out, drink smart, choosing drinks that aren’t calorie packed, and drink in moderation.

Tip 5: Take pictures of your progress. If you are in a residence hall, this may be a little awkward since you will be using a public bathroom, so instead, find the worst and best pictures of yourself and start from there. The bad picture will keep you motivated to change, while the good picture will give you a realistic idea of what you could look like. 

Tip 6: Rewarding yourself. Reward yourself with one delicious treat a day. If you know that after dinner you’ll get to eat that chocolate chip cookie you’ve wanted all day, you’ll be less likely to munch while doing homework. And after you have rewarded yourself, you’ll feel guilty eating any more than you need. This will become a habit, and cravings will eventually pass.

And last but not least, getting enough physical activity is one of the only ways you can really lose weight, but it’s important to remember that fitness and healthy habits happen with progress. This isn’t really a tip, rather more of a “no-brainer.” Physical activity is something our body needs, and is the most under used anti-depressant. Any activity is more activity than nothing. Stay positive. If you ever become frustrated with your progress, and you probably will, just remember: don’t focus on what hasn’t changed, focus on all the good you have done for yourself just by changing your lifestyle.