A quick Google search will yield tons of results on how to avoid the much-dreaded Freshman 15, but who wrote this stuff? The advice includes giving up beer, pizza, and practically anything else fun.
That’s definitely not what college is about, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tight fighting jeans and feeling self-conscious about your body during your first year at university.
Read on to find out how you can avoid the Freshman 15 without feeling like you’re missing out on college fun.
1. Play Intramural Sports
The benefits of joining a coed volleyball team or playing some pick-up basketball are more than just sneaking in a workout. You’ll get to meet new friends, bond with current ones, and show off your Lululemon gear all at once.
2. Drink More Water
The calories in soda, juices, and other drinks add up without filling you up. Stick to water whenever possible, even though it’s slightly boring.
3. Walk to Class
Hitching a ride on the bus may seem easier, but why not get some steps in on a sunny day? Besides, the bus is always late…
4. Go for Mixed Drinks Over Beer
Partying is part of college, but frat boys’ drink of choice is going to take a lot of calories to feel buzzed. Instead, mixed drinks or straight alcohol will do the trick without the filling calories. Check out this handy guide for the best (and worst) ones to try – but keep in mind, you won’t be drinking as much as your beer-chugging friends.
5. Eat Breakfast
It’s easy to skip the most important meal of the day when you’re rushing to an 8 a.m. class after a late night study session, but eating first thing in the morning helps jump start your metabolism for the entire day.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks in Your Dorm
We all know a handful of chips turns into finishing off the bag very quickly. Instead of stocking your dorm room with junk food, only keep healthy snacks like fruits and granola bars. You’ll curb your appetite until dinner without ruining your diet.
7. Hit the Gym
College is one of the rare occasions in life when you have free access to a gym – possibly even workout classes. Instead of sitting on your bum watching another episode of Orange Is the New Black, grab your binge-watching bud and get a workout in. You can even take your studying to the gym – sit on the stationary bike to read your next assignment or go over flashcards.
8. Balance It Out
Okay, so you had a late-night slice of pizza that turned into half a pie. Don’t freak out – just eat healthy for the next day or so. It’s totally fine to indulge as long as it’s not an everyday habit.
9. Be Smart at the Dining Hall
Sure, the salad bar is healthy…until you load up on croutons and cheese. Suddenly your healthy meal is loaded with calories! Make sure to load up on veggies, fruits, and whole grain whenever possible.
10. Manage Your Stress
College is undoubtedly stressful, but that anxiety can lead to weight loss. If you’re bugging out, find a way to let out that emotion. Maybe call your best friend from home for a vent session or get some fresh air.
11. Don’t Multitask When You Eat
When you’re watching a TV show or studying while you chow down, you aren’t paying attention to what you’re eating. You may be full and not even know it! When it’s meal time, take a break from whatever you’re doing and enjoy the food.
Maybe you’re taking in a few extra calories from drinking on a Saturday night, but you can also get down on the dance floor. It’s exercise! Instead of standing in the corner or sitting on the couch, shake that thing, girl.
13. Become a Tea Drinker
You need caffeine in college, right? Green or oolong tea has shown to boost your metabolism for a couple of hours. If you can’t cut the coffee, take it black.
14. Wait 20 Minutes Once You Feel Hungry
Are you really hungry…or just bored? When you have an urge to snack, wait 20 minutes and see if you still feel the need to chow down. There’s a good chance you’re just thirsty or need a distraction.
15. Don’t Wait Until You Gain to Lose
Finding out at Christmas that you’ve gained 10 pounds since the semester started is not a great way to celebrate the holidays! As soon as you step on campus, follow these tips so you maintain a healthy weight instead of yo-yo in size.