So many freshman have fallen victim to that first year weight gain, and for many reasons. One is that they are now on their own in terms of meals and nutrition. Mom or dad is no longer cooking them healthy meals and you tend to buy cheaper pre-packaged meals which are not as healthy. You may be drinking more alcohol than before and those late night parties always lead to late night snacks. It can also be hard to find the time for exercise. Most colleges and universities have a fitness center that is at the student’s disposal, but not everyone feels they have the time or the motivation to go. No one likes to come home for the summer and visit with old friends 15 pounds heavier! Here are some tips to help you avoid gaining weight during your first year of college:
1. Set a workout schedule that you can stick to. If you are normally not into working out, don’t say you are going to hit the gym every morning at 8am cuz it aint gonna happen! Be realistic and start off with three days a week. It might not be the same time each one of those days because of classes, homework and that part time job you might have. Think of a time where you are finding yourself bored most often and schedule an hour gym sessions then.
2. If possible, try not to stay up all night. Stay on top of your homework and studies so you don’t have to have a late night cram session. This always leads to cramming snacks and soda or coffee down your throat. Not only do you need your sleep to think clearly, you also need your sleep for energy. If you are feeling drained, guess what, you aren’t going to want to work out.
3. Try, try, try to plan your meals! This may be very difficult in college, but try! Take a Sunday afternoon to shop for healthy options and plan out each meal of the week so you don’t have to resort to quick convenience foods at the last minute. Energy from “real” food is long lasting unlike the quick spikes of energy you will get from fast food and junk.
4. Drink water always. I know there will be some weekends that you will be drinking other beverages, but besides that, drink water. Why get calories from juice or soda? Soda always makes me feel gross and as you get older, you will start to feel that as well. Also, if you carry water with you at all times, this will help to curb cravings as sometimes we confuse thirst for hunger.
5. Don’t go overboard with the alcohol. As a freshman, most students aren’t even old enough to drink, but it doesn’t happen more often than not. So let’s be real here. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and considering the snacking you might to during that party and the foods you will eat to get over the hangover, brings the calorie count higher than you might think. Drink water in between beers. This can not only reduce the amount of alcohol you drink for the night, it can also help lessen the effects of a hangover.
Side Note: Drinking the P90X Recovery Drink after a night of drinking can help cure your hangover the next morning!
We can’t all be perfect, especially in a time of transition so start small and do what you can to avoid those extra pounds. Taking these relatively small steps to avoid that freshman 15 can lead you into a lifetime of good habits. Need some motivation? Get a workout buddy, start a blog or just think of how hot you looked in your prom dress and how funny it would be to try it on again the summer after your freshman year!