The “Freshman 15”
Tipping Weight-loss Scales to Benefit YOU
Summer will be winding down soon, which means that school days are right around the corner. If you are or know someone who is a college student, and especially one who lives on campus, chances are you know all too well the vicious cycle food can play on one’s mid-section. French fries, malts, soda pop and vending-machine snacks remind us of the days when we were certain nothing bad could happen to us. We were invincible!
“Freshman 15” refers somewhat lovingly to the 15 pounds commonly packed on during one’s first year at college. And it’s sort of a love/hate situation: students love to eat, whenever and whatever they want now that they’re away from home – and many either abhor exercise or have little time to work out.
Studies indicate that girls tend to be more susceptible to the “Freshman 15” conundrum than guys, in part, perhaps, because females have a tendency to gain more weight than their male counterparts.
While some first-year students likely will gain weight (although it might not be the full Freshman 15 expected), it may not all happen during freshman year. Sadly, that’s not necessarily promising news. Doctors are concerned that students who gradually put on pounds are establishing a pattern of weight gain that could lead to trouble down the road.
According to studies, on average students gain 3 to 10 pounds during their first 2 years of college, and most of the weight packs on during the first semester of freshman year. The extra pounds put on by freshman girls assemble themselves in different locations amongst their bodies, and, sadly, in the most noticeable of places: hips, thighs, breasts, butt, and stomach. Males, on the other hand, gain mostly around the waist. They also tend to lose added pounds faster and more easily.
The good news is: we can all change our eating habits!
Don’t like the numbers you see on the scale? Follow these tips to shed extra baggage:
1. Don’t use a cafeteria tray and eat only what you can carry. A tray allows for too many bad options.
2. Avoid yogurt toppings. A medium scoop of yogurt is 113 calories, BEFORE adding brownie chunks, sprinkles, fruit sauce and M&M’s.
3. Post this warning on your dorm mini fridge: To lose one pound of weight, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume.
4. Never eat anything straight out of a bag or carton.
5. Avoid vending machines.
6. Start a food journal and write down everything you eat and how you feel after you ate it. Also, what triggered you to eat it in the first place – emotions can be a huge culprit to weight gain.
7. Walk or run, everywhere.
8. Don’t order anything supersized.
9. Substitute water over soft drinks or power drinks.
10. Sleep. Lots!
11. Never eat second helpings.
12. Eat breakfast. You’ll be less hungry later and your metabolism will be jump-started.
13. Eat only one serving size.
14. Set realistic goals: one or two pounds a week rather than 30 a/s/a/p.
15. Chew your food well and eat slower.
16. Exercise. Many options abound! Of course that includes my Visibly Fit™ exercises that you can do right in your dorm room. Remember Your Body IS Your Gym™ – no need to spend money on one!