Page 7 - College Guide 2018
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How To Avoid The Freshman 15
By: Shanna P. Lowe
College may be the best years of your life. You’ll party hard, study hard and meet lifetime friends. However, along with the transition to a college lifestyle, you may initially gain some weight aka the freshman 15. Students gain some extra pounds due to stress and the inability to cook leading to poor diet choices based on convenience. This can easily be avoided if you build healthy habits.
Eat Mindfully
Although you may have purchased a meal plan from your school, it does not mean that you have to eat everything they offer. Students may feel tempted to “take advantage” of the meal plan, but they are just setting themselves up for weight gain. Instead, only eat when you are truly hungry and end the bad habit of mindless snacking. Also, try to limit the amount of processed junk you eat. I know college kids are notorious for eating Ramen and mac and cheese, but if you have the option of a salad or a burger for lunch, you know what the smarter choice is. It will be dif cult initially, but after every small, healthy choice you make it will start to become a habit.
Stop Drinking Calories
working out, start off small by going to the gym 2 to 3 times a week. The goal is not to be perfect right off the bat but to just take the initiative to start. Try exercises that you can enjoy and actually do. If you are a beginner, you do not have to feel pressured to jump into doing intense workouts 5 times a week. Instead, combine cardio with strength training for optimal results. To gain inspiration, YouTube has a plethora of workout tips and resources. For the workout hater, there are ways to make it more fun and enjoyable. Invite friends to join you and motivate one another. There are also many types of  tness classes you can attend like Zumba, cycle and yoga. Getting into the right mindset about working out will really set the positive tone you need to continue. Instead of dreading it, think about why you are doing it.
It can get dif cult to relax when you are swamped with deadlines and studying but make time to unwind a priority. Whatever it is you like to do to feel more at ease, do that. Take time to take a bath once a week, read a book, go on a sunset walk or meditate for just 10 minutes every day. There are simple ways to sneak in some time to breathe, as long as you allow yourself. Accumulating too much stress can easily lead to weight gain and many people also suffer from stress eating. Having peace of mind encompasses your overall health.
College is the epitome of partying and alcohol consumption, so it is likely that you are drinking a lot more alcohol your freshman year of college than you were the year prior. Unfortunately, alcohol contains a ton of sugar which leads to fat gain. You can still have fun and live it up but consider decreasing the amount of alcohol you consume. Excessively drinking isn’t the best for your wellbeing anyways and school work should be the number one priority. Apart from liquor, many students drink way too many sugary drinks compared to water. Whether it’s soda, energy drinks or juices, they should all be kept to a minimum. To increase your water intake, start carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and poor digestion, so have water be your drink of choice and indulge in a sugary beverage only once in a while.
Many campuses have a gym included, which you should take advantage of. If not, you can get a membership at your local gym. Paying for a membership will most likely make you feel more inclined to get a workout in. Either way, if you are not used to

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