Avoiding the freshman 15

Nicole Dellolio – Opinions Editor

Every student walking into their freshman year of college has one common thing to fear: the freshman 15.  The freshman 15 is a commonly used expression to show the amount of weight that students will gain throughout their first year living away at college.  This is probably partially due to the fact that it’s most students’ first time living away from home and all of their eating and exercising decisions are made by themselves.

According to WebMD, “A new study shows that nearly one in four freshmen gain at least 5% of their body weight, an average of about 10 pounds, during their first semester.”

Walking into Conn Hall the first time is a great experience because you are instantly surrounded by all of the types of food that you can enjoy all throughout the day. The first meal that I ate on campus was breakfast and I was so excited because the first thing that I laid my eyes on was the Belgian waffle maker. Now if I got to eat whatever I wanted every day I would have waffles for breakfast, fried mozzarella for lunch, and pizza for dinner, but unfortunately all of those delicious foods have a lot of calories. In moderation, these snacks can be a treat but serving them each as meals every day is only going to make you gain weight.

If you stop to think about all of your favorite foods, they probably consist of really unhealthy ingredients, but if these foods are at your disposal at any point of the day, then how are you supposed to limit yourself?

Some of the foods you shouldn't be eating if you want to avoid the freshman 15.

Some of the foods you shouldn’t be eating if you want to avoid the freshman 15.

An important aspect to remember when picking out each of your meals is to limit how much of the unhealthy foods you consume.  Even though there’s a section full of pizzas and desserts, you need to limit how much of those foods that you eat because the calories start to add up quickly, which starts to add on pounds.  In a perfect world, delicious foods would have no calories and healthy foods would make you gain weight, but unfortunately it’s the complete opposite.

Another tip for moderating your eating habits is to bring snacks with you throughout the day so that when you eat dinner later on in the day, you’re not pigging out because you’re starving.

Another important key to maintaining your weight is to exercise frequently.  I know it’s something that you probably hear all the time, but it’s crucial to remaining healthy throughout your college years.  As the weather remains nice outside, go out and take a walk around campus or better yet, go for a run.  As the weather starts to get colder, join the gym on campus that is located in the Adanti Student Center. The gym on campus is $60 for one semester or $120 for the entire year.  If you compare that rate to other gyms in the area, it is relatively lower and is just a few steps outside your dorm room. If you’re living on campus, it’s a short walk away and is beneficial to helping you maintain a healthy weight.

One thing that you might not think about is the calories that are in alcohol.  According to College Drinking Prevention, beer has an average of 149 calories per serving and red wine has an average of 80 calories per serving. That means if you’re going out with your friends and have four beers in one night, you’re adding on an extra 596 calories to your diet that day. Keep that in mind.

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