How do I Avoid the Freshman Fifteen?

The "freshman fifteen" or "college fifteen" is the weight gained by many young men and women as they enter college. Most of this weight is usually gained during the first year of college, which would explain the name "freshman fifteen," but in some cases, the weight gain can extend throughout the whole four years of university.

There are numerous reasons for the "freshman fifteen." With the demands of college classes and exams, many students turn to fast food as their main source of nourishment, which in turn ends up piling up the pounds rather quickly. Frequent parties and late-night snacking also contribute to the "freshman fifteen." Here are some quick tips on how to remain slim through college.


  • Choose your dorm food carefully. Choose the lighter options, such as mashed potatoes, over the heavier ones, like French fries, and ask for extra veggies rather than a side serving of rice.
  • One of the most common causes of the "freshman fifteen" is the care packages parents often send to students in far-away colleges. While there's nothing wrong with homemade food, getting extra-rich chocolate chips cookies every week will do your diet no good.
  • Avoid late-night eating in the dorm. While snacking is not necessarily bad, dorm snacks often consist of pizza, high-calorie beverages and chocolate or candy. Is the type of snacks rather than the time what makes this a common contributor to the "freshman fifteen."
  • College stress is another reason why the "freshman fifteen" is such a common occurrence. Confronted with the demands of classes, homework, and due reports, many students turn to snacking as a way of coping. If you feel like snacking while studying, opt for lighter options such as non-buttered popcorn, saltine crackers, or baby carrots.
  • More and more universities now offer free sport activities or gym access to their students in an effort to help them avoid the "freshman fifteen." Take advantage of the opportunities by making sports a social activity rather than something you would do "when you have the free time for it."

The most important thing you can do to avoid the "freshman fifteen" is to remember the basics of nutrition. Try to keep active and do not make food the main focus of your meetings. The "freshman fifteen" will stay away if you work on it.



Discuss this Article

Post 2

I don't know about college culture in America, but in the UK, university students drink a hell of a lot of alcohol.

Spending three years drunk seems to be the main point of going to Uni. This explains why most students put on weight even though they usually "can't afford" to buy proper food - alcohol is incredibly high in calories even though it has no useful nutritional value.

It also helps explain why so many students have worse health in general than they did while they were at home. So the best way to avoid putting on so much weight in college is not to spend three years binge-drinking! Hope that helps.

Post 1

For many students, I wonder if being away from home, and being on their own for the first time in their life might contribute to added consumption of food for comfort.

If portions and choice of snacks are kept in control, snacking can be beneficial. Here are some reasons why. Snacking keeps energy levels constant, it prevents overeating, it adds extra vitamins to the diet. So it is less the snacking and more the type and amount of snacks that add to to "freshman fifteen".

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