I know, it's been awhile but I'm back and 8 months deep into my freshman year at college. Coming to college, I feared the freshman 15 like none other. Instead of the freshman 15, I've managed to make it the freshman -30+. Whenever people see my transformation they always ask how I've managed to lose so much in college. For those who are not in college at the moment, or do not understand the whole "Freshman 15" I'll go ahead and explain. The freshman 15 is the idea that one gains around 15 pounds their freshman year of college. This could be due to several factors:
- The dining halls at a lot of college campuses offer buffet all-you-can eat style food.
- The food served typically has no nutritional value
- Excessive partying=drinking and eating a lot more
- High stress=eating is an easy way to cope
- No parents around to make you eat your veggies or anything healthy
Those are the 5 main reasons I've seen people gain a lot of weight in college. But by making simple swaps and choices this freshman 15 is very avoidable.
- Simple, healthier swaps: In college I consume a large quantity of coffee, I dont drink coffee black which means I add a lot of cream and sugar to my coffee. I started adding almond/coconut milk to my coffee or nonfat if those are unavailable, as well as a calorie free sweetner. This is such a simple swap that really makes no difference in taste to me. At Starbucks my favorite drink is a caramel macchiato which contains about 240 calories for a grande, by simply asking for a skinny caramel macchiato you're cutting 100 calories off it while it still tastes the exact same.
- Use of school gym: many universities have a gym/rec center that is paid for by your tuition. Take advantage of this! I have found the gym to be a great place to really de-stress and take my mind off school. Some rec centers will also offer group exercises like yoga, which I have picked up and fallen in love with.
- Walk and ride your bike around town: If your school is anything like mine, you have to walk and ride to get around, it's often hard and pricey to park on campus, so take advantage of that and walk! This will contribute not only to a healthier environment but also to the amount of calories you'll burn in a day.
- Just because it's all you can eat doesn't mean you have to: Don't just eat 100 cookies because they're there. When I eat I always see kids with stacks of plates, its definitely tempting to eat a lot but all you have to remember is that you really don't need it. Eat to live, not live to eat.
- Calorie counting: this one might be a little iffy for some people and it's definitely not a requirement to lose weight. I have just personally found that when I'm not aware of how many calories I'm consuming, then I eat way more than I should. I use myfitnesspal, it's a free app that allows you to set weight loss goals and then will provide you with the amount of calories you should eat in a day to achieve those goals. I've made calorie tracking a habit and it's changed the way I eat tremendously by helping me stay on track.
Those are my top tips for staying on track/losing weight in college! It's not easy, but it's not impossible, you just have to stay positive and keep your goals in mind! It's very easy to let go of yourself in college, but by avoiding certain things you can definitely achieve your goals!