Before I started college I had heard about the dreaded “freshman 15,” but honestly didn’t really think it was a real thing. I thought it was just something that was said in order to scare people into eating healthy or working out but the moment my parents came to pick me up for thanksgiving break my first year of college the first thing they said is, “wow I see you haven’t missed a meal.”
It was humiliating; I felt so ashamed and I know that many people feel the same way after coming home from college. Even if you do end up gaining a little or a lot of weight during your first few months of college, it’s important to remember that it’s completely normal.
Everyone talks about the “freshman 15” when starting college and it’s completely real. For many people, it’s the first time that they have complete control over their dietary choices, which can be very challenging especially the first few months. On top of there’s the stress of being in a new environment and of classes. Eating healthy with a limited amount choices and money can be difficult which is why the college students gain 5 times more weight than the average person.
On average college students tend to gain 3 to 10 pounds during their first two years of college, with the most gain weight during their freshman year. Some people gain more and some people gain less, either way, it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
Here are some tips that I learned throughout my first year of college:
- Eat Breakfast
This is a cliche one, but seriously it’s important. Eating breakfast can make the difference on whether you’re awake or asleep during your morning lecture
- Don’t skip meals
I know that sometimes it’ll feel like you don’t have time to catch your breath let alone to grab something to eat but it’s important that you have all three meals. It will keep you from snacking throughout the day.
- Cool it with the energy drinks.
My freshman year I lived off energy drinks. It seemed like I was never actually awake enough to get everything done, this eventually landed me in the emergency room. Energy drinks are full of sugar and caffeine which will give you a short burst of energy but eventually cause you to crash. Instead, eat an apple, they have natural sugar which will give you the same effect of caffeine.
College can be stressful enough without having to worry about weight changes but whether you lose 5 pounds or gain 15, keep in mind that it’s completely normal.