How to avoid the Freshman 15

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It’s no secret how easy it is for students to gain weight, especially during their first year of college. The “Freshman 15” is no myth. It is a phrase that refers to freshman gaining up to 15 pounds after starting college. Even though students do not always gain 15 pounds, it’s still common for some weight gain.  The question is, why do students gain weight and how can we avoid it?

Trevor Carter, the wellness program manager said, “Recent studies have shown that the ‘Freshman 15’ is not quite true. On average, students gain around 3 to 10 pounds during the first two years of college.”

One factor that goes into gaining a few extra pounds is how easy it is to eat unhealthy. Most food offered on campus, either through vending machines or food venders, are primarily fast foods full of unhealthy fats and sugars. Let’s also not forget that buying groceries on a budget makes it’s very difficult to purchase healthy foods.

A freshman statistics major, Alisha Anderson said, “Just take care of yourself. I’m making sure I eat a well-balanced [diet]. Eating out is not good on our wallets and not good on our waistline.”

One step students can take to eat healthier on a budget is to pack a lunch from home. A simple PB&J sandwich is more affordable and healthier when compared to food on campus. Student’s eating patterns can go a long way when it comes to their weight.

Affordable wellness programs are available for students who would like help living healthy. Carter said, “Wellness programs offers physical, nutritional, and ‘Never Diet Again’ health coaching that can help students to find balance and learn to be intuitive in [their] eating habits.”

Physical exercise is also important to help avoid adding extra pounds. Take advantage of the gym on the third floor of the Student Life and Wellness Center. It’s free for full time students and only $10 per semester for everyone else. The third floor offers a full gym with a basketball court, running track and dance studios. All facilities are first-come-first-serve if it is not previously reserved.

College can be hard and stressful, but there are options for students to avoid living unhealthy lives. Makinley Jensen, a freshman English education major says that the ‘Freshman 15’ is completely avoidable. “[It] doesn’t have to be a thing. I think it’s avoidable, and even reversible. It can be the ‘Freshman Negative 15.’”

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