College can be a stressful time for many entering freshmen. From being away from home for the first time to meeting new people, there are many factors that can cause you to become stressed during your first year of college. And as a result of being stressed, you may begin to pack on a few pounds. Follow these tips to beat the freshman 15 and remain healthy throughout your college years.
Keep a balanced diet. Eat healthy foods from the five food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats/protein-based foods. Be sure to eat three meals a day. Never skip breakfast because it gives you the energy to get through the morning.
Control your portion size. Eating smaller portions of food can help you maintain your weight. When eating at a restaurant, share your entrée with a friend or save some food to take home for another meal. Don't go back for seconds at your school's all-you-can-eat cafeteria. Don't biggie-size your meal when eating fast food.
Stock your dorm room with healthy snacks. Keep sweets at a minimum. Instead, opt for healthier snacks, such as nuts, fruits, rice cakes, yogurt, pretzels, etc. Tell your mom to leave the chocolate chip cookies out of the care packages; ask her to send a fruit basket instead.
Keep a food journal. If you are really worried about gaining extra weight, keep a food journal. It will allow you to keep track of how many calories you consume in a day. Write down everything you eat and drink each day and adjust your calorie intake to your findings.
Avoid alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption will make you gain weight quickly. One beer contains about 150 calories. If you do decide to drink (and meet the age requirement), put a limit on how much you intake.
Drink water. Water is a non-caloric drink, and it keeps you well hydrated. Drinking water instead of sodas and sweetened beverages will help you avoid those unwanted calories. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
Keep late nights to a minimum. If you stay up all night studying, partying, etc., you will be more likely to crave a midnight snack. Your unhealthy friends (who haven't read this article) will talk you into ordering a pizza at 1am, and then you'll regret it come morning.
Exercise. You may find it hard to cram exercising into your busy college schedule, but it is essential in keeping the weight off. Try to visit the campus gym three times a week or do yoga in your dorm room. If you don't like a routine workout, grab some of your friends for a brisk walk around campus, a swim in the campus pool, or a bike ride around the park. You have to stay active in order to burn off those excess calories.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can often lead to weight gain because you consume more caffeinated foods and beverages in order to make up for the lack of sleep. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night, so you will have an energized morning without the caffeine boost.
Gaining weight in college is common. However, if you follow the above-mentioned tips, then you should beat the freshman 15 and stay healthy all through college.