Now that the new school season is in full swing, many students are immersed in their studies. It can be a hectic and oftentimes overwhelming time for students, especially college freshman. While it’s important to focus on studies its equally important to dedicate some time and effort to overall health and wellness. The Freshman 15 is often talked about as a common occurrence and refers to the belief that college students gain weight in their freshman year, sometimes as much as 15 pounds. Stress, new environments, increased responsibilities and workloads can cause many young people to pick up poor lifestyle habits which can directly affect health and weight. For those looking to avoid the Freshman 15, check out some practical and helpful tips below.
1. Get some sleep! Studies have shown a link between sleep and weight gain. Aim for 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep per night.
2. Try to avoid eating when overworked, stressed, studying, or watching TV.
3. Avoid fast food and vending machines. While convenient, these outlets offer limited options for those seeking healthy, nutritious food options.
4. Maintain consistent exercise. If you’re not the gym type, keep active in other ways. Walk or bike as often as you can and consider a fitness tracker that monitors and encourages frequent activity/movement.
5. Be mindful of alcohol intake. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and can lead to poor food choices.
6. Keep healthy snack options in your room.
7. Avoid drinking your calories. Try to stick with healthy, low/no calorie drink choices like water (or flavoured water).