One of the most widely discussed consequences of attending college is the unlawful habit of gaining weight, often known as the freshman 15. While many students continue to exercise in an attempt to keep the weight off, sometimes it’s never enough. As a senior in college, I have watched many of my friends, and even myself, succumb to the freshman 15. Throughout my four years, various friends have even gained up to 50 pounds!
The question is, how do us college students prevent this horrible behavior?
Here are some steps to prevent massive weight gain during college…
1. Get to the Gym and Get a Gym Buddy
I understand many college students are constantly busy and have a lot going on, but hitting the treadmill or bike just twice a week has its benefits. Also, if you don’t really enjoy going to the gym or fitness center by yourself, try going with friends or find a gym buddy. Getting a gym buddy takes some of the pressure off yourself and actually helps you stay motivated. If you are too lazy to get up and go to the gym, even doing push-ups and sit-ups in your dorm room or off-campus residence can heighten your metabolism and help you sweat out the calories you put on the night before.
2. Try and Stay Away From Late Night Eating
A lot of college campus food sucks, I get it, but staying up late and making that late night trip to McDonalds or Burger King right before you go to sleep definitely doesn’t help. That Big Mac meal has a lot of calories and going to sleep right after means you more than likely are not burning them off.
3. When Possible, Walk, Don’t Drive, To Class
Many college students are lazy and would rather make that 5-minute drive to class, but walking is definitely the better option. It will probably wind up taking you just 2 minutes longer, or maybe even less time since you don’t have to look for a parking space. Plus, this may be the only exercise you’re giving yourself for the day.
4. Join a Club or Intramural Sports Team
For obvious reasons, joining a team will help you stay fit by working on your cardio in place of going to the gym. Also, a lot of these activities are even fun and entertaining. They may even get you some more friends.
5. Stay Away From The Buffet (Maybe Hit the Salad Bar)
Staying away from the all-you-can-eat section will limit how much you are eating, and may even help you save money if it costs extra. Hit the salad bar, if possible, but be careful of fatty dressings. Salads can sometimes be even less healthy than your regular go-to meal.
6. Limit Your Beer Drinking
We all know how much we all love to drink in college. Binge drinking is the norm, so the more beers you can drink, the cooler you look. Go with the lighter beers since they have fewer calories, and don’t worry, you don’t have to look like a sissy doing it. Bacardi Superior also has fewer calories for you liquor lovers.
7. Don’t Sit on the Couch with Your Xbox or PS3 Controller All Day
Many college students enjoy playing video games during their free time. There’s nothing wrong with including some alcohol or marijuana during this time to make it more interesting, but please get up from the couch every so often. If you get up every couple of hours, you can stretch and let the blood flow throughout your body. Also, everyone knows marijuana comes with the munchies, so try not to eat everything in sight.
If none of these tips help you, maybe these pictures will. The first is of my friend during the first semester of college while the latter picture is of him during his last semester of senior year.
If this doesn’t give you motivation, I don’t know what will.