Guest Post: How To Avoid the Freshman 15!
Happy Monday friends! I have my first ever guest post for you From Georgie over at In It 4 the Long Run! Definitely check out her page, because her posts are always interesting!
How to Avoid the Freshman 15
I remember going into my freshman year of college determined not to gain the dreaded “freshman 15,” but despite my well-established healthy habits, I still managed to gain a solid 10 pounds. Oops!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating forgoing all chances at a late night slice of college town pizza, but it’s all about moderation and balance. If you make these indulgences a special occasion rather than habit, you’ll be just fine.
My Biggest Downfalls & How to Avoid Them
The Problem: Thinking That Going to the Gym Was my Ticket to the All-You-Can-Eat Dining Hall Buffet
For a while my mentality was: I gym’d therefore I need ALL THE FOOD. Exercising is awesome, but unless you’re training like Michael Phelps, you probably shouldn’t be eating like him. Remember the 80/20 rule: weight loss/maintenance is 80% healthy diet 20% exercise. Basically don’t throw all you’re hard work away with crappy food.
Let your motivation for working out come from the endorphins, stress relief, and satisfaction from working hard, rather than just burning calories. Trust me, it’s way more satisfying to crush your fitness goals than it is to try to burn X amount of calories.
The Problem: Eating my Stress
I have vivid memories of sitting at my desk at 1am, piles of highlighted study guides and notes on one side and a bag of jellybeans and peanut butter crackers on the other. One page equaled one jelly bean (or 5 or 10). Sugar was my way to keep myself going (but really it was slowing me down.)
Find other ways to reward yourself mid-late-night-study-sesh. Chewing some Extra Peppermint gum, drinking water, taking a (timed) Pinterest break, taking a walk or dancing around my room are all things I do now to break up the monotony and cravings that hit during late nights.
The Problem: Being Overwhelmed with (bad) Choices at the Dining Hall
At home, my fridge was filled with fresh veggies, fruit and whole grains. When I got to school, I was overwhelmed by all the foods I rarely ever ate: sugary cereals, bagels, ice cream, processed desserts and more. Often I would just get dessert because everyone else was or my main meal was so unsatisfying or just because it was right there. Special desserts lost their “special-ness” and turned into bad habits, which caught up with me pretty quickly.
Make a game plan before you eat. Find the healthy options that satisfy you and stick to those. Letting your friends know your game plan never hurts either, it’s always easier to eat healthier when you’re not the odd man out.
The Problem: Free Pizza
As an active member of my college community, I attend a lot of group meetings. On college campuses meetings somehow ALWAYS have free pizza. And hey, pizza rocks, but…
Remind yourself that there will always be free pizza and just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s good. Honestly, the satisfaction from resisting crappy free pizza has become more rewarding than if I ate it.
One last tip:
Don’t fear the scale
While I would never advocate weighing yourself daily, it’s not a bad idea to check in once and a while. That way, if you do gain a couple pounds you can modify your habits before they turn into 10 or 15lbs.
So You Gained Few? Don’t Stress!
Recently I noticed that literally every winter, no matter what I do, I gain a few pounds. At first I was frustrated and annoyed, but then I discovered that a ton of my girl friends and family members go through the same thing.
I don’t know of any research backing this hypothesis, but from personal (and friends’) experience(s) gaining a few winter pounds is normal and they’re easy to lose come spring. When the weather’s nice, you’re more active and tend to eat less naturally. So no worries – let your body do it’s thing.
Finally, at the end of the day being happy and healthy is way more important than stressing about weight. Don’t forget to enjoy college!
- School Saavy: Surviving Your First Year of College (everythinggirlslove.com)
- Freshman Year Advice (tracesofspace.com)
- The Best Regimen for College Fitness (bhls.wordpress.com)
- Healthy Diet for College Students (aboutpapersdom.wordpress.com)