Have you ever heard of the fabled “freshman 15”. Unfortunately it’s true, and it can become even “freshman 50” if you aren’t careful. Weight gain in college is something that affects almost everyone! You aren’t participating in sports or activities as frequent, your eating either unhealthy dining hall (or whatever you can afford) food, and you may be lazier. I told my family and friends that I would not succumb to the “freshman 15” and I didn’t! In fact, I lost weight while I was at school! I have gained a pound or two here or there, but I have stayed relatively close to my high school weight! Wondering how I did it when pizza and chicken strips called my name? Find out below!
Only Eat When Your Hungry
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people (including myself) eat when I’m bored. Those are the days where I check the fridge 3 times seeing if there is anything to eat, like a magical food fairy dropped a plate of hot lasagna in my fridge (if only). Eating out of boredom will only cause you to gain weight and have an extra cost of groceries. Try to find homework to do or entertain yourself by walking around campus and seeing what events are happening! (edit still in progress)
Eat 3 Whole Meals
This is something I need to get back into the swing of things as well. I usually eat a protein bar for breakfast, snacks for lunch, and then a whole pizza for supper. That diet may sound delicious but you need to remember what you put in your body is what fuels you. Now I am not saying don’t eat what you want, but try to have a well rounded breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only will you feel better, but you won’t fill the need to carb load at 2 AM while studying. I have to work on this as well so I will probably do a light breakfast, an average size lunch and an average size supper. Hopefully this will not only make you feel better, but also maintain a healthy weight!
Find Healthier Options
This is the hardest one for me, and I have learned how to combat it. When I lived on campus I would use a couple of my dining dollars and grab a bag of Cheetos, a rice krispie bar, and a cappuccino. Super healthy right? I am a snack queen so learning to make those healthier choices was hard for me. I also realized that fruit (whole fruit) isn’t as expensive as people say it is, especially if you have an ALDI. Fruit at ALDI is so cheap, and I really wish we had one where I live. Most places however have a Target or Walmart. When you go to pick up snacks, grab some healthier snacks like mangoes, kiwi’s, apples, etc. I am NOT saying to cut out all junk food from your life but if you make those healthier choices here and there, not only will your grocery bill be smaller, but your body will appreciate it. 🙂
Make Healthier Choices in the Dining Hall
If you are living in the dorms, this is the make or break for gaining weight. I know the chicken tenders and chimichangas are delicious, but you CAN still enjoy those things you love! If you focus on your portion size (such as get one cheeseburger instead of 3 and fries) you will be able to maintain your weight. Another way to enjoy the food and still be healthy is opt for healthier pizzas, pasta, and bread! Instead of regular noodles, get the whole wheat noodles! Instead of the 5 cheese pizza, get the margherita pizza (with tomatoes and basil)! Lastly get the whole wheat or multigrain bread instead of the white bread. This way you can still enjoy the foods you love. I could tell you to eat a salad but EVERYONE says that and I actually hate vegetables so there’s that. Another thing that worked for me was replacing one meal a day with a healthy alternative. For example, if I had bacon and french toast for breakfast, I would try to have a grilled chicken breast with gluten free pasta alfredo, and for supper, I could have a pizza! By replacing one meal a day, you are able to control your weight. The biggest thing to remember though is just watch your portion size!
Make Time for the Gym!
Now listen to me, I know you rolled your eyes when you read that and believe me the gym isn’t my best friend either. Now I’m not saying go everyday for 2 hours a day. If you take 45 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week, it can make a huge difference. Most universities have a free gym you can use (with your student ID). Most gyms in your city also have student discounts if you don’t want to deal with all the students. Most of my classes this semester are on the 3rd floor so I have been trying out the stairmaster so I don’t have to conceal my huffing and puffing. Those 3 hours you are on your phone or watching netflix can be used for so many different things. If you hate the thought of working out, try riding your bike around campus or explore your campus and see the art and student life! You may even make a friend or two. 🙂
Take your Food Back to Your Dorm/Apartment/Etc.
I did this so much if I didn’t have someone to go to supper with. Every night my floor would go out as a group at either 6pm or 7pm to get supper together. Not only did you know everyones name and faces on your floor, but my friend group was my whole floor! (Swanson 1st floor forever <3). Ok enough of me rambling. There was some nights I just wanted to be alone, and taking my food back to my dorm was always a go to. Usually around 6-7 pm the dining hall will put out take out boxes. By me using the portion tray in the box, I was able to keep my portions smaller. Not only do you get the workout from walking there and back (my dining hall (the best one) was a half a mile away) but you won’t be prone to get seconds. Nothing is better than when all your homework is done so you reward yourself with chicken alfredo and a good movie.
I hoped some of these tips will help you! Now if you don’t follow it that’s a-ok! It’s college! Have the time of your life! Also do NOT take out things you enjoy, you will only hate trying to stay healthy. Did I miss something that you think I should add? Let me know down below! What’s your favorite healthy snack (only asking because I love suggestions) let me know down below or on my Instagram: @sunshineandseasoning. For everyone that was asking how I didn’t gain weight in college, this post is FOR YOU. I hope you have a wonderful day and see you tomorrow!
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