15 Ways To Beat The Freshman 15
15 Ways To Beat The Freshman 15
You’ve heard of the Freshman 15, but is it real?! YES! It happens to even the best of us. The stress of this new phase of life, as well as getting older in general can catch up to you. My freshman year I thought I was eating healthy and working out enough but I still gained about 20 pounds! I wasn’t happy and knew something needed to change. To better prepare you here are my 15 tips from my own experience that will help you prevent the Freshman 15.
1. Get sleep!!
I feel this is obvious but it’s so hard in college! Between social events and late night studying it’s hard to get a full night's sleep. I also recommend to NEVER take 7am classes. Just because you went to high school at that time does not mean it’s that easy in college! I know myself and I am not a morning person, so my earliest class is always after 12 when I can make it work. That way even if I don’t go to bed till 1am I can still get my 8 hours in and be up for class. Know yourself and establish a routine. Whatever it is ensure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Lack of sleep leads to poor grades and will make you gain weight faster. Do yourself a favor and make this a priority.
2. Schedule in the gym
When I make my class schedule I always block out a time in between classes when I’m on campus where I can hit the gym. I rent a locker there so I don’t have to carry a bag around or go back to my dorm and change, and I can freshen up there before my next class. Having time in your block for the gym makes it easier to get it in than going in the evening. Find what works for you and stick to it.
3. Sign up for a workout class
I personally don’t love workout classes, but if it works for you find a buddy and attend a class! They’re usually fun and a great way to stay committed to attending. This is a really great idea if you're still a newbie to the gym scene. Maybe try something you’ve never done like kickboxing, barre, or swimming. College is the time for growth! Don’t be afraid to try something new!
4. Read textbook while doing cardio
This is my favorite thing to do! Saves time and is totally effective! Typically I don’t actually have to read the textbook to pass a class, but occasionally I really need to read it. I hate reading textbooks and they usually put me to sleep. So I pop that sucker on the treadmill or bike and will read and workout for an hour or more sometime before I even notice! It’s a great way to feel productive too! I typically take notes on my phone through google drive (a HUGE hack for college, make your notes digital and then you can keyword search when finals roll around!) that way I can type while I bike and not have to worry about writing down notes.
5. Get used to walking
If your campus is huge like mine it can be tempting to drive or take the bus. I always tell freshman to learn the bus system early in the semester, so that by winter they have it down when it’s too cold to walk. But other than that WALK to your classes! Great exercise and it’ll help you learn your campus.
6. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere
Sometime it’s easy to forget to drink water while you’re in class. Skip the soda and energy drinks and just chug water! You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces a day, more if you're active or detoxing. This will keep you alert and focused and help you to maintain or lose weight. My favorite bottles have been hydroflasks or this one from amazon. Struggle to drink water? ME TOO! I've found that when I have a straw I'll just sip on it while I work and hardly notice how much I'm actually drinking. Give that a try or try squeezing a lemon in it if you like more taste to it. I also LOVE these fun glow cubes from Disneyland (but that you can also buy on Amazon) that just make me so happy during my workout and classes.
7. Remember to eat!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to eat until you’re starving, and then you eat too much. I typically carry snacks with me and eat something every 2-3 hours to maintain my blood sugar. That way I don’t just grab something fast and cheap because I’m hungry. Also, don’t underestimate the value of a good breakfast. I don’t love solid food in the mornings and rarely have time, so I drink these 310 Shakes for protein and a great start to my day.
8. Make sure you’re eating enough of the right stuff
If you're trying to loose weight you may feel you need to be restrictive and not eat much at all. This is a horrible idea! If you don't eat enough your body goes into starvation mode and stores more food as fat (that's not good). Sometimes you’re eating enough, but not of the right stuff. It’s really important to have a balanced diet so make sure to eat fruits and veggies instead of chips and candy. Watch you’re binge eating during study times too. When you eat, focus on eating and nothing else.
9. Consider meal planning
Meal planning/prepping has been a GAME CHANGER for me. Not only does it keep my budget low because I’m buying only what I need and never wasting anything, but I also love having everything planned out and ready to go so I don’t have to think about it. Check out this blog on how to meal prep with a free template to get you started!
10. Limit eating out
You’ll learn in college that most social events include food. Going out to eat, grabbing McDonald’s etc. Not only will this lead to extra pounds but it’ll kill your budget too! Limit when you’re eating out, bring your own food to events. You might feel weird at first but at least you’re not fat and broke LOL.
11. Choose a kitchen over a meal plan
This is my BIGGEST regret. My freshman year I didn’t have a kitchen and relied on the cafeteria which I got sick of after a while and didn’t have the best options. I HIGHLY prefer having my own kitchen to cook and meal prep in. If this isn’t an option for you, find easy meals to make in microwaves in your dorm on Pinterest. I had a baby waffle iron I used to make waffles and quesadillas!
12. Watch the free food
You’ll learn quickly that there is free food EVERYWHERE on campus. There’s even an app called lunchbox that will help you find it. But be careful. 9/10 times it’s pizza, which is delicious but not great for you. Don’t rely on it or grab it just because it’s free (that’s how they fatten you up LOL) bring your own snacks with you so you don’t grab it because it’s there and you’re hungry.
13. Find a way to relax
Stress is one of the biggest reasons freshman gain weight. It’s not really just from classes and homework, but it’s being on your own, having to work to pay for school, actually paying for stuff on your own etc. It’s a lot of handle all at once. So find healthy ways to relax. If that’s yoga, or hiking, swimming, napping, watching Netflix for a little bit at night, journaling. Whatever it is find something you can do that takes you away from your homework and potentially campus to give your brain and body a break.
14. Remember alcohol does not have zero calories
If you choose to party and drink remember that alcohol DOES have calories (and so do the foods you eat when you don’t remember LOL) be conscious of that and how much you’re drinking. Also if you’re underage it’s not a good idea, but to each his own.
15. Get a good probiotic
This is often overlooked by young adults in general. In our western diet we don’t naturally eat enough probiotics and our gut health can suffer. I’ve loved my Plexus products! (These are my favorites!) They’ve helped me lose weight, sleep better, have better focus, more energy, and so much more. It’s a really great idea to add that to your routine to maintain your health during your freshman year. Plexus will also help you fight off the viruses that spread like wildfire through college campuses. If you feel you’re eating right and working out without anything to show for it, it might be time to take a closer look at your gut health. If you’re gut health isn’t working great neither is your metabolism. So despite your best efforts you’ll gain or will be unable to lose until you get that in order. If you’re interested in learning more about Plexus send me a message on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat with you about it!
I hope these tips help you! Freshman year is fun and exciting but can also be super stressful! Drop your questions or other tips in the comments!