How to Fight the Freshman 15

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No one goes into freshman year thinking, “When this year is over, I want to look like a slightly inflated version of myself!” Some think the Freshman 15 is a myth, like the Loch Ness monster or North Dakota. While the dreaded weight gain can be an unfortunate reality, it’s also completely avoidable. Here are a few easily doable ways to make sure you still recognize yourself in the mirror come May:

1.) “Just Beware Froyo”: That gem of wisdom comes to us from sophomore Josh Grill of Brown University. He has a point: seemingly harmless treats like frozen yogurt can add up if you don’t develop a little restraint to counteract the freedom to eat whatever you want whenever you want. Moderation is the name of the game.

2.) Don’t Diss Diners: Even though it can seem like most college dining halls are trying to fatten you up in order to later turn you into a meat pie Sweeny Todd-style, they probably will include healthy options if you look hard enough. Some even accommodate vegans, whatever it is they eat. Or, if you have access to a stove or microwave, listen to American University sophomore Jake Gillis: “Make your own meals sometimes instead of [eating at] the dining hall.” It’s a nice change of pace and will probably be significantly healthier than most diner food.

3.) Walk It Off: If you go to a large school, staying fit just became easier thanks to all the walking you will inevitably have to do to get just about anywhere. For the lazier members of society – you know who you are – take Penn State sophomore Julie Mangurten’s advice and make sure you “walk to class instead of taking a bus.” A brisk early morning jog won’t hurt either.

4.) Lifestyle Choices: I couldn’t put this better than University of Maryland sophomore Elizabeth Chagnon did: “Working out with a buddy always helps. You have to plan your workout like you plan a class. Also, getting into a good bedtime/wake up routine (bed -11 morning 7) gives you more energy for the day, more time to get a good healthy breakfast and more time in your day so you can actually fit in a good work out.”

5.) Professional Advice: I’m now going to hand the floor over to University of Maryland sophomore Dr. Rajarshi Chattopadhyay M.D. He isn’t a real doctor and doesn’t even play one on TV, but he offered some unorthodox tips on how to keep the Freshman 15 at bay:

  • “Don’t eat on days with a ‘t’ in the name.”
  • “Weight is just a number; get an accounting major to fudge it for you.”
  • “Sleep on your stomach – it flattens your belly.”
  • “Learn to hate your body image – it will motivate you to fast for days at a time.”
  • “Remove stress in your life by not taking classes and becoming fabulously wealthy after winning the lottery.”
  • “Every five steps you take forward, take three steps back. Instant results.

With advice like that at your disposal, what could possibly go wrong?

Freshman > Journalism > University of Maryland

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