Ways to Help Prevent the "Freshman 15"

There are many reasons why college students put on what’s called the “Freshman 15” during their first few years at school. For some, adjusting to the responsibility of buying foods and cooking for themselves can be a difficult transition. Between fast food restaurants on campus to late night study sessions with friends to emotional stressors that accompany being away from home for the first time, it can be difficult for students to maintain healthy eating habits, right from the get go.

While it’s normal for some weight gain to take place as a body grows and metabolism shifts, rapid weight gain could become a problem, and people who are overweight have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health risks associated with being overweight.

The best way to keep the Freshman 15 at bay is to develop good lifestyle habits. Here are some tips:

  • Always keep healthy snacks handy, like apples, bananas, carrot sticks, etc.
  • Learn about nutrition in order to help you make better food choices
  • Make sure and get plenty of sleep
  • Watch your portions when you eat
  • When buying foods, choose a variety of nutritious foods
  • When stressed, try to avoid eating calorie laden foods, as you may overeat
  • When you eat, eat more slowly