Beating the freshman 15

They say students gain about 15 pounds during their 1st year in college. How true is this?

Recent studies found that some college freshmen are inclined to gain weight – though not necessarily 15 pounds, and certainly not within freshman year alone.

Doctors are worried about students who gain weight gradually.  They think that these students are building a pattern of weight gain that may cause problems later on.

Studies also show that students on average gain around 3-10 pounds during their first two years of college. Most of this weight is gained during the first semester of their freshmen year.

What causes freshman weight gain?

Part of the reason may be college students’ recently acquired freedom and the many temptations college offers. With no one to prepare your meals for you, you reach for what’s available – usually high calorie, high fat, high cholesterol, sweet and salty foods (mostly to keep you going during late-night cramming or study sessions).  Also, you may not get as much as exercise as you did in high school.

Though most students equate college with freedom, it can be a trying time for teens as well. Adjusting to a new environment can be stressful, and that can trigger overeating. It’s common to eat in reaction to emotional disturbance.

Freshman weight gain concerns

Some weight gain is normal in developing bodies. Growth and development in adolescents also causes metabolism to shift.

However, marked or rapid weight gain may be a problem.

Weight gain beyond the body’s normal range puts you at risk of developing health p-problems.

Overweight people are more likely to develop the following problems:

High blood pressure

High cholesterol


Joint problems

People who are overweight when they were kids are more likely to become overweight as adults.

An unhealthy lifestyle in college can lead you down a path that could develop to

Heart disease

Type 2 diabetes


Increased risk or developing certain cancers

Poor diet won’t provide the nutrients you need to keep up with the demands of college. Tell-tale signs that you’re not getting enough nutrients include dwindling energy levels and poor memory.

In one study, it was revealed tat nearly 70% of students receive few than the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

What you can do?

In case you do gain weight, relax. It does not mean your sick or something. Pay attention to your eating and exercise habits. May be you need to cut down on your daily soda and pizza diet. And instead of driving to campus, why not walk or bike to school.

Do not opt for quick fixes or fad diets. You’re already lacking essential nutrients that your body needs to function at an optimal level. Cutting back on meals or cutting out certain food groups will only make you lose more (nutrients). Plus, these fad diets don’t actually work.

Eat healthier and exercise more. You need not get into a big-time fitness program. Little changes on you routine can do wonders.

Avoiding weigh gain

Establish healthy eating habits.

Avoid eating when stressed or when doing something else.

Eat slowly

Do not skip meals

Opt for healthier foods

Mind your meal portions

Avoid vending machines

Snack on fruits and veggies

Opt for 100% juices, water or skim milk, instead or sodas

Make sure your room or apartment is well-stocked with healthy foods.

Pay attention to your attitude towards food. If you’re obsessing about your weight, talk to a doctor or your school health care provider.

Learn about nutrition.

Make lifestyle changes to maintain weight

Limit your alcohol consumption

Avoid smoking

Get enough exercise

Get enough sleep and maintain a regular sleeping schedule

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