The Freshman 15.

freshman15

“I’m so afraid I’m going to gain the freshman 15.”

It surprises me that this is still a thing.  A lot of research has come out attempting to debunk the myth of the freshman 15.  (Most studies show female college freshman tend to gain 3-4lbs, not 15.)

Whether it’s fact or fiction, you don’t need to be terrified of the freshman 15.   It’s as simple to keep it off as it is to put on.

1. Beer

A lot of college students (men & women) gain weight due to excessive drinking.  Think about it. An average beer is 150 calories. Wine is 80-100. Cocktails are 120-180.  Those calories add up really fast– especially if you are drinking in mass quantity several nights a week.  Suddenly you are pouring hundreds of extra calories into your body that it just isn’t accustomed to.

2. Junk Food & 4th Meal

Thanks to Taco Bell, we all know what “4th Meal” is.  Eating late-night junk food on a regular basis is another reason freshmen tend to gain weight.  If your body isn’t used to eating junk food or if it’s not used to eating late at night, it’s going to add on the pounds.

3. “I walk a lot”

If you were an athlete in high school or exercised regularly, you may experience a drop in physical activity when you get to college.  “But my campus is so big, I walk a lot”– is not the same amount of exercise or calorie burn.  If you were really physically active in high school, you have to maintain the same level of activity if you expect your body to stay the same.

4. You’re becoming a woman

Sorry, it’s awkward, but it’s true.  Typically, your body is going through it’s last stage of development when you hit college.  Whether it’s during your freshman year or later on, you’ll find your body weight shifting.  For many of us, this means an extra 5 lbs somewhere on us.  Just embrace it.  You’re not a little girl anymore and your body is making it’s last adjustment.

As you can see, the general rule is if you maintain your eating and exercise habits from high school, you really should have no issues with keeping the Freshman 15 far away.  However, if you are drinking excessively, eating way more junk food than you did previously, or exercising less, you will definitely see a change.  Here’s an infographic I thought was helpful.

Freshman-15-infographic

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