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The freshman 15: Why college students gain weight

Editorial Staff

College students don’t have to gain weight

The freshman 15 is no myth!  College freshean leave home and before they know it, it’s finals week and they’ve gained 15 pounds they didn’t have when they started the semester.  But why does this happen?  And how can it be avoided?

It basically comes down to the simple idea that if you pay attention to what you’re eating and you stick to some sort of workout routine, you’ll maintain your weight.

According to, the best advice is quite simple. “Eat breakfast. No matter what time you start your day, your first meal is important because it helps kick-start your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) and also helps ensure optimal physical and mental performance as you begin your day.  Stick to a schedule of regular meals and snacks, eaten around the same time everyday, if possible.”

This is important because it gets you on a good routine of eating on a regular basis.  If you aren’t organized, you’ll opt for fast food instead of a prepared meal that you know is healthier than a happy meal.

Another good way to lose the “freshman 15,” is “maintaining an exercise program which will help you maintain your weight and allow you to worry less about the food (and drink) indulgences that are all a natural part of being a freshman and being on your own.” reports, “The vast majority of students – 95 percent of women and 82 percent of men – are not meeting nutrient recommendations for fiber. Women’s intake of the important nutrients iron, calcium and folate are remarkably low. Twenty-three percent of men and 34 percent of women participated in less than 30 minutes of activity per day.”

It’s imperative to pay attention to what nutrients you are taking into your body on a daily level.  It’s also important to get to the gym for at least a half hour of your day to stay in shape.  It’s a combination of eating the right foods and working off the calories by running or doing some sort of aerobic exercises.  Also, try not to eat when you’re stressed out.  Food shouldn’t be a clutch for stress, it should be a fuel for your body.   

Our take: As well as eating right and exercising, there’s a little known alcoholic beverage known as “beer,” that happens to cause what’s known as a “beer gut,” in many students.  You should pay attention to how many cans of beer you’re drinking at any given time.  Beer is just wasted calories so if you’re looking to lose weight or stay away from the “freshman 15,” make sure you buy a six-pack instead of that 24 pack.

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