As a woman speaking from personal experience, the “Freshman 15” took one semester to gain and three years to lose. This elusive yet infamous weight gain affects so many unsuspecting students just trying to experience their first year of collegiate freedom! Learn why we pack on the pounds so you can steer clear of the traps and feel your best.
The hardest part of college is finding the balance of school work and social life. In order to pack it all in, we typically stay up late socializing and finishing last-minute projects. The worst time to eat is late at night. Make it a rule not to eat three hours before bed. Instead, drink tea and have some gum handy to keep your chompers busy.
We might not be missing the rules of living at home, but we sure do miss that home cooking. Eating cafeteria food and cheap, on-the-go meals will pack on the pounds in no time. Make sure to eat a salad every day with fresh vegetables. Skip the heavy carbs in the morning and choose high protein options such as eggs and smoothies.
School can be stressful. No one wants to feel stressed or anxious, so in efforts to change our emotional state, we eat. Make sure to ask yourself before you eat something, “Am I physically hungry? What would truly nourish me right now?” Have self care tools at your disposal when you need to change your emotional state of stress. Journal, take a walk, call a friend… or my favorite, take a nap!
Alcohol is liquid candy. It has a higher calorie conversion than normal carbohydrates and gets absorbed directly into our bloodstream. This causes insulin to spike and fat to be stored at a much higher rate than normal. Eat a fat or protein before drinking to keep blood sugar from spiking, and stick to the clear liquors without the added fruit juices or sodas.
Chia cereal: “This is a super easy snack and works well with the limited fridge space in dorm rooms. Make a grain free cereal with 2 tbsp. chia seeds, coconut flakes, raw cacao nibs, berries, cashews and almond milk. Crunchy, comforting and packed with nutrition! FYI: almond milk and berries need to be refrigerated!
Cut up veggies: “Study snacks need to be crunchy. Radishes, peppers, carrots, celery and green peas are great with any dipper, and you can buy them pre-chopped. Add black bean dip, hummus, eggplant spread and you have a healthy snack or the makings of a meal.”
Smoothies: “I had one of those single serve blenders that turned into a cup in college. It was so easy to add grass-fed protein powder (my favorite brand is on my website), nut milk, fruit, and some almond butter. Quick and filling with enough protein to keep your mind going for those late night cram sessions. In the morning you can roll out of bed, blend and drink as you head to class—no more excuses for skipping breakfast!”