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How To Stay Healthy and Fight the Freshman 15

What is the Freshman 15 and how can you fight it? Read below to find out.
BY Resham Mukherjee |   11-09-2015

Are you a fresher in college and fast getting out of shape?

You are likely to be experiencing the phenomenon commonly known as Freshman 15. That’s the 15 pounds of extra weight, recently added to your once slender frame. Blame nothing  but your love for  bags of crisps, takeaway curries, and towers of beer, which might make up most of your diet. That said, there may be other sneaky culprits taking you unawares: large portions, poor nutrition, energy drinks, skipping meals, late night snacking, stress, and lack of exercise.

Is that the result of independence, of getting away from the nagging parental discipline and control? New experiences, new people and an entirely new environment, gives birth to a near bohemian lifestyle. One inseparably linked to convenience food and alcohol. Let’s take a quick look at the calorie count –

Beer - 148 calories
Red wine – 80 calories,
Martini – 140 calories.

Do basic Maths. All this apart from pizzas, cheese fries, ribs, etc adds up to the inches around your waist.

The Collegian mag quoted Sara Rosenkranz, a research assistant professor in human nutrition, as saying that a limited income, busy schedule, convenience, environmental challenges, social eating and a party atmosphere all help define the average college student’s food choices.

Robyn Flipse, author of “Fighting the Freshman Fifteen” and an advisor with the Calorie Control Council, has sound advice, “Start the day with a meal - no matter what time you wake up - to avoid random snacking for the rest of the day.”

Interestingly, however, doctors say that the actual pounds gained are not necessarily 15. The average gain is between 2.5 – 3.5 pounds during the first year of college. It sounds little but the weight gain tends to accumulate over the years! From freshman to senior year, women add between 7-9 pounds, while men gain anywhere between 12-13 pounds. The National Institutes of Health reports that the conservative obesity estimate of persons aged between 18 and 29 is 19.1 percent.

Worried? Here are quick tips to keep all this excess weight at bay.

  • Organise your stationery, books and set yourself a time table.
  • Set yourself goals and objectives before every semester.
  • Stock up veggies, fruits and nuts to eat healthy.
  • Losing sleep causes stress, catch up on some sleep.
  • Talk with professors, a way to destress especially before exams.
  • Get yourself involved in some activity – sports, debate, theatre.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Interact in class
  • Use the various modes of digital and audio-visual learning in the library
  • Go shopping, follow hobbies, and party only occasionally to unwind.
  • Gym is a good place to burn out calories, and stay fit.
  • Walk as much as you can.
  • For some pocket money get a job
  • Never get a credit card, it could stretch your spends and unsettle you monetarily.

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