Fighting the ‘Freshman 15’

Along with the many hesitations and concerns people have about coming to college is unwanted weight gain. While the numerous stresses that accompany college life – in combination with unlimited access to food – can result in weight gain, many needlessly fear adding 15 pounds is as unavoidable as late-night fire alarms. Fortunately that isn’t the case. Arming yourself with many of the following techniques can keep your diet on the right track:

Eat slowly and savor your food – it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’ve had enough to eat.

Remember fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free.

Eat more fruits and vegetables – fiber is filling. Grab a piece of fruit when you leave the cafeteria for a snack..

Carry a water bottle everywhere you go – stop spending your money on soda and sweet tea, avoid unwanted calories, and stay well hydrated.

Don’t label foods as “good” or “bad” – all foods fit, and deprivation leads to cravings and guilt.

Eat at regular intervals throughout the day and don’t skip meals – your metabolism will remain in high-gear and you won’t enter the dining halls ravenous.

Be active on most days.

Minimize late night snacking – especially if you tend to eat “junk” foods or large quantities in the hours just before you hit the sack.

Eat when you are hungry – not because of stress or boredom.

Don’t count calories or fat grams – rely on your appetite.

Take less food at first – your eyes are usually bigger than your stomach.

Avoid alcohol or drink only in moderation – a 6-pack can add over a pound a month.

Eat breakfast.

Try a variety of foods – visit all the dining halls.

For more information about avoiding the freshman 15, or other nutrition concerns, contact Karen White, dietitian at 227-2088 or