The Freshman 15: Is it Real? Busting the Myth

So, what can be done to avoid this first-year weight gain? Here are 5 tips to help you avoid the extra pounds:

Don’t overdo it at the all-you-can-eat buffet in the dining hall.

Although not all college dining halls have an “all-you-can-eat” option, it’s tough to resist the urge of piling the pizza, burgers, or fried foods on your plate. Try to fill at least half your plate with fruits or vegetables and create a balanced meal for yourself. Better yet, try starting out with a salad or vegetable soup when you first step into the dining hall before going back for a second course — as long as you’re still hungry.

Don’t replace meals with snacks.

If you’re skipping meals, you may find yourself filling up with unhealthy snack foods like chips or crackers, which can easily be replaced with low-calorie popcorn or fruit. Keep a granola bar in your bag for those late-night study sessions, especially if you’re easily tempted by unhealthy vending machine options.

Get enough sleep.

A 2013 study from the Journal of Nature Communication found that when a person experiences sleep loss, their appetite for high-caloric foods increases, which contributes to weight gain. So, no more all-nighters and Netflix binge-watching sessions!

Weigh yourself often.

Don’t let weight gain take you by surprise! Research shows that successful losers weigh themselves at least once a week or keep food journals. Some universities even offer opportunities for students to meet with dieticians on campus, so check out your school’s website for more info and opportunities!

Work out regularly.

Try your best to squeeze in some exercise in your day by signing up for group classes at the gym or getting involved with intramural sports like volleyball or inner tube water polo (yes, it’s a thing). My personal favorite is going to yoga classes twice a week!

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Marquette University Student Wellness Center

Marquette University Student Wellness Center

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We are committed to advancing the overall health and wellbeing of the students at Marquette University through comprehensive wellness services and programming.