Today’s post is by campus correspondent Allyson Vaughan, a senior at Boiling Springs High School, Boiling Springs, SC. Find out how you can become a campus correspondent, too!
Like project due dates and final exams, the Freshman Fifteen is one of those things that often sneaks up on college freshmen, leaving them wonder-struck as to how it got there.
Being on your own for the first time gives you freedom to eat what you want, when you want. Let’s be honest, that fifteen pounds didn’t just come from hours spent studying in the library!
It also comes from eating unhealthy cafeteria food, late night Taco Bell runs (come on, how could you resist that fourth meal deal?) and one too many sugary lattes from the campus coffee shop. It’s not surprising that all that junk food adds to the junk in your jeans.
But, the Freshman Fifteen can be outrun, Nikes required.
Check Your Meal Plan Options
First, it may help if you survey the different meal plan options your school offers. Most colleges encourage you to get a 21-meal plan, but if you have access to a microwave, opting for the mid-sized plan can be a healthier choice.
Microwaveable vegetables, low sodium soups, 90-second brown rice and oatmeal are all convenient and much healthier alternatives to pizza that’s literally drowning in its own grease. Your microwave is your friend. Go on, give it a hug!
Unhealthy snacking is another culprit that affects college freshmen. It’s hard to not want to snack when you’re stressed out or in need of something to munch on while you study.
Avoid chips and honey buns, they’ll do nothing but get grease on your textbooks and add more jiggle to your wiggle. Most cafeterias have fresh fruit available. It’s also a good idea to keep items like granola bars, nuts or lite popcorn stocked in your dorm room. String cheese is also a great option as its protein-packed and fits neatly in your mini-fridge!
It’s also important to be aware of when you’re eating. I know those late night study sessions can have you craving food way past your usual bedtime, but as often as possible, try not to indulge after 8 PM.
Being physically inactive is a big problem for students. They often don’t want to spend their free time working out, but there are so many different things you can do to get moving (and not all of them include weights and the track)!
Colleges usually have gyms students can use, but if not, try using workout DVDs or YouTube videos, or grab your sneakers and go for a walk with a friend. Load your iPod with some fast-beat tunes and dance around your dorm room! Anything that gets you moving is better than sitting around. Take the stairs, walk to class. Aim for a half hour, three times a week if nothing else.
Staying Happy and Healthy
The Freshman Fifteen can be beat if you try to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating right and working out will give you more energy and can help you feel better about getting up early for those morning classes. It can also reduce your stress when your work load builds up.
Be in tune to your body, don’t eat unless you’re hungry and stay hydrated to keep yourself from mistaking thirst for hunger. Eating healthy and exercising will help you keep a good attitude, feel better and enjoy your freshman year.
Allyson Vaughan is a senior at Boiling Springs High School, Boiling Springs, SC. She will attend Anderson University in the fall of 2012 and will major in Creative Writing. Currently, she is President of the Psychology and Book clubs, historian of History Club and enjoys her involvement in her school’s Literary Magazine. Her dream is to be a successful writer.