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Heading to college, you’re probably worried that you will gain the dreaded Freshman 15.  You should be excited about making friends and settling into the next stage of life, not losing your figure.

The following tips prove that avoiding the Freshman 15 does not have to be as difficult as you might think:

  1. Consider what your lifestyle was in high school.  If you were an athlete in high school but don’t plan on participating in college athletics, your calorie needs will change.  Ask yourself, “what am I coming from and what am I getting into?”.

  2. Look at your portion sizes. If you are not hungry within four hours of eating, you’re eating too much in one sitting.

  3. Make sure you have variety in your diet.  Try to incorporate as many food groups as possible in your diet, but make sure to eat the correct portion sizes.  Eating correct portions of a variety of food groups keeps you from leaving a meal and craving something else.

  4. Get enough rest.  Sleep has a major effect on your appetite and metabolism.  Your body burns a lot of fat while you sleep; if you don’t sleep enough you might start gaining weight.

  5. Keep yourself hydrated.  Your body better processes what you take in when you are hydrated.  Be careful if you came from a high school or a home where you rarely drank soda.  If you start to drink soda or sweet tea all the time, you can add up to 1,000 calories a day, which can help you pack on almost 2 pounds per week.

Avoiding the Freshman 15 does not mean you should stop eating; it actually requires the opposite.  Make sure to eat regularly, do not skip breakfast, keep healthy snacks on hand for busy days and try to incorporate as many food groups as possible into your diet.

Now that you’re on your own you have to be conscious of what you eat and how many calories it takes to keep your body running.  Five simple steps is all it takes to avoid the Freshman 15, and being aware of your choices from the start will make life much easier.

Courtesy:  University of Alabama’s LTUT Campaign