Fighting the Freshman 15

Shane Spirik, Staff Writer

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  Your freshman year of college is one of the most
exciting times of your life. This is your chance to experience new things, make
new friends, become the person you want to be, and gain 15 pounds. Wait, what?
Although gaining weight isn’t on any college student’s to-do-list, it is
certainly a reality for many students.

In an
article titled, “College weight gain becoming more than the typical freshman
fifteen”, published in USA Today’s College section (2011), statistics show that
about one-third of people in the US are at least 30 pounds heavier their
recommended weight. The author, Erica Petri, also says that some of the reasons
college students are prone to weight gain is due to being awake for longer
hours, which leads to extra calorie consumption, and grabbing quick, unhealthy
meals in between classes when students are on the go.

What can
you do to stay happy and healthy during your college years? Here are some great
tips about eating right and exercising straight from fellow student.

 

Eating:

  • Make better
    choices, but don’t deprive yourself
    . The key to losing or maintaining weight
    is NOT dieting. It is eating better. If you deprive yourself of the foods
    you love, you might end up bingeing and over-eating. Instead, choose
    healthier options like a salad instead of fries or grilled chicken instead
    of fried chicken.
  • Portion control. If you’re hungry,
    eat! Don’t starve yourself until you’re so hungry you eat an entire pizza.
    Just eat 4-5 small meals a day that keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Eat more protein or
    fiber
    .
    Foods that contain protein and fiber are not only good for you, but they
    will also make you feel full for longer. Think nuts, edamame, FiberOne
    bars, etc.
  • Keep a food journal. Though this may
    sound silly, just keeping track for a week of everything you eat can
    really open your eyes to some bad habits that you might have. Midnight
    pizza runs or eating a whole container of ice cream at girls’ night might
    be fun, but could be hurting you in the long run. Look to see for ways you
    can become healthier.
  • Find foods that fit
    into your life
    .
    Let’s be realisitic. You’re not going to eat salad for every meal, or
    sautee your own vegetables every night, or cook baked swordfish with a
    light lemon sauce when you get back from a day of classes. Instead, buy
    foods that are healthy, but also easy for you to make or take on the go.
    Lean Cuisine dinners are a great way to save time and money, while still
    eating right and tasting delicious.
  • Reward yourself,
    wisely.

    If you eat really well for two weeks, indulge in something delicious, but
    not over the top. Skinny Cow brand foods offer yummy ice creams and
    candies that taste great, but won’t break your healthy eating. If you get
    in better shape, go out and buy yourself a great new pair of jeans. You
    earned it!

 

Exercise:

  • Schedule times to
    exercise
    .
    Just like you would schedule classes, designating a time to exercise can
    lead to you actually doing it. Pencil it into your planner so it leaves
    the guess-work out of whether you can fit the gym into your busy schedule.
  • Don’t go home
    first.

    Whether home is your dorm, apartment, or parent’s house, if you go home,
    the chance of you going back out to go to the gym is way less likely.
    Instead, plan ahead and go right before or after a time when you already
    have to be out. That way when you’re done for the day, you can go home and
    relax.
  • Get a workout buddy. In this case, two
    is better than one, as long as you are motivating each other to get
    moving. Having someone to work out with can make exercising more fun and
    make you more accountable. Just don’t gab too much.
  • Change it up. Exercising can be
    boring, especially if you follow the same routine. Instead of hitting the
    gym, take a long walk or jog around campus, play tennis with a friend, or
    take one of the many different classes RMU offers. Here are some of the
    classes you can get involved in:

 


    • Spinning
    • Martial
      Arts Fitness
    • Yoga/Pilates
    • P-90X
    • TRX
      Bootcamp

 

    • Kettlebell
      Cardio
    • Abs
      101
    • Zumba
    • Women’s
      Fitness Hour
    • Turbo
      Kick



For more information about the Jefferson Health
and Fitness Club, class times, and instructors, visit: rmu.edu/fitness.
Hopefully, these tips can help you get on the right track to a healthy,
college experience. Not only can you leave college with an education, but maybe
a rocking body, too.

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