Free Yourself from the Freshman Fifteen

Sunny Aroda

Sophomore, Biology Major

SRFC

We’ve all heard of the “freshman fifteen:” perhaps some sort of disease? Though we’ve all shook our heads in denial of being the next victim, let’s be honest—once exams begin, our views on the matter quickly change. Even though everyone wants to stay fit, sometimes we’re all a little too stressed out or too busy during the week and end up binging on ice cream instead of working out. However, this is common! And there is still hope for a recovery! Don’t be like the rest of the pack. What most students forget is that little life style changes can have BIG positive returns on overall health. Here are some helpful beginning tips:

  • Walk to class. It’s an easy way to raise your heart rate, and it will make you less likely to fall asleep in your lectures.
  • Find a gym buddy. It’s a great way to make you want to go to the gym more, especially if you have a friend that reminds/coerces you into going!
  • Sign up for a group class. They’re a great way to excite you into staying fit! They’re fun, judgment-free, and held in the evenings at the Student Recreation Center.
  • Limit your trips to the dessert section. While the chocolate chip cookies at the dining halls are amazing, they are also loaded with carbs and fat! Once in a while is fine– just don’t binge!
  • Split up your meals. Eat less per meal, but more frequently! By consuming smaller meals more often, you will rev up your metabolism and feel more active throughout the day! It’s the solution to the “food-comas” you’ve been getting after eating heavy meals. Eating 5-6 small meals a day is ideal for speeding up your metabolism and shedding the weight.
  • Pack on the lean protein. Yes, protein is great and essential for our growth and development, but remember to choose lean meats like chicken and turkey over the beef and ham. Yes, that means skipping the bacon at the dining hall! In fact, foods with moderate to high protein content take longer to digest, and therefore keep you feeling full for longer periods of time! In fact, protein has been proven to regulate blood sugar levels and may even lower your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Not all fats are bad. Eggs and Fish are great sources of protein and healthy fats like Omega-3s, which have been shown to increase mental health, lower risk of heart disease, and even reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Go green. At this point, we all understand that veggies are nutritious and should be eaten regularly, but often we forget to include them in our meals. Make sure you eat plenty of veggies, as they are very low-calorie, fat-free, and fiber-rich foods! Hooray!
  • And yes, you can still satisfy that sweet tooth. Fruits are a great fix for your sweet tooth, and contain essential vitamins, so make them a part of your diet. This will keep your midnight cravings for something sweet and unhealthy to a minimum!

Stay consistent! Once you find a routine that works for you, stick to it! It takes time for your body to adapt, so don’t let a little soreness limit you. However, taking rest days is absolutely fine. Sometimes it takes a full day or more for your body to recuperate from a truly challenging workout! Just don’t give up! It takes time and discipline, and chances are you won’t see any results overnight. Remember it’s the combination of proper diet and exercise that will lead you to success.

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