Freshman Fifteen and How to Lose It
Did your first year away from home increase your waistline as well as your book learning? Don’t worry—you’re not alone.
Although most clinical studies tend to agree that the famed “Freshman Fifteen” may be more like the “Freshman Five,” weight gain during college is normal.
In fact, about three-quarters of college students put on weight during their freshman year, eating around 112 excess calories every day. That’s a high percentage.
The good news is that you’re still young and it’s easier to lose weight quickly now than it will be 10 years down the road. Here’s a look at some practical ways to lose that extra padding this summer before you head back to hit the books in the fall.
Find an Inexpensive Place to Work Out
When you were at college, you likely had free access to the campus gym or discounted memberships at community fitness centers. Now that you’re back home for the summer, you’ll have to either shell out cash for a gym membership or find other ways of working out.
The good news is that in the summer, the weather’s great and you can make use of the outdoors. All you need is a good pair of tennis shoes and you can start a walking or running routine, or even start up some regular basketball games with friends.
If you want to stay indoors, look into basic equipment like weights or fitness orbs. Since you’re probably on a budget, you may want to check out discounts on secondhand equipment.
And if you’re determined to join a gym, look at smaller venues with lower membership fees or your local YMCA or city-run fitness centers, which usually aren’t as expensive as the bigger clubs.
Fit in Exercise at Your Summer Job
Chances are you’re likely saving up money for your next school year, so you’ve got a job that takes up a lot of your time. And unless you’re doing landscaping or something that keeps you fit, you’re doing a lot more sitting down than you did at college.
This is where you’ll need to get creative. The Mayo Clinic suggests biking to work instead of taking the bus, or if you drive, park further away. Leave your lunch or other items in your car so you have an excuse to walk there. During breaks, walk the stairs or look for opportunities to stand. You can even trade your desk chair for a fitness ball if you happen to work in an office.
Avoid Pricy Diet Products
When you’re a poor college student, you can’t afford to cash in on products like Slim Fast or Jenny Craig. Avoid these expensive options and instead choose the classic diet plan—a more balanced meal.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that at least half of your dinner plate consist of fruits and vegetables, and the department website even offers some sample menus and recipes of meals at the 2000-calorie level that can be made inexpensively.
If you want to really take control of your diet, the USDA also features the SuperTracker, an online tool that helps you track what you currently eat and drink and gives you a personalized plan on how to make better choices.
If you are set on a weight loss supplement, however, make sure to research ones that work. There are plenty of reliable reviews out there one popular products like Hydroxycut. You can easily read more details about Hydroxycut products at http://www.supplementcritic.com/hydroxycut-reviews/ or other weight loss supplements online in order make an educated choice.
Cut Back on Salty Foods
When you were at school, you probably did a lot of munching out of the vending machine on potato chips and salty peanuts. These foods are high in sodium, and lead your body to hold in water. That increases your water weight and leaves you feeling bloated.
Instead, opt for healthier snacks like carrots, crackers, or pudding. And remember that based on a 2000 calorie daily diet, you should only be consuming about 2400 mg of sodium a day.
Make A Timeline For Your Goals
As a college student, you’re probably a high achiever who has set high goals your whole life. But just like gaining knowledge, weight loss comes in increments. Instead of concentrating on losing the Freshman Fifteen, concentrate on losing a pound or two a week.
Setting weight loss goals like these makes the ultimate task more manageable and helps propel you onward. If you’re expecting too much of yourself, you’ll get disappointed and give up more quickly.
Just remember to stay positive and hold yourself accountable, and you’ll be back in shape before you know it.