9 Tips To Avoid Gaining The Freshman 15

College is stressful enough without those extra pounds coming out of nowhere. Following these 9 tips is the key to staying healthy and feeling sexy while setting yourself up for academic success.

By Brittany Martinez2 min read
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1. Stress

When you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is good for preventing inflammation (like when you get a bee sting), but too much cortisol weakens the adrenal glands, which in turn weakens your immune system. Too much cortisol can also lead to a breakdown of lean muscle tissue and an accumulation of fat. To avoid stress, don’t procrastinate! Work on that paper ahead of time and break it into small chunks. Stress is mostly mental so practice mindfulness at the start and end of each day, even for just a few minutes. Herbal supplements can help manage stress and don’t have the negative side effects of many pharmaceuticals.

2. Diet

Why does your cafeteria omelet have more grease than the usual omelet? You and your body don’t want to know. Opt for an easy smoothie, oatmeal with cinnamon (appetite suppressant), or hard boiled eggs with avocado to keep you full through your first couple classes.

3. Cravings

When you’re sitting through a lecture, sometimes you get so drained you just want to go eat anything, and the only thing good at your cafeteria may be those chocolate cookies! However, putting a tea bag in your water bottle can help with the cravings. I love licorice or peppermint.

Putting a tea bag in your water bottle can help with cravings.

4. Energy Drinks + Coffee

Those mochas and Red Bulls may be tempting to stay up and study, but if your mind isn’t functioning properly, you won’t retain the information anyway. Plus all the added sugars are not friends with your waistline. It’s better for you to go to sleep and wake up early. Try a Bulletproof coffee. The XCT oil helps burn fat and keeps the mind functioning. But be careful with caffeine consumption. Not only will the excess acid cause damage to your stomach (acid reflux), but it also throws off your pH balance and can contribute to weight gain.

5. Alcohol

One of the biggest causes of the Freshman 15 is partying with your friends and drinking. Drinking games are not good for your liver and waking up hungover a couple days a week adds up. If you’re of age and want to have a drink with your friends, try vodka with pineapple juice and make sure to drink three glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage to flush the alcohol out of your bloodstream efficiency. Remember, your body processes alcohol the same way it processes poison. It doesn’t know the difference.

Drink three glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage to flush the alcohol out of your bloodstream efficiency.

6. Hydration

Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day . Water flushes out toxins and keeps your bodily systems running efficiently. Drink half your weight in ounces. If your urine isn’t clear, you’re dehydrated!

7. Sleep

It’s tempting to stay up late every night but getting the right amount of sleep is paramount to not gaining weight. Sleeping is how your body rejuvenates, especially if you’re working out. Sleep deprivation has disastrous long-term repercussions, but in regards to weight gain, sleep deprivation reduces leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and metabolism. Lower leptin, more cravings, slower metabolism. Make sure you’re getting a solid 7-8 hours, and make sure you’re in bed before midnight! Early to bed, early to rise, makes a woman healthy, wealthy, and wise.

8. Exercise

Make use of that gym! Even if it’s just 30 minutes. It’s easy to gain weight if you’re sitting down all day in classes. If you don’t like gyms, do an online workout on your laptop in your dorm room (invite a friend!) or sign up for that intramural sports team. You can also usually sign up for dance or weightlifting classes for class credits. Your body will thank you!

Do an online workout on your laptop in your dorm room, or sign up for that intramural sports team.

9. Fresh Air

Finally, all the time spent indoors staring at your computer and phone screens will deplete you of much needed Vitamin D. Walk the campus during the day or study with friends on the lawn and soak up some sun! The fresh air will do you wonders.