14 October 2015
How to Avoid Freshman Fifteen
“You will never truly understand something until it actually happens to you.” While growing up, I often heard this saying, but I never took it seriously. Now that I am currently a college freshman, I look back, and I finally understand the saying and all of the importance of it. Most of the population looks over the phrase or giggles at the thought of it when talking to a present student. “Freshman Fifteen” is an old myth, but it still holds true today. As frustrating as it may sound, avoiding the freshman fifteen can be done, and it will be rewarding.
A majority of the college freshman dealing with the struggle of freshman fifteen could escape the problem through exercise. According to article, “Physical Fitness,” “Public health experts say that only about 10 percent of adult Americans exercise regularly” (Leepson). Although our occupied schedules require time and excessive work, exercise is important. Movement of the body will improve weight gain and health in more ways than one. I realized my problem when transitioning from high school sports to no physical activities in college. Becoming inactive can trigger severe health and weight issues. I choose to exercise daily for a minimum of thirty minutes. Freshmen could include walks to class or around campus in this daily routine. Regardless of the transition to the new lifestyle or the occupied schedule, exercise is an important factor, and it could make the difference in the few pounds gained or lost during the freshman year of college.
The better one eats, the better one will feel. No one likes the thought of a diet, but most people do like the feel of being “skinny”. As expressed in “Diet is Crucial to Weight Loss,” “Many people think of dieting as a drastic and rigid change, with a high risk of putting the pounds back on. What is more likely to succeed is gradual change, made in a much more sustainable way” (Carroll). In comparison, college freshmen are experiencing many lifestyle changes. When the topic of a diet strikes a conversation, freshman think of it as another change to go through. One way college freshmen can eat healthier is avoiding the easy, fast-food restaurants. If one will supply the kitchen with healthier food, one will eat healthier. Also, late night studying can lead to snacking. Students should provide themselves with a “meal plan” to follow to keep on track and help with the unusual eating habits. A diet is no fun, and it is hard to stick to it. On the other hand, eating healthy will make you feel better, and it will be essential when trying to maintain weight or avoid any extra pounds.
Sleep would be the last thing to come to mind when thinking about losing weight, but according to Diet and Weight Management, sleep is like nutrition for our brain (Paturel). Most college students are procrastinators, which leads to cramming and late night studying. While we are up all hours of the night, stress hormones signal our bodies to conserve energy. Similarly, sleep deprivation takes place, and we only consume sugars and carbs to make ourselves more energetic. Conforming to the article, “Sleep More, Weigh Less,” “When one is overtired, their brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. So while one is able to squash comfort food cravings when they are well-rested, their sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no to a second slice of cake” (Paturel). In addition, when one is sleep deprived, they are less likely to have enough energy to participate in their scheduled exercises. Evidently, sleep plays a vital role in weight loss!
All in all, “freshman fifteen” is commonly known as a myth that has been around for several years. The process is different for each individual, but most of the students take part in the same steps in order to avoid any extra pounds. Most importantly, freshmen should have a smart food choice. This cuts out the fast food, midnight snacks, soft drinks, and candy or junk food. Students should keep themselves involved in a regular eat and sleep schedule. Also, exercise is important in this plan. Movement can help in more ways than one. Freshman Fifteen is often one of the many things that incoming college freshmen dread, but it can avoided and helped.
Carroll, Aaron. “Diet, Not Exercise, Is Crucial to Weight Loss.” New York Times. 18 June 2015: A3. SIRS Researcher. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
Leepson, Marc. “Physical Fitness” CQ Researcher. 6 Nov. 1992.Web. 21 September 2015.
Paturel, Amy. “Sleep More, Weigh Less.” WebMD. 30 June 2014. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.