How to Reduce Your Risk of Gaining the “Freshman 15”
Your body is changing and that’s okay. You have a new lifestyle and for many students a more fluid schedule. Each day is a different set of classes and new responsibilities which makes it hard to have a set meal time and workout schedule. This is when your decisions of what you put into your body and when you eat become very important. Follow these 5 tips and hopefully you’ll be ending freshman year in the same jeans you started in.
Drink water. Texas is hot and a lot of the time you feel hungry because you are actually thirsty. It is best to drink at least 4-6 cups per day.
Eat foods high in protein and fiber. Keep foods high in protein and fiber with you on campus at all times. Protein helps you stay full longer and fiber makes you feel full. Having snacks high in nutrients can keep you from eating snacks less-nutrient dense from vending machines on campus. Good examples of nutrient-dense snacks are tree nuts, an apple and peanut butter, cheese, and whole grain crackers.
Watch for hidden calories. Almost every college student will find a love for a caffeine drink at one point or another, but beware that the one you choose does not add too many unnecessary calories. For example, a standard whole milk pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks has about 310 calories and 49 grams of sugar!
Keep nutrient-dense snacks around for late night snacking. We have all been there with late night exams or coming home late after spending time with friends, and if you keep tasty but nutrient-dense foods full of vitamins and minerals around, you will be less likely to go for the less nutrient-dense foods. The best snacks to keep around are snap peas with light-ranch, whole wheat toast, and whole grain cereal with low-fat milk.
Be active! We all need time to relax, but be mindful of other alternatives to binge-watching Netflix that can help you relax. Go be active and take a walk without your backpack on, or try some yoga.