Starting your first year of college is so awesome because you can do whatever you want and there's nobody around to tell you not to. You can eat candy for dinner, order a pizza at 2 a.m., and avoid all vegetable matter for three months straight. And though it's technically against the rules, most freshmen also end up drinking a lot of beer. It doesn't take long for a lifestyle of college eating to turn into the dreaded Freshman 15. Here are some things to keep in mind as you delve into your first year on campus.
- Just because you can eat whatever and whenever you want — don't. Try to be sensible when it comes to food choices and how often you eat. Try to remember not to eat when you're not hungry, especially late at night. Don't let others influence your decisions either or be a victim of peer pressure when it comes to food. If you just ate dinner, don't let someone talk you into going out for Chinese.
- Be wary of dining halls. These endless buffets allow you to consume well beyond your daily caloric needs in a single sitting. I know there are a ton of choices and that the soft serve machine is on all the time, but try to remember how much you used to eat at meals. Don't keep going back for more just because it's there.
- Don't use food to deal with stress. If college life is getting the best of you, then exercise, take a long shower, or talk to someone about it. And I don't mean your friends Ben & Jerry.
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- Choose healthy snacks to nosh on during late-night studying. Or better yet, instead of having a bag of snacks open all the time, take snack breaks. That way you can refuel and give your brain a break too.
- Don't keep food in your room or in your desk drawer. If you can see it, you'll probably end up eating it, even if you're full.
- Walk or ride your bike to class and around campus instead of taking advantage of campus transportation.
- Join the campus gym. As a student, I bet your school has a superb gym complete with cardio machines, weights, classes, a track, and maybe even a pool. Make gym dates with you girlfriends, so you can help each other maintain a healthy weight. If you're not into the gym, take a fitness class for credit, or find some other way to stay active. Regular exercise will not only keep those extra pounds from settling around your middle, but it'll also strengthen your immune system.