Tip to avoid gaining the Freshman 15

Ever hear of the Freshman 15, those extra pounds gained during the college years?

While there is still some debate about whether this boogeyman exists, we all know someone who has battled weight gain during their college years

And so we asked Robyn Flipse, author of “Fighting the Freshman Fifteen” and an advisor with the non-profi Calorie Control Council, for her best tips to win the fight.

Here’s what she suggests:

• Start the day with a meal - no matter what time you wake up - to avoid random snacking for the rest of the day. Even a leftover slice of cheese pizza and a glass of orange juice counts.

• Take advantage of the breakfast items available all day for a nutritious and lower calorie meal, such as a cereal, yogurt, fruit parfait, vegetable omelet, or peanut butter and sliced banana on a toasted English muffin.

• Stock the mini fridge and personal food bin in your dorm room with single-serving calorie-controlled foods and drinks you can eat on the go, such as low calorie drinks in cans or bottles, granola bars, fruit cups, hummus, cheese sticks and yogurt.

• Schedule your physical activity for certain days and times each week, just like a class, so you’re sure to get it done - and never miss the chance to walk or ride a bike instead of taking a car or bus to class.

• Keep your hot and cold drinks lower in calories by adding a no calorie sweetener instead of sugar and choosing diet or low calorie beverages made with them.

• Explore the international and vegetarian food choices in the cafeteria to find more flavorful vegetable-based dishes that are lower in calories than standard American fare.

• Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with like-minded house mates to have a steady supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs all semester long and the chance to burn some calories working on the farm to pay for your share.

• Reach for some sugar-free frozen yogurt topped with berries for a sweet treat, instead of regular ice cream covered in candy bits.

• Have designated eating places on campus for eating (cafeteria, student lounge) and other places that are off-limits (library, lecture hall) so you won’t snack mindlessly everywhere.

• Stay in motion when not studying by joining an intramural team, trying out new equipment at the fitness center, taking a Zumba class or swimming laps at the pool.

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