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Avoid the freshman 15

On average, students gain 10 to 15 pounds during their first two years of college. Most of this weight gain occurs during the first semester of freshman year. The combination of a new environment, new people and a busy schedule can easily serve as risk factors for weight gain. Millions of students have experienced this; some gain less than 15 pounds, but some will gain even more weight. By making smart decisions about diet and exercise, students can avoid weight gain and even become more fit. Here are several tips that will help a college student avoid the "freshman 15."

  1. Better nutritional choices
    Eat more fruits and vegetables; avoid sugary sodas and high-calorie energy drinks.
  2. Avoid late night snacking
    Choose snacks that are high in water-content and nutrition but low in calories such as fruits, fat-free yogurts and raw vegetables.
  3. Stress management
    Starting college can be stressful and that stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health. Seek creative ways to cope such as yoga or meditation.
  4. Good sleep
    Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
  5. Active living
    Take advantage of intramural activities and the school's fitness center or find some friends who like to go to the gym, jog, swim or walk on a routine basis. Take the stairs up to your classes instead of the elevator. Whenever possible, instead of driving, walk or bike to class.


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