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Staying Healthy at College: How to Beat the Freshman 15

August 29, 2013

This post was written by Rosemary Squires

Most colleges are already back in session and that means study groups, football games, and parties are just around the corner. While older college students have had a couple of years experience learning how to navigate the all-you-can-eat dining hall, late night pizza runs, and tailgating parties, incoming freshman might be more focused on finding their way around their new school and making new friends. But most people have heard about the dreaded “Freshman 15” and want to avoid it. So here are some helpful tips to stay healthy and maintain your weight when you go off to college.

  1. Just because you have an unlimited dining plan doesn’t mean you have to eat as much as you can. Instead of getting second and third helpings of food, pace yourself when eating and finish the meal with fresh fruit.
  2. Stick to whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and lean meats. To some people this may sound like common sense, but it’s not so easy when faced with extra cheese and sides of fries. Fill half your plate with vegetables and/or fruit and split the other half between whole grain and lean protein.
  3. Follow the 90:10 rule. No one says you can’t have a treat now and then. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet 90% of the time, there’s room for some splurges the rest of the time. Just remember, everything in moderation!
  4. Every student has access to the campus gym, so use it! While it may seem impossible to fit in a workout between classes and social events, make it your business to get least 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity. Exercise can help you concentrate when you’re studying and fall asleep more easily.

If you’re a college student, what are your top tips for staying healthy?

And be sure to check out Jessica’s post with more Back to School Nutrition Tips.

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