Heading off to college is an exciting experience that comes with many changes””including the responsibility of finding or making your own meals, often for the first time. Between dining frequently with friends, late-night study sessions (with snacks!) and newfound freedom to eat what you want whenever you want it, many students fall victim to the dreaded “Freshman 15″ within their first few months on campus.
There are a few important things to keep in mind, not only to avoid quickly packing on15 pounds (which can easily turn into 20, 25 or 30), but to start building the right eating and exercise habits for life.
Here are a few get-fit tips for incoming frosh:
- Eat 5-6 small meals per day to speed up your metabolism.
- Get in at least 30 minutes a day of light-to-medium intensity cardio to keep your weight down; most colleges offer students free gym access, so take advantage!
- Don’t starve yourself! Many women think not eating is the way to lose weight, but that usually is not the case, because starvation slows down your metabolism””and even if you do lose weight, it’s muscle weight (and who wants that skinny, soft mushy look when you can be tone and fit).
- Always eat breakfast””but skip those late-night drive-thru windows. Our metabolisms are fastest in the morning and slowest at night.
- Try to avoid breads and pastas, fried foods and foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
If you follow these simple rules, the Freshman 15 won’t be showing up on your scale.
Get fitness and sports nutrition tips from personal trainer Deniz Duygulu, an International Federation of BodyBuilders Men’s Physique pro athlete. Like Deniz on Facebook to watch videos demonstrating correct form and for advice on fueling effectively.