10 Tips to Beat the Freshman 15

Don't let late night snacks, sugary coffee drinks, and all-you-can-eat dinning halls wreck your hard work!

The dreaded Freshman fifteen. Between late night snacks, sugary coffees, and all-you-can-eat dining halls, it’s no wonder so many students gain weight when they start college. Freshmen give up home-cooked family meals and move into an environment where few people have access to full kitchens and midnight pizza is a common snack.

Don’t resign yourself to weight gain just because you’re starting college. With a bit of mindful eating, you can avoid gaining weight. Below are our 10 best tips to beat the Freshman 15.

1. Approach the dining hall with the right mindset.

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It’s easy to overeat when dinner takes place in an all-you-can-eat dining hall. With so many options available, it’s tempting to try a little bit of everything. Dining halls often have rotating menus, meaning you will have plenty of occasions to sample the desserts. You don’t have to eat them all in one day!

2. Start with a salad.

Clean-Eating Cobb Salad
As long as food is readily available, we will continue eating until we feel full. A large salad can help you feel satisfied faster so you eat less of the unhealthy options.

3. Have your dressing on the side.

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Although salads are some of the healthiest options in the dining hall, it’s easy to overload them with calories. Serve your dressing in a separate cup and lightly dip each bite of lettuce. This will help you cut back on the amount of dressing you consume.

4. Learn where calories hide.

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Many foods marketed as healthy are often packed with hidden fats, sugars, and salts. Watch out for high-calorie granolas, sauces dripping with heavy oils, and meats containing high percentages of fat. Learn how to find healthy options and stick to them when you can.

6. Keep clean snacks nearby. 

Skinny Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
Late night study sessions can leave you starving when nothing but junk food’s for sale. Keep a stash of light, healthy snacks you can munch on in order to ward off hunger. This will keep you from reaching for potato chips and ice cream. Healthy snack ideas include natural popcorn, lightly salted nuts, fresh fruit, and plain non-fat Greek yogurt. If you’re into cooking and baking, check out these. Check out these 25 Snacks To Make in Your Dorm Room.

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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