The Freshman 15: Tips and Tricks to Avoid

One of the largest stereotypical expectations about college is the dreaded “Freshman 15”. I personally struggled with this (gained 12 pounds by Christmas my freshman year), but I was able to implement some strategy and healthy habits to help combat (and eventually lose) all the weight! By no means am I an expert, but the following are some tips and tricks I personally used to bounce back from a big learning experience.

1| Zero calories from beverages
A big eating ritual I’ve held close for a very long time is reducing the calories or sugars I get from beverages. Yes, this means not drinking pop, coffee, lemonade, or any other beverage that isn’t water (or the occasional glass of milk). Not only is this a healthy habit, it will save you quite a bit of change if you re-direct your Starbucks or Caribou budget to something lasting!

2| Avoid the cookies
One of my favorite life mottos is “A cookie a day will keep the grumpies away”, but it turned out eating a cookie a day caused quite a bit of grumpy down the road when I looked in a mirror! Many of the dining centers have incredible cookies literally every day, so it takes quite a bit of self-control to keep away. My advice would be grabbing something sweet, like an apple or banana, for your sugar fix.

3| Walk to class
Simply put, walking to class is an easy and practical way to keep your legs loose, breathe in some fresh air, and build some character. No, the walk from Friley to Forker or Towers to Troxel is not delightful, but it does have its benefits. Throw some ear buds in, find a good podcast, and hit the sidewalk. You’d be surprised the things you see just walking down Welch or around Lake LaVerne!

4| Find Fun Fitness
I truly believe some sort of exercise is expected of most of the people in our society, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. While some spend hours in the gym constantly checking themselves out in the mirrors (you know who you are), a quick, sweaty and glorious elliptical workout for 30 minutes after class won’t only clear your mind, but build a habit of daily exercise that you can continue when your metabolism inevitably slows down! Playing basketball, rock climbing, rowing, dancing, doing yoga, and lifting weights are all great ways to keep your confidence up and add a motivation to consume better foods to fuel your muscles.

5| Get sleep
Sleep is the one thing we all want, but most don’t get enough of. I’ve found that when I established consistent times for eating, workouts, and sleeping, my life became mentally, emotionally, and physically healthier!

Hope you enjoyed the post!

As the great Michael Scott once said,

“Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice? Strike three.”


Categories: Advice, Iowa State

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