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15 ways to defeat the freshman 15

Health insights expressed from a Texas A&M athlete

Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

Highlighting the benefits of a dynamic and healthy lifestyle, this wellness blog serves to educate Texas A&M students about smart food choices and strategic exercise.

Students are told to expect the notorious freshman 15 coming to a nearby dormitory! Although the freshman 15 can be intimidating (especially as you deal with midterms and deadlines for the first time (in addition to trying to find who you are), it's easily avoidable. Following these 15 tips can assist you in creating a healthy lifestyle and transforming the dreaded freshman 15 and sophomore, junior, senior, super-senior 15 to zero!

1. Save the fossil fuels!

Do it like the Flintstones. Self-propel yourself to classes. Not only are you saving money by not consuming fossil fuels on the way to class, instead you are burning calories onward to your education. 

Learn the back routes as you bike to class. Runners and bikers who memorize different routes have their memories challenged regularly, assisting their abilities to retain information for their classes.

2. "Carb out" the right way

Vegetables and fruits are a great source for carbohydrates. They give you a rich sense of fullness because they are water-based and not processed.

3. Hydration, hydration, hydration

Since our bodies contain roughly 2/3 (or 66 percent) water, why deprive them of it? Regularly drinking water provides stability throughout your body; with balance comes energy! Try to drink cold water as your body burns additional calories trying to heat itself down (plus, its usually more refreshing)

For more information on water, visit here.

4. Become active in your community

Volunteering has a tendency to promote the outdoors more so than not. Find an outlet where you can improve your community either through yard work or another physical activity.

5. Develop into a dynamic exerciser and change it up

Don't be that person who only lifts weights or goes running. Have a dynamic experience and try many things. On some days I'll do pull-ups, push-ups and jump rope. On other days, I might do some cardio at the gym with a community of people. Give yourself options and don't feel the need to commit to one or the other.

6. Substitute the bad foods in your life

Realizing that certain foods in your life have a viable alternative can be life-changing. Many people do not consider that what they are ingesting can be detrimental to their energy. Instead of red meats, try cooking salmon, eat brown rice, or wheat bread instead of white rice or white bread. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise and drink skim milk instead of 2 percent. It'll be a hard transition at first, but as you put your health over your taste buds you will make leaps and bounds. Who knows, going out of your comfort zone might actually be exactly what you need to try.

7. Avoid late night eating

We burn, on average, 2200 calories just by living. When we sleep right after we've eaten however, we aren't doing much to counteract the calories that come in. Rather than eating late at night, try drinking a couple glasses of water to stave off your hunger.

8. Avoid "study eating"

You're more likely to overeat and overindulge when you are distracted or focused elsewhere. For a study regiment, in this order: Snack before you study, study, and then snack after you study (or else you'll see that bowl of chips vanish before you can say "midterm").

9. Avoid distracted eating

Not paying attention to what your body is interested in can give it a false sense of hunger as you continue to indulge. You may need to be most mindful of your eating as you watch a sporting event on TV or as you're focused with other entertainment.

10. A sweet substitute

Instead of eating ice cream, try chilled fruit. Maybe some strawberries and whipped cream or some sliced honeydew or pineapple chunks.

11. Reward yourself appropriately

Don't eat desserts out of habit and routine. Rather, eat sweets because you have exercised for the past five days or you just did well on your test you had right before dinner.

12. Join a gym and have an encouraging buddy system

With a friend, commit to work out together on a consistent basis.  Joining a local gym gets you involved with a community of people that are all like-minded. Having a buddy system provides you more reasons to exercise.

13. Be your own chef

People eat processed foods without knowing what is in them.  Some processed noodles have two servings of 800 mg of sodium. (Gross.)  On a chemical level, sodium makes your body less efficient allowing other trace elements to coagulate in your blood stream (Not good).

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