College Freshman 15 - How to Avoid It
In 2017, there were 20.4 million college students in America who will or have experienced the “Freshman 15” which is the human experience of putting on 15 pounds of body weight during their first year in college. For students, this is their first time living away from their parents or guardian without home-made food. On college campuses, students encounter several challenges concerning nutrition, exercise, and mental health.
For nutrition, most students are on a buffet-style campus meal-plan meaning students can have seconds and more. When eating on campus, students must stay disciplined with portion size and not go get seconds. It may be tempting to eat more to kill time if your friends aren’t finished eating. Instead, drink water.
With most students strapped for cash, students garf down pizza, soda, and beer at student club meetings and parties. This is the easiest way to put on unhealthy weight. When going to a meeting or party, bring a healthy snack bar or a nutritious cold meal with you to eat when you feel hungry so that you don’t have to eat pizza for food.
The real world is huge with over 7 billion people. Unfortunately for college students, the campus bubble feeling makes students feel that they must follow the crowd or risk being publicly shamed and criticized by their friends. Don’t feel pressured to drink alcohol at college parties - convince others it is cool to be fit, healthy, and smart by drinking water on the rocks.
Some of the most successful people are college dropouts: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Pretty sure they aren’t concerned that they weren’t voted the most drunk while in college. In moments where peer pressure arises, think about your purpose and long-game.
Packing on the weight from junk food and beer makes exercise a tough habit to make. College students have additional no-time excuses ranging from class, homework, club activities, career search, hangovers, social media, online shopping, Netflix and Chilling, and partying.
This is unacceptable. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. If a busy person like President Barack Obama managed to exercise, you can too.
If you attend a college where college athletes are the “Big Man or Big Woman on Campus,” you probably cheer on the football and basketball teams during big games, but don’t be afraid of their presence if you work out in the gym. Remember to have a mindset beyond the campus bubble to get in your exercise so you can go pursue your dream career after finishing college. You’re there in college to get the piece of paper to check your employer’s competence box. Your college classmates who are athletes may serve as your motivation for exercise, but never be afraid of their presence. The majority of college athletes don’t make it professionally often just reflecting on their glory days while working a subpar job because they didn’t focus on their career plans while in college. Hollywood captured this with Dwyane Johnson and Kevin Hart in the movie “Central Intelligence.”
I too went thru the college freshman 15 at Bowdoin College - consistently ranked the top dining hall in the United States. My exercise slipped from high school as I used all those time excuses mentioned earlier such as studying and parties. To overcome this, I started controlling portion size every meal and ate healthily when out. For exercise, learning how to structure a weight lifting program from my roommate helped me realize the benefits of lifting to boost metabolism and physique. Training with partners helped for social accountability and motivation. Go find your partner!
Mental health is a huge issue where students can go thru depression or commit suicide for low grades or not succeeding with their Tinder-swiping dating life on campus.
At college, what other students think of you may seem like the most important thing in the world, but when you ask adults and your parents what they got wrong at that age, nearly all say they cared too much what other kids thought of them. Just ask anyone who’s 5 years out of college if any of those pressure moments back then mattered now.
If you’re someone who’s packed on the college freshman 15 or want to avoid going thru it, start finding a friend who’s willing to be disciplined with nutrition and exercise so you can enjoy the rest of your college experience to dominate after college with a great body and smarter mind.
If you, your friends, and college community are ready to take your college health to the next level, reach out to our team for onsite group fitness at your college. Feel free to invite your professors and school administrators too!
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JustHuynh Mission: Kill Global Obesity thru Social FitnessFollow&Subscribe Francis Huynh! //
Francis Huynh is Founder & CEO of JustHuynh - the social fitness company who's mission is to kill global obesity thru personal training and group fitness for the needed social accountability and motivation in being healthy. Personally experiencing obesity during childhood, college, and work -training with partners helped Francis become healthier and happier. With time as most valuable resource, Francis turned down corporate career opportunities post-MBA to dedicate his life to help 400 million+ people affected with diabetes worldwide reach their health goals. Francis completed his undergrad at Bowdoin and MBA at Vanderbilt. He is living with wife in Boston. The mini-Franchises are currently on-hold until JustHuynh is helping the world.