Fighting the Unwanted Pounds

Staying healthy while adjusting to your new life

It’s big, it’s bad, and it lurks on every single college campus across the United States. Seeping into dorms and dining halls around the nation, the Freshman 15 is one of the worst reminders that, yes, you are officially in college. As if the admissions process, classes, projects, finals, and of course, roommates weren’t difficult enough to deal with, first-year students must also contend with the newfound freedom to eat whatever, whenever they like. Before you go shopping for newer, slightly larger, clothes, know that you don’t have to be another victim of the Freshman 15.

Eat Different

Variety is the spice of life AND the key to maintaining a balanced diet. A healthy combination of fruits, veggies, grains, proteins, dairy, and carbs (just don’t go overboard) will keep your weight low and your energy up. With fatty foods like pizza, burgers, and fries constantly on hand in the dining hall, you’ll have to learn to look temptation in the eye and pass on a sweet treat every so often. Choosing leafy greens, freshly squeezed juices, organic produce, and soy products over baked goods and fast food will give you a nourishing diet instead of one that’s packed with bad cholesterol and saturated fat.

Snack With Caution

Your dorm vending machine may quickly become your worst nightmare. Packed with chips, candy, and artificial sweeteners of all kinds, vending machines are usually the only ones there to help you through a late-night cram session. The solution to this problem is simply to prepare in advance. Invest in a mini-fridge for your room or suite and stock it with healthy alternatives. Keep a stash of body-friendly dry goods, such as granola bars, low-sugar cereal, trail-mix, and fruit on hand as well. A banana will keep you going longer and provide you with more energy and nutrients than a Snickers®. If junk food is still calling your name, proceed with moderation and keep a mental note of what you consume. Remember that snacking isn’t the problem. It’s excessive snacking that you’ve got to beware.


This article was written by Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101: The Ultimate Guide for Students of All Ages (Palari Publishing, 2008). Her byline can also be found on,, and, and in Wired Magazine.

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