The Freshman 0

Upperclassman and graduated college students may say the  “Freshman 15” is near, but believe it or not, it is avoidable. No one has to gain 15 pounds the first year of college or any year for that matter.

“For me, it was a bit frustrating in college that if I wanted to eat something that isn’t fried, I couldn’t afford it,” graduate student, Amanda Levitt, said.

Who could blame students though? Jimmy John’s is right on campus and they’re only a minute away from making a $7.00 regular sandwich combo. It feels like it’s not that unhealthy, but according to Jimmy John’s calorie lab online, the sandwiches range from 257 calories to a whopping 1,152 calories. That’s almost half the daily calorie intake of a grown man.

Even Starbucks has lines flowing out the door just for a cup of coffee. Not to mention the all you can eat dining halls with trays of fresh cookies, greasy pizza and an ice cream machine. These empty-calorie filled meals and snacks are the very reason students may find themselves hungry continuously throughout the day.

“The reality is that there are people with food insecurity on campus. If you want a salad, it’s like $9.00,” Levitt said. “The fact that you have to walk off campus to go to any grocery store to buy fresh produce that ends up being privately owned and over expensive, means that eating healthy is an expensive lifestyle.”

To some, it may seem like gaining weight and blowing our savings in college is inevitable.

The problem for college students can be the temptation of fast food. When it comes down to saving money, spending on fresh fruits and vegetables sometimes isn’t practical. Freshman Summer Baraka explains that the social crowd you’re a part of also plays a huge role in the “freshman 15.”

“It’s all about your social crowd; everyone always wants to go out to eat and if your friends want to eat at a restaurant, you’re obviously going to order something too,” Baraka said.

Seeking guidance from those who have learned from college about how to maintain a healthy style can be helpful.

“Tips to freshman,” Junior Allie short begins, “pack your own lunch from home and bring some snacks so you’re not dependent on fast food restaurants here. Bring a snack to class, whether a banana or a granola bar. Stay away from the vending machines. Although they’re trying to stock healthy options, they usually don’t help.”

However, eating healthy isn’t the only key to avoiding those 15 pounds.

“[Although I don’t exercise], what I noticed about my lifestyle was that I walk or bike everywhere,” Short said. “I meet up with my friends, walk to class and visit the DIA. Those few miles a day are what help me balance my weight.”

Changing everyday habits like taking the stairs and planning a trip to the rec center can be helpful. Doing these little things can increase one’s metabolism and help burn calories throughout the day and even while sleeping.

“Staying active helps me stay awake and focused in class,” student Ryan Knight says. “Walking on campus in the morning gives me energy before class and after class, I spend time at the rec center where I mainly focus on my biceps and triceps.”

Take extra steps toward changing your lifestyle and your scale and bank account will thank you for it. With a little extra effort, the “freshman 15” could become the “freshman 0”.

Full article via The South End:


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