Avoiding the “Freshman Fifteen”

Ah, the freshman fifteen. The dreaded weight gain that almost every first year student argues doesn’t apply to him or her. I’m going to start this post off by being completely honest and acknowledging that I did not successfully avoid the freshman fifteen my first year at Nipissing. But hopefully, with the help of many students before you and some tips and tricks, some lucky first years can avoid one of the first non-academic challenges that student’s face when starting university.

Make Healthy Snacks

The first thing that I learned pretty quickly was that it’s pretty easy to buy a box of cookies or a bag of chips, and throw some into your book bag on the way out the door. It may be easy, but it’s not healthy for you. Try making healthier snacks. If you have 8:30 a.m. classes you can make it the night before and have them all ready to go for the morning. Some fruit, crackers and hummus, veggies or smoothies are great options for snacks and with some help from Pinterest, can be quite delicious as well.

Avoid Eating Out

One of the great things about Nipissing is that we have a cafeteria full of awesome food. It’s so easy to walk down the hall, grab some food, and head back to class. While there’s nothing wrong with this, in combination with going out for food with friends, it can get to be too much. Try to limit yourself and instead try making a potluck with your roommates or friends. It’s a great way to save some money too.

Learn Some New Healthy Recipes

One of the biggest challenges that I faced when I got to Nipissing was my lack of cooking capabilities. Learning a few good recipes that you can cook is a great way to make sure what you are eating is healthy and delicious.

Be Active

Being active is not as difficult as it sounds. There are various ways that you can be active depending on what you’re interested in doing. We have a wonderful athletic centre, beautiful trails, and between residence and the education centre, lots of stairs.

Avoid Stress Eating

One of the biggest issues that I encountered alongside not being able to cook, was stress eating. The busier that I got, the more that I snacked. While it’s harder than it looks, avoiding stress eating has helped me avoid gaining back that notorious freshman fifteen. If all else fails, revert back to those healthy snacks that you’ve been preparing.

While it may be a little more time consuming to plan out healthy snacks and meals, and it’s easier to watch Netflix rather than going for a walk, being active and healthy is an important factor in being successful at university. When I take steps to being healthier I find I’m less tired, can focus better in lectures, and can stay more organized. Try these tips out and see how you feel. Chances are, it’ll be better.

Good luck, and stay healthy!

– Hannah