Most young girls switch to adult metabolic rates at the time of starting college. This can translate int the Freshmen 15 or the fifteen-pound weight gain which can be a health risk. But if women exercise enough, by their senior years, they can reach the weight they were when they started college. Men mature later, weighing more at graduation. The 15 pound gain is just an average. The actual weight gain may be more around 10 pounds. But some people reach a heavier weight and some don’t gain weight at all. Getting into a healthy eating and exercise mode can solve the problem considerably. But, bodily transitions, schedules that are extensive and the sudden independence to eat and drink what one feels like can be a counterweight, tipping the scale in the favor of the freshman 15. Here are the ways to stop this disastrous weight gain from marring your college years.
How To Give Freshman Fifteen a Miss
#1 Snack Regularly
Eating mini-meals or snacks after 3-4 hours can avoid you from going on a food binge. The big emphasis here is on small snacks. Don’t replace meals with several of the large amounts of snacks, if your aim is to lose weight or stay your trim, svelte self. Eating contributes to a rise in the BMR which is the number of calories being burnt when the body remains stable. The more snacks of small proportions are consumed at regular intervals, the more weight loss results as the BMR shoots up. Studies have found that participants who ate 17 small snacks over a period of 24 hours lowered insulin and cholesterol levels, lowering chances of gaining weight.
#2 Don’t Ever Skip Breakfast
Students are often in a rush to get to classes. As a result, breakfast becomes the most neglected meal of the day. The American Society of Nutritional Sciences has found that breakfast calorie intake makes it possible to lower calorie consumption in toto. If the first meal of the day is skipped, it can lead to calorie fests later in the day.
#3 Stock Your Shelves With Health Food
Stocking up your dorm with fresh veggies and fruits, trail mixes, granola bars and so on will increase the chances of binging less on unhealthy foods. As against food in dorms, you can pack some snacks to eat on the move. This will save you from the junk food most college vending machines dispense.
#3 Alcohol Can be a Buzzkill. So Can Liquid Calories
Each beer mug averages a total of one hundred and fifty calories. Drink only 3-5 of these and you can imagine the calorie overload your body goes through. Add munching and late night binging, and there you have it– the freshman 15 becomes a reality for you. You need just 3,500 calories to gain one pound of fat. Don’t eat less and drink more because that will never work. Drinking on an empty stomach is dangerous and also leads to a fall in blood sugar, triggering hunger. This along with lower inhibitions can prove lethal when it comes to succumbing to fried, processed or junk foods. If you think drinking juice is healthy, this might give you some food for thought. Most juices are not 100% fruit and come heavily laden with sugar, the ideal recipe for weight gain. So don’t give in to sugary drinks and colas, because you will be paying with your health, and the price of overeating can be dangerous.
#4 Don’t Diet
Dieting such as those based on fads like the lemonade diet or the sleeping beauty diet will cut down your calories, but also your nutrition. The body needs complex vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function effectively. Depriving yourself of food at a time when your body needs it can have serious consequences for physical and mental health later in life, besides creating a problem when it comes to weight gain in Freshman years. Go to reputed sites for more on healthy eating, rather than thinking there is a magic bullet for your weight gain problems.
#5 Embrace Fitness
Most schools have sports clubs and varsity teams. If there is a sport you excel at or even like, why not join these? And you don’t even have to be a star athlete to succeed. All you have to do is engage in regular and disciplined exercise. Boosting the metabolism is easy if you exercise hard and are fighting fit.
#6 Eat Right
This is another golden rule you need to follow. For larger meals, replace carbs with lean meats, nuts, fish and other forms of proteins. The body burns more calories when digesting protein. Moreover, protein is the basic building block for muscle repair and growth. Muscles consume energy and help you to tone your body and lose calories. The resting metabolism rises only if you eat correctly and exercise well.
#7 Hydrate Yourself
This is another important rule. Don’t give H20 a miss. Your body needs water to keep it running properly. Water is needed to process calories. Dehydration leads to a slowed metabolic rate. Eat fruits and veggies rich in water for the boost to your body. Carry a regular supply of water through classes to last you. Check if the metabolism can be boosted and prevent your body from over-eating by drinking enough water. If your body is dehydrated, it can interfere with the capacity of the brain to register satiation.
#8 Go For Pizza Only After the Salad
Don’t miss out on a delicious pizza or a tantalizing cheeseburger. But pair it with salads and veggies for the best results. Sharing your meals can also lead to smaller portions and cut down on weight gain.
#9 Build Muscle
Muscle weighs the same as fat but takes up less space. This means building muscles boosts the BMR. For each pound of muscle, burn around six calories a day by doing just about nothing. Burn two calories per day each day if you choose fat instead. So, by gaining fat, you trap yourself in a vicious cycle of weight gain, which is self-perpetuating.
#10 Get Regular Sleep
Massive workloads can keep you awake at night. But don’t be tempted to pull an all-nighter and show up for class the next day. Disrupted patterns of sleep can lead to weight gain. When you are exhausted, there is a greater chance of opting for unhealthy foods and sugary drinks. Sleep deprivation can damage your metabolism. Poor food choices will result and when you are lacking rest, ghrelin, a hormone which tells you to start eating malfunctions. Sleep loss also disrupts leptin, a hormone that tells you when to stop eating. Get 6-8 hours of sleep at least each night.
#11 Regulate Stress
Stress can be a silent killer. It can also lead to a piling up of weight. Having a packed schedule and tons of work can stat haunting you, destroy your peace of mind and lead to emotional or stress eating which can have serious consequences. Hormonal reaction to high stress means your body will register hunger pangs that are insatiable. Hormonal imbalances can also add to the weight gain and so, you need to eat slowly at meal times, avoid getting tense and certainly work on your stress reduction techniques to manage the source of your stress.
Other important aspects of keeping off weight gain include avoiding peer pressure, watching what you eat, weighing yourself regularly and being conscious about how to eat right and following a disciplined regimen. While everyone wants to live it up in college, it’s certainly no fun being obese! A host of medical conditions is associated with Freshman 15 and weight gain that is unhealthy and takes you beyond your ideal range. Don’t let weight gain be a reason for self-destruction. Opt for sensible eating and sleeping habits and regulate yourself in a balanced way, so that you don’t fall prey to Freshman 15 and the serious consequences associated with it.