Gaining more than Knowledge

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As first year college students, new experiences are encountered such as getting roommates, buying text books instead of renting them from the library and a new found sense of independence and freedom.

Yet out of gaining these new, exciting and different encounters, one of the things that is sometimes unintentionally gained is the freshman 15. The freshman 15 is the weight gain that incoming freshman tend to gain their first year of college.

However it is important to clarify that according to the article “Diet Myth or Truth: The Freshman 15,”

the gain is generally less than 15 pounds. Moreover in the article, studies show that typical weight gain is between 4-10 pounds for the first year of college.

Therefore the question remains as to why this phenomenon occurs to incoming freshman.

There are various causes to the weight gain whether it is due to hec- tic schedules, missed meals, stress or the freedom at the all-you-care- to-eat dining halls.

Of course eating in moderation is an imperative component to healthy living but weight gain has more to it than just that. In order to beat the freshman 15, it is important to un- derstand the causes so that it can be

avoided overall.

Changes in the times

As one of the major milestones in life, going to college is a time of transition and making the adjustment of being away from home, can cause people to sometimes eat in response to anxiety, homesickness or sadness. Though sometimes these feelings can be overwhelming, it will pass and by acknowledging it can help stop the response of emotional eating.

New environment

For the most part whether it was living at home or attending school, the details regarding when, what and how much you ate was structured. However being in college with unlimited choices it can be easy to overwhelmed and just eat whatever is at hand. Though, several weeks of this can pack on the pounds.

The lack of exercise

Even though studying is important, it is also essential to maintain your physical health. Busy schedules and activities in college can sometimes put exercising on the back burner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) must be done every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work major muscle groups such as the legs, hips and arms in order to get the important health benefits.

Constant snacking

Unlike being under the watchful eye of high school teachers, studying in college is done on one’s own time and sometimes mindless snacking on junk food can occur. This can be problematic especially for snack- ing late at night because the extra calories are not being burned which in turn can expand waists. If this is a reoccurring habit, it is important to recognize it, stop it and consider about what is happening to deter- mine if you have this habit such as eating lots of junk food snacks when you’re not hungry. As an alternative find healthy snacks like an apple, carrot sticks with ranch dressing, a banana, Chewy Bars or celery with peanut butter.

Amidst of all these changes just remember that only you can prevent the freshman 15 weight gain.

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