The Dreaded "Freshman 15"
It's that time again - September has rolled back around and for many it means kissing childhood goodbye and starting their first year of college. But what about those that are worried about the dreaded "Freshman 15?" We've all heard the term, used to describe the excess weight many freshman accumulate their first year of college due to stress, excessive drinking, or a combination of both. While it does claim many victims, this unfortunate and pesky episode can be avoided by following a few simple tips!

Try these 5 tips to avoid 
becoming a member of the "Freshman 15" club:

1. Eat small amounts, and often
By eating small, healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, you can avoid binge-eating later on and increase your metabolism. This tip sounds like a win-win! Also keep in mind that they don't have to be elaborate or expensive. Healthy, small snacks is the key. 

2. Eat small snacks, but don't skip breakfast.
The most important meal of the day is often filled with healthier, more filling and satisfying calories than other meals, and often leads to less calories consumed throughout the day. It also boosts brain activity, which is something every freshman needs more of!

3. Understand the Reality of Alcohol
On average, a can of beer totals in at 150 calories. A couple cold ones can easily rack up 1,000 completely wasteful, nutrient-void calories. If you can't squeeze in a trip to the gym the next day due to your impending hangover or school and work commitments, you might want to re-consider the amount of beer you drink. This tip may not sound like much fun, but it is an effective way of keeping off those extra pounds while on a tight budget, as so many college students are.

4. Sacrificing food during the day for beer won't help you lose weight
Drinking on an empty stomach will rapidly affect your blood sugar levels and trigger your hunger, meaning you are likely to eat more than you would have if you had eaten before you began drinking. 

5. Get an exercise buddy 
If you're going to drink, and even if you don't plan to, partaking in at least minimal exercise each day can go a long way in increasing your overall health and lowering your weight. Try to find a roommate or study buddy to hit the park with for a brisk walk or jog. Having someone to encourage you to reach your fitness goals is a good way to stay motivated. 

While we can't promise you won't gain any weight during your first year of college, you are sure to stay away from the dreadful 15-pound weight gain that you've been hearing about and fearing since you were little if you follow these simple but beneficial tips. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have fun and be conscientious at the same time!