How to avoid gaining weight at college?

Options
I'm going into my freshman year in a few days and I don't want to gain any weight. I'm currently at a healthy weight (BMI 19-20) and exercising regularly. I don't plan on drinking or partying that much at college because I'm going into pre-med and have more introverted tendencies so alcohol calories will most likely not be a concern.

How do I avoid the Freshman 15?
«1

Replies

  • Old_Cat_Lady
    Old_Cat_Lady Posts: 1,193 Member
    Options
    Eat 1/2 the pizza you would ordinarily eat.
  • ent3rsandman
    ent3rsandman Posts: 170 Member
    Options
    1) Count your calories even if you don't know the exact amount in the food. An approximation is better than not knowing at all, and you'll want to know the common variables in your diet in case you do need to cut back later on.

    2) Whether you want to do the above or not, weigh yourself every day and track it on a site like TrendWeight. It will average out water weight and give you an idea of whether you're losing, gaining, or maintaining, and how close you are to your real total daily energy expenditure.

    3) Remember to just eat until you're not hungry. If you don't feel like you can do that, you can look into intermittent fasting; but I feel like the former is a very important skill to learn in order to maintain a healthy weight.
  • susanayt97
    susanayt97 Posts: 309 Member
    Options
    Congrats on getting in!
    I'm an introvert and yet alcohol found its way to me haha! You should walk when you can and not drive, go for the stairs. If you don't have much time to workout, do just a few push ups and lunges and stuff like that when you have 5 minutes.
    I cook all my food, if you could meal prep for the whole week on Sundays (if that's how college works there idk). Always have healthy snacks (fruit, milk, protein bars) on your bag with you, so you don't have to go for the vending machines in case you get hungry.
    This is all I should have done and didn't do, got my freshman 15 (more like freshman 7 or 8)
  • perkymommy
    perkymommy Posts: 1,642 Member
    Options
    If you are already exercising regularly then you should be fine. Just don't eat too much. Keep active and walk at least 10,000 steps per day. Good luck on your freshman year! How exciting!
  • perkymommy
    perkymommy Posts: 1,642 Member
    Options
    Eat 1/2 the pizza you would ordinarily eat.

    :D what? lol
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,594 Member
    Options
    Don't eat too much. If you're going into pre med, this is something you should know.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • court_alacarte
    court_alacarte Posts: 219 Member
    edited August 2017
    Options
    I didn't drink until I started college too :D

    Gained the Freshman 15 easily. Alcohol and freedom were the main culprits; I went from a routine in high school of being busy all the time and only eating when reminded (and what my mom cooked), to: "oh I'm done with classes by noon today? Taco Bell looks super tasty for lunch... oh and we're also going for pizza later? Guess I'll need to eat enough to fill me up before I dip into the trashcan punch at the party tonight. Oh look, Nutter Butters!"

    I was able to lose most of it by Sophomore year, though (and not by lightening up on the drinking). Just made smarter choices in what I ate--basically ate more at home and ate lighter-calorie options when eating out--and also became more active; I made it a point to go to the gym at least a couple of times a week and would try to walk everywhere instead of driving, even when I lived off campus.

    It's very, very possible to maintain/lose during college, just be aware that the freedom to eat as and when you please can easily get out of hand when you're surrounded by the conveniences of your pre-loaded meal-plan card and ready-made Pizza Hut in the school cafeteria. You're pre-med, you're smart :) you'll be fine! College is a ton of fun!
  • Treece68
    Treece68 Posts: 780 Member
    Options
    Do not go 5 nights a week to midnight pizza and ice cream. In realty try to eat at maintenance calories you will have to estimate unless dining halls now give you calorie information.
  • robm1brown
    robm1brown Posts: 71 Member
    edited August 2017
    Options
    George Forman Grill. Trust me.

    Also drinking light spirits with diet mixers is better in the calorie department. I drink pints of bitter though so it is a so as I say not as I do kind of thing.
  • LucasLean
    LucasLean Posts: 100 Member
    Options
    It's the opposite for me. I don't eat when I'm stressed out, which is when school starts again. If you're at a comfortable weight now, you just continue eating how you're eating currently. It's as easy as that.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
    edited August 2017
    Options
    Treece68 wrote: »
    Do not go 5 nights a week to midnight pizza and ice cream. In realty try to eat at maintenance calories you will have to estimate unless dining halls now give you calorie information.

    This was the biggie for me. I ate my three meals, and snacks (probably at maintenance) and then someone would suggest going out for pizza, or a burger etc. I went from about an 18 to a 21 BMI my freshman year.

    And use good judgement in the dining hall.

    Good for you getting out ahead of this!
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,681 Member
    Options
    A lot depends on where you will be living and eating. If you have an apartment or continue to live at home, you can do the cooking and shopping so you have more control over what you eat. If you live in a dorm and eat at the cafeteria, you'll be exposed to a lot of fattening food. At least when I was in school, our dorm had a lot of parties and group meals - usually pizza, ice cream, muffins, etc. In some cafeterias, you will be able to choose from a dozen or more desserts every day. There may be a choice of pizza for lunch and dinner. It's up to you to make wise choices. Go for the vegetables and protein options rather than the pasta and grease. Eat sweets sparingly. Watch out for the high calorie coffee bombs.

    You also can join the gym, walk everywhere on campus (or bike if it's a big campus), join in groups that do sports or hiking, etc. Look for friends that want to be active.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,177 Member
    Options
    If you live on campus and eat in the dining hall, sodexo and aramark work with MFP and most of their menu items are in the database. The servings given aren't as precise as weighing, but it works for me to keep a handle on what I'm eating when I'm at work (I work at a university).
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,177 Member
    Options
    Also: campus rec center. You pay for it with your student fees, take advantage!
  • MarylandRose
    MarylandRose Posts: 239 Member
    edited August 2017
    Options
    I actually did better at the dining hall than in my apartment, because I didn't have to cook. I could also have a big salad, 10 french fries and a half serving of soft serve (or any other combination of "lots of healthy food with a small serving of a treat thrown in" without it being a production/inconvenient. Off-campus, I found that my salad went bad and that my roommates ate my eggs and cereal, so I ate a lot more frozen pizza, or they ordered Chinese or we all went out or or or.
    Moderate your booze, walk to/around campus whenever possible (ie, there was a bus that ran to my off-campus apt but I walked that 15 minutes each way 2, 4, or 6 times/day depending on my schedule), and find a way to be active that you like.

    For an overall health piece of advice: you will be busy in pre-med. But don't let yourself pretend that you're so busy that you can't join on-campus activities. My mid-sized school (~15k undergrad when I was there) had 500+ student organizations, and a ton of rec sports. There will be plenty of introverts at these clubs - some people joined the business fraternity I was in without ever really talking to anyone; they kept their distance and got exactly as much Peopling and Networking and Community Service as they needed without being in the middle of the event. It's important to find your friend-groups on campus outside of your major track, whether that's the chess club, spelunking, Greek life, tutoring at nearby middle schools, or whatever else. You'll feel like you fit in better on campus, you'll meet different people than in your classes, and you'll get to explore/try out/do new things that you love. And - it'll help your mental health, which in turn supports your physical health.

    Added: people might make fun of those activities/clubs. Ignore them. Go try some out and join what makes you happy. Even 3 years post-college, the people I was closest with (and this is still true 8 years post-college) were the people I met in things outside of my major track classes. Met lots of nice people in my business program. I'm still in touch with some, and we network and chat business stuff. But the people I will drive two hours to have dinner with? I met them in study abroad (GO STUDY ABROAD WHILE YOU ARE IN COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!! :) ) or marching band.
  • natruallycurious
    natruallycurious Posts: 359 Member
    Options
    I just graduated in May and unfortunately did not avoid the Freshman 15, even though I didn't drink. I had been a dancer before college, and then when I went to school, I didn't get near as much exercise. However, the main issues are that it can be difficult to eat healthy in the cafeteria, and all of the late night snacking during studying. At least at my school, there tended to be a lot of free pizza for all of the campus events. If you keep up your current habits and just don't give in to all of the junk food, you should be fine!
  • jelly_potato
    jelly_potato Posts: 77 Member
    Options
    1. Food does not help with stress.
    2. Re-read point 1.
    3. Memorize point 1.

    Stress and student drinking are the number one reasons in my surrounding (me included) for weight gaining. You will possibly find yourself stressing and over-stressing over everything. Just avoid food as the solution.
  • rachelmp17
    rachelmp17 Posts: 7 Member
    Options
    Some campus rec centers have free workout classes, either student led or for one pass/fail credit. I didn't take advantage of this until my senior year, but wish that I had. It's a great way to force yourself to get to the gym after classes.