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Freshman Fifteen
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Photo: Studiomill
Being in college can have its toll on your eating habits. I had heard stories of the “freshman fifteen”. What are the “freshman fifteen” you may ask? They are the pounds that seem to overtake many students in their first year of college. I was deathly afraid of them creeping up on me, and tried my best to prepare myself beforehand. It was hard to stick to a good diet and consistent exercise program while worrying about tests and projects. Even with all my effort I ended up gaining eight pounds.

Arriving home, I went over what I had done wrong, why I’d gained those eight pounds that, to me, seemed to appear out of nowhere. I realized that though for the most part I had eaten fruits and veggies and tried to stay away from anything too greasy, the late night munchies had gotten the best of me. Most nights, I would stay up studying till one or two in the morning. My last meal at the cafeteria was usually around six. This meant that around the time I was in the middle of my studying my stomach would start grumbling. Without putting too much thought into what I was about to do, I would open up the “pantry” door that housed all of my cereal, cookies, and snacks and grabbed the first thing my hand touched. This became a routine, something that would happen most nights when I had a hard test coming up or a project due and it was crunch time.

New Way of Life

Sometimes, eating healthy becomes a chore instead of a new way of life. I love to eat sweets and home baked goods. I’ve always had a pretty big sweet tooth, but in learning to eat healthier I realized it’s not so much  the foods I love but learning to enjoy the benefits a healthy lifestyle can bring. A healthy diet benefits you by lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of cancer, and making you feel good about the body God gave you.

I’ve learned a lot from my evaluation of my college weight gain and have come up with a couple of suggestions to help those facing this same situation:

1. Never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and can reduce the urge to snack on unhealthy cookies later on in the day.
2.Take the time to walk. It may be hard to fit in exercise into your busy day but any amount helps. Try taking a break and walk outside for 10 or 15 minutes. This will help clear your mind, and give you the boost you need.
3. Get enough sleep. With school and work, this can become very difficult. I learned that if I slept enough hours (this means seven to eight) the night before a test or an early day of work, my performance was a lot better.

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By Jennifer Camps. Copyright © 2010 by
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