Avoiding the Freshman 15 like the plague College Life

Hi everyone:

One of the biggest challenges a new or returning college student can face (or sit upon) is the Freshman 15. The thing is, these extra fifteen pounds can strike in your freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate years without warning.  They are equal-opportunity pounds.

Students have a tendency to feel hungry when they are up late studying, so it’s very easy to order in a pizza to munch on…add in Goldfish (the crackers, not the animals) and you can gain weight pretty rapidly. (When my son graduated from college, he lost 17 pounds because he was no longer snacking his way through the night to keep awake).

So how do you avoid them? Well, as good as the sandwich shown here looks, a salad or low-cal smoothie is better for your waistline. This meal probably packs a 2,000 calorie punch,  which is enough to derail any good intentions. Adding fries and a soda can make it two days’ worth of calories, no problem.

It’s also important to exercise while you study. When I was preparing for my Ph.D. qualifying exams, I studied for six hours a day, every day, for two months (please note that I had been studying every day for the six months before that, as well). I wrote up 600 note cards and kept them on my treadmill, where I walked and studied. when I got tired of being stuck indoors, I learned to hold them in my hands at just the right angle so that I could walk on my front porch without falling off but so that I was still able to read and memorize the cards.

My study group and I had prepared study guide documents. I blew them up into 18 point font and taped them to the walls near my treadmill so I could run and get 90 minutes of study in before breakfast.  It was a wonderful sense of accomplishment and a superb way to start the day.

What ideas have you used to avoid those unwanted pounds? I would love to hear your ideas!


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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