FRESHMAN 15: TRUTH OR MYTH?

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Rheya Traylor

Meter Staff Writer

As freshmen enter their first year of college, one piece of advice that is always given is to beware of the freshman fifteen. The freshman fifteen usually happens within the first semester in college youth across the country, but there are truths and lies to this. Nonetheless, it is completely avoidable by being aware and conscious of your habits that may contribute to the weight gain.

It turns out the freshman fifteen is typically not fifteen. The average weight gain for first-year college students is actually seven pounds, not fifteen based on a research study at Rutgers University in 2006. The seven-pound weight gain is not only contributed by eating habits, but also by stress, exercise habits, and lack of sleep. There is also a small chance that students are still growing slightly in height, which may also change your number on the scale. Late nights and early mornings will cause your metabolism to slow down, making weight gain extremely frequent in college students.

One major factor that most don’t consider in their weight gain is the major consumption of alcohol. While partying may be fun, the constant drinking may be affecting your weight more than you’re considering. Most freshmen use their first semester to test their limits, meaning they will over-consume liquor and/or food along with it. The habit will be a major contributor for most freshmen, and most will not think twice about the health effects.

Some of the easiest ways to beat the college weight gain are minor things anyone can change. Eating breakfast every day, little consumption of alcohol, and a little extra exercise will all help avoid weight gain in college. Being mentally and physically prepared for classes will help reduce stress, allow you to get an accurate amount of rest, and possibly avoid late night meals as well. These habits will not only prevent weight gain but also possibly help you achieve the ultimate goal of success a little quicker and easier.

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