Eat, drink and gain weight – How to not gain weight your freshman year
According to researchers at Ohio University, the average freshman gains two and a half to three and a half pounds in their first year of college. But don’t fill up your plate at Bob’s just yet. Plenty of people exceed the average weight gain their freshman year for a variety of reasons.
“For the first time, students are making their own choices for food, exercise and sleep.” Shannon Haselhuhn, Health Education Program Coordinator for University of Idaho said. “A lot of times activity level is decreased based on what their choices are as far as using the Rec Center and getting exercise and things like that which may have been part of their structure at home. “
Not all freshmen succumb to the pressure of college and gain weight. Nadya Willey, currently a junior at University of Idaho, lost 18 pounds her freshman year with a full meal plan of three meals a day.
“I believe in eating every single meal.” Nadya Willey said. “I really believe that it was the walking (that helped me lose weight). I would spend hours and hours walking around, seeing the sights of Moscow and walking back and forth across campus.”
University of Idaho offers many services to help students keep off the pounds. Marissa Lucas is the new campus dietician who is available through various health outreach programs, or even for one-on-one appointments with students. The Vandal Health page on the University of Idaho website also offers more information on campus health resources.
Another important facet of losing weight is to not over complicate matters.
“Many students get so involved in their core classes that they do not make time for exercise,” said Peg Hamlett, Fitness & Wellness Director at the Student Recreation Center. “A couple helpful things for not gaining the Freshman 15 is to schedule time for exercise and to chose an exercise you like.”
Students who are not familiar with the equipment at the SRC can stop by the Fitness and Wellness Office on the second floor. On the days that Wellness Classes are scheduled at the SRC, personal trainers in black t-shirts with “Trainer” on the back walk around and answer questions students have about workouts and equipment.
As for nutrition, students should focus on keeping their meals well rounded.
“People need to take the time to eat the vegetables (and to) eat the fruit.” Willey said.
Before heading to Bob’s or any other campus dining locations, students that do not want to gain weight should also think about how much goes on their plate.
“One suggestion is to use one plate rather than a tray,” Haselhuhn said. “Another is to remember to get in the fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”
Anyone watching their weight can come together in SRC classes and other campus social funcions. For instance, the SRC is holding a Zumbathon for a $5 donation that benefits the Humane Society On Oct. 26th. Beginners are welcome to attend the event.
Aleya Ericson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org