From more challenging classes to new social demands and responsibilities, the first year of college brings many new adjustments and stresses. Many incoming freshmen find themselves dealing with the need to watch their weight -- often for the first time in their lives, unfortunately. Actually college weight gain has become a well-known phenomenon referred to as the "freshman 15, that it is so common for incoming freshmen to gain weight in their first year of college.  There are also several things you can do to combat the weight gain that often comes with the first year of college, as well as subsequent years, while there are many causes of the freshman 15. Now is the time to begin adopting healthy habits for long-term health, and here are some important ways to maintain a healthy weight and avoid the dreaded ‘freshman 15. My top recommendation is to find healthy stress management strategies. This is for two reasons. First of all stress can contribute to weight again by influencing not only your body but health-influencing behavior. Second, many stress management strategies such as walking also can contribute to weight loss or overall health. It’s a double-win! 

How to avoid freshman 15

You may find yourself faced with making more food-related decisions than you have ever had before, including what to eat, when to eat, and how much in case you are a college freshman. The pounds can accumulate quickly if you make the wrong choices here. It’s important to have a simple, healthy eating plan so that you don’t fall into unhealthy habits, when you see this. Consider eating several small, healthy meals rather than a few big ones. Keep lots of apples and other fresh fruit on hand; fruit is a convenient snack and it’s obviously good for you. You can have good nutrition without sacrificing convenience. Read this article for more on healthy eating for busy people in case you learn a few tricks. Believe it or not, some experts say that using a plate or a bowl instead of eating snacks right out of a box or bag can help keep you from over-snacking. It makes sense: putting your chips in a bowl helps you control portion size and gives you a moment to think if this is really what you want to be eating in case you think about it. There are a lot of emotional ups and downs the first year of college. Even for the lucky ones who are sure they’re in the right major and have already established a group of friends with whom they’re comfortable, college life usually comes with many changes and challenges. But the pounds start to accumulate in case emotional eating becomes a habitual coping strategy. Actively look for ways to effectively cope with the emotional stress you’re dealing with, like journaling about your feelings (and brainstorming solutions), or getting some added exercise to blow off steam to avoid this. You don’t allow your body time to burn off the calories, and they end up being stored as excess weight.