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Avoid the Freshman 15 in Colleges and Universities

By Peterson's Staff updated on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

College guide to freshman year

So you've completed your search for colleges and universities, found all the college information you could, poured through that college info, and chosen a school. Here are some tips to avoid common pitfalls of freshman year.

The college guide to keeping off the weight

College can be hectic and it’s hard to avoid midnight snacking at the student center. Plus, it may be the first time in your life that there’s nobody around to remind you that nachos don’t make a good breakfast. (To clarify, they don't!)

Don’t want it to happen to you? You CAN control what you eat -- and your waistline. It just takes self-control. Follow these tips and you won’t have to spend all of next summer at the gym.

College information: Fruit is your friend

  • For a quick fix, add it to your cereal
  • Drink orange juice for vitamin C
  • Stash it in your backpack for a between-class snack


There are plenty of vegetable choices in colleges and universities

  • Munch on baby carrots and celery sticks instead of candy
  • Hit the salad bar at the dining hall a few times per week
  • Remember the following: the greener, the better


The college search for protein

  • Use egg whites or Egg Beaters for your breakfast omelet
  • Have a handful of nuts (Just a handful, though!)


Choose whole grains
When eating carbs, opt for dark grains instead of light ones. Eat wheat instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white, and sweet potatoes rather than the run-of-the-mill variety.

Take a daily multivitamin
Try children's chewables if "adult" vitamins bother your stomach.

Key college info: Limit the junk food

  • Select single servings
  • Never, ever choose the jumbo- or king-sized portions
  • Make junk food a treat, not a lifestyle


Control caffeine
Think you can't survive without it? To stay alert while studying, try the following techniques:

  • Pace as you read
  • Read aloud
  • Study in a group
  • Eat green apples (The tart taste and crunchiness keep your senses on their toes.)


More key college info: Drink plenty of water

Making trips to the bathroom relieves monotony and burns calories. Beyond keeping your waistline in check, eating well will make you feel better. Remember that food is fuel for the body and mind. The choices that you make will have a direct impact on your overall health, both mental and physical.

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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