It's not a secret that many students gain the famous "freshman 15" in their first year. The extra 15 pound don't come from nowhere though! It is all about developing the habits and getting used to taking the responsibilities for oneself. Not going to lie, I suffered, feel like still suffering, from it myself but experience taught me a few ways that could help to tackle or reduce the risk of GETTING FAT IN YOUR FIRST YEAR.
As the academic year is now coming to an end though this is a good time for this post. Sounds like non sense but I though about all of you who are finishing with their A levels, or other, now and will definitely do some online research about university life so just to worn you FRESHMAN 15' is a thing and it happens to 99.9% of freshers. Thus, here I come to help and make you prepared.
Tip #1 - Keep healthy snacks in your room
When your parents will want to buy you some snacks just to have around - don't deny! Stock up with some nuts, seeds or dried fruit you like, on which you can then snack during your all nighters. You don't want to start craving sweet at 11 pm and go to the closest local, I can guarantee you would get something really unhealthy just because its cheaper than a pack of nuts or healthy snacks. Most of them will have a high GI (Glyceamic Index) anyways, which will end up in rapid energy boost and even quicker energy lost and you will simply fall asleep and fail your studies. OK, that is a slight exaggeration but honestly you will benefit more from healthy snacks and stop late night cravings.
Tip #2 - Join sports club
You don't have to be an elite athlete to join sports at uni, really. This is such a common worry of all freshers. "Everyone will play better then I, they definitely had it at school" NO! Most of them are in the same situation, if you're not extremely athletic don't worry, just be brave. University is when you can start a new life, try new things, who knows maybe you'll love it. Not only it makes you move, burn calories and improve overall health but it is also a great way to meet people and make new friends. I'd say make as many friends in the first weeks as you can, then you'll see who is actually worth the friendship who is not - sportspeople tend to be very good at bonding so go for it ha! ;)
Tip #3 - Get your sleep
I know this one can be tricky especially during freshers week but it is actually very important. At least try, if you came back from a party late let yourself sleep in, even if you have work to do you will be less productive when tired so you can either get a few extra hours of sleep and get things done quickly or you can suffer the whole day, reach for sugar packed energy drinks and snacks and commit to your weight gain.
Tip #4 - Relax. Don't stress
It is only your first year, nothing to worry about usually it doesn't even count. Take things slowly and give yourself time to adapt. Stress is the worst enemy. Pure chemistry, when we stress we release stress hormone - Cortisol, it is good but only in moderate amounts. If we over stress, too much cortisol is released which has several negative effects on the body. One of them is decreasing the functioning of thyroid which is in control of burning calories hence too much cortisol makes you burn less calories and therefore gain body mass.
Tip #5 - Don't skip meals for alcohol
University life is known for being very lively and what often comes with that very focused around alcohol. I know it is easier to meet people this way, there is nothing wrong with having drinks. Just be responsible about it and have your food! Never, ever skip a meal for a alcoholic beverage it will make you drunk quicker, it will make you feel worse next morning, it will make you even more hungry! And we all know the chips and cheese cravings after a night out. This is were you just fill your body with useless, empty calories which do nothing good to you. Besides, you'll get your takeaway, get back to the flat and go to sleep anyways. Your body will not have enough time to metabolize everything and what you consumed will end up as fat tissue in the end!
Tip #6 - Simply be active
As simple as it sounds it is very important to be active. Don't take a bus to the campus, find a friend and walk, not only you'll get some fresh air and physical activity but if you moved to a different city you can discover new places.
Attend different events, just have a look in the internet what's going on around, some night clubs organize "fitness classes" as twist to typical night out but during the day. Attend park runs - you can walk at the beginning. Engage in university events, many unis organize fund raising events followed by fun activities ex. neon basketball or Zumba classes. Or just gather a group of friends and go to the park to play some footy or badminton. There are plenty of opportunities you just need to get you head around them!