The Washington Post

#College101: Dodge the Freshman 15

(Marie Spano)

However, my experiment in mindless eating came to a grinding halt when I realized my bad habits equated to falling asleep during classes. I had to make a change. So, I adjusted what I ate and kept to a sleeping schedule. My grades and athletic performance quickly skyrocketed.

As a college student, you don’t have to go through this period of self discovery by yourself. You have every resource available to you right there on campus.

And, if you are worried about weight gain, fear not, here are some easy steps to help you dodge the dreaded Freshman 15:

Be active: You can burn calories by walking across campus to class instead of hopping on the campus shuttle. Go to the gym and take a class – sometimes even for credit – climb a rock-climbing wall or lift weights. Physical activity will relieve stress and keep you fit.

Eat right:This one should be a no-brainer, but is often the biggest college challenge. That’s why I’m not going to ask you to forgo dessert or your favorite dish but to control your calorie intake instead. Keep your dorm mini fridge stocked with easy to-go portion control snacks like 100 calorie packs of pretzels or sip on low-calorie variations of your favorite drinks. Portion control and calorie management is vital to a healthy diet.

Stay on a sleeping schedule: Studies show people who skimp on sleep may increase their chances of packing on the pounds. Without adequate sleep, you may find yourself snacking late at night and taking a mid-day snooze instead of checking out a spin class at the gym.

Time management: College is a very exciting and very busy time. Between clubs, sports, internships, jobs and new friends, so don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Every day in August (and perhaps some in September, too), Campus Overload will feature a 300-word-or-less essay centered around one piece of #College101 advice for the Class of 2015. To participate, e-mail Jenna at


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