The Freshman Fifteen – The fifteen pounds of weight that college freshman pack on in their first year out of their house.
Why do freshman pack on weight after they leave home?
When students are in high school, they are generally living with their parents. Their parents (if they are good parents) feed their kids healthy meals. They are generally home cooked and more nutritious than your every day convenient fast food orders. When kids go off to college, they leave home and live either on campus or in an apartment nearby. Herein lies the problem.
People who leave home for the first time generally have NO IDEA how to take care of themselves because their parents were taking care of them their entire lives. It doesn’t matter how well parents attempt to teach their kids to cook or take care of themselves, once they’re kicked out of the nest, they’re on their own.
They have this sense of freedom that they’ve never had before. No parents to tell them what to eat and what not to eat.
All their life, they wanted their parents to take them out to eat or to get them a nice juicy hamburger. God, those are good, aren’t they? Burgers, fries, coke – but no, they said it’s not good for them. Well guess what? They’re not around anymore!
They also don’t know how to cook. They don’t have any experience in that field. Why would they? They never needed it. So when they’re on their own, they’ll tend to go for the easiest solution.
Eating out. They’ll buy processed food, buy fast food, buy easy food and then never work out. Why would they? Unless they’re a part of a sport or something that keeps them in line physically, they’ll have no reason to work out because they have no idea what will even happen if they don’t.
Sound familiar? Sound like you? Did you move away for college and notice that you packed on that freshman fifteen? That’s why you’re here.
Help! I’m in College and I’m Getting Fat! Why?
Well yeah. That’s going to happen when you don’t take care of yourself. Beat yourself up now, for a bit. Go ahead. Beat yourself up. Grrr. Shame on you!
Okay now that you got that out of your system, why is this happening?
That extra freshman weight can pack on in a matter of weeks depending on how late you’re noticed you’ve been neglecting yourself. However, everything is reversible.
Start by evaluating what you’ve been eating over the past few weeks. Go down this list and keep a mental note of how often you’ve indulged in the following things:
- Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Chipotle, In ‘n’ Out or any other kind of fast food off campus
- Any kind of fast food from your student union on campus
- Ice cream, chocolate and candy
- French fries, fried potatoes, pasta, bread or bread sticks, pizza
- Starbucks frappuccinos or anything like that
- Sodas – how many sodas have you had since you left home? How often?
- Beer – you shouldn’t drink until you’re 21, but college is college, we know how that goes. How many beers have you had? How often?
Alright, now how many times per week do you work out since you left home? … Have you worked out at all? Perhaps you visited the school gym once or twice, promised yourself you’d make that a part of your routine, but then somehow it just slipped down the priority list. Sound about right?
So consider the following: you’ve been shoveling crap into your mouth for the past couple of months and you haven’t been working out.
Well there’s your answer.
There’s Always Hope!
First thing to understand is this – most college students are between the ages of 18 and 24. This is the peak of natural physical health for most people. This means that how you treat your body during these years will impact how your body will be later on in life. What does this mean? This means that if you neglect your body, eat unhealthily and don’t exercise during these years, you’re doomed to be fat for the rest of your life, making it really difficult (but not impossible) to lose the weight later. It’s momentum.
During these years, your metabolism is at it’s most influential. If you work out and eat healthy, your body will respond faster. If you neglect yourself, you will get fat faster. Since you’re in these prime years, you can most definitely do something about it.
How Can I Lose The Freshman Fifteen? – The Diet
You’re living on or near campus. That means you have access to a kitchen and grocery stores. What you’ll want to do is learn how to cook. I’m not saying to become Gordon Ramsay or anything but anyone can steam vegetables, cook chicken, cook steak or fish, cook rice or make a salad.
The food you consume is half the battle. If you eat crap all the time, you’re going to both get fat and/or slow down the process of losing the fat if you’re working out.
Cut out the crap from your diet, and you’re half way there. Here are a few other tips and tricks:
- Salads are great, but do NOT use Ranch Dressing. Ranch Dressing is jam packed full of fat and calories. If you smother Ranch Dressing all over a salad, you have negated the salad.
- You can never have too many vegetables.
- It’s calories in, calories out. If you don’t burn off the calories you take in, it will turn into fat.
Green Tea – As for the Green Tea, you can get some amazing fat burning Green Tea from Amazon. Keep in mind that this tea only helps with the fat loss – it’s not a magic drink that will burn off the fat just by drinking it. It helps speed up your metabolism if you’re doing everything right.
How Can I Lose The Freshman Fifteen? – Workout Plan
If you’re going to a college or university, chances are you have access to their gym. It’s already prepaid so you don’t have to worry about paying an extra expense.
If you want to lose that extra freshman fifteen weight quicker, the most effective way is lifting weights – NOT the treadmill.
Surprised? You might be. That’s because it’s a common misconception that cardio is the best way to lose weight. It isn’t. Building muscle burns fat. Yes, that means you too, ladies. Don’t worry about becoming some giant monstrous she-hulk bodybuilder woman. You won’t. You’ll become the fit hottie you want to be LONG before you turn into a monster.
Lifting weights, curling, squats, bench pressing, pull ups and other resistance training is your best bet to lose weight.
Sure, mix in some cardio, but don’t rely on that entirely. Lifting weights is good for two reasons: 1) It’s a lot faster at the gym, so you get done quicker and 2) It will burn the fat a lot faster than relying on only cardio.
How Often Should I Go to the Gym?
You should go to the gym at least three times per week. The more, the better and faster. If you eat healthy and lift weights, you can start losing weight by going to the gym three times per week for around 40 minutes to an hour each time. It’s important to note that in order to lose the freshman fifteen, you must do both: The Diet and The Workout Plan. You must do both!
If you do everything right, you’ll notice a difference in four weeks and other people will notice a difference in eight weeks.
The bottom line is if you cut out the crap from your diet and work out frequently, you can lose the weight. Not only that, but you can prevent yourself from getting fat as well. The freshman fifteen is a very real thing and it gets thousands of unsuspecting students each incoming year. Don’t be one of them and if it’s already gotten you – now you know what to do about it.