Apr 23, 2019

Freshman 15 can be beat

Brianna Campbell / The Collegian

After graduating high school, it seems as if you’re not only receiving your diploma but also an extra 15 pounds.

According to a study done by David A. Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell University, college freshmen gain approximately 4.2 pounds during their first 12 weeks of school.

Mollie Smith, Fresno State Dietetic Internship Director said, “Maybe they’re not paying a lot of attention because they were never responsible for food.”

Even if gaining weight seems inevitable, it can be beat.

Once students enter college and move away from home, their eating habits change.

“If you do nothing differently, eat more fruits and vegetables,” Smith said, “Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all filling, they have a lot of important nutrients, and very low in calories.”

According to www.kidshealth.org, skipping a meal won’t cut calories but can actually cause over-snacking in between meals and over-indulging in the next meal.

“Beverages have a lot of calories too,” Smith said. “It goes down pretty easy and you don’t even really think about it.”

Sodas, flavored iced teas, and Starbucks coffees contain a higher amount of calories. Adding toppings like whipped cream adds 100 calories. Regular iced tea and coffee don’t have any calories at all.

“Alcohol is high in calories. Your body tends to use the alcohol calories and store it as fat, so it really does cause the beer belly that people are talking about,” Smith said.

There are three things, according to Smith, to not gain weight: People can reduce portions by cutting it out of their diet, substitute it for something else or have a smaller size.

Junior Crystal Segura said that she has always struggled with weight gain. “I get tempted to go for the Chinese food but don’t, that’s how I avoid gaining weight.”

“Say you want to run the mile faster or fit into those jeans, I think the most important thing is having a goal,” Segura said.

The Recreation Center on campus offers several different opportunities for students and it can be a great way to get started. It’s also free to students.

Fitness Programs Director Maia Jost said, “We have free fitness classes and we offer intramural programs. All of the classes have a certain focus.”

“If you like to lift weights then body pump is great, if you like to dance then body jam is great. It just depends on what you’re interests are because then that’s what you’ll stick with and apply it to their routine,” she said.

While a cardio workout can be good, results might not be seen. Mixing up the workout and adding some weight training could create better results.

“Try a lot of different types of things and will make your workout more fun.” Jost said.

With work, school and life in general, some students might not be able to take an hour and go to the Recreation Center.

“If you’re just starting out, walking is a really good start. If you’re already somewhat athletic then you probably need something a little more intense,” Jost said.

Jost said doing anything that gets your body moving is great, even if it’s just dancing around.

“Gaining weight is all about how much energy you expend and how much energy you take in. If someone wants to change what they’re doing then behavior change has to be a part of it as well,” Smith said.

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