How to Beat the Freshman 15

Every year, a new flock of freshmen set a featherweight foot on the Boston College campus for the very first time. Every night following, a special flock of freshmen fly to Late Night to partake in fun, frivolity and fro-yo. It’s no surprise that the freshman class, more often than not, returns home for Thanksgiving feeling heavier around the middle. In order to help you feel a little bit less like a human Cinnabon this holiday season, here 10 tips to avoid gaining the Freshman 15, courtesy of The Gavel:

1. Avoid “The Athlete Syndrome.”

If you were an athlete in high school, gaining weight your freshman year of college is a serious danger. Six workouts a week are no longer compulsory, so you need to find a way to get to the gym all by yourself. Grab a fellow ex-lacrosse player and hit the weights.

2. Resist Late Night.

I know that mozzarella sticks, a personal pizza and a bucket of fro-yo sound amazing every day of the week. I know. Unfortunately, it’s not a healthy way to eat if you make it a habit. Along with ingesting food that lacks almost any real nutritional value, you’re also setting yourself up for an early heart attack. Thank me later.

3. Treat yourself.

In order to maintain your sanity and preserve your mental and physical health, you should always be sure to treat yourself to something you know that you’ll really enjoy. Grab a Chocolate Bar cookie or some chic gelato and enjoy. Just try to keep it to once or twice a week, and you’ll be less tempted to indulge in unhealthy food the rest of the time.

4. Remember that Value Meals are not mandatory.

The BC Value Meals might seem like a great deal, but it’s not a great idea for you to jump on the fries and free soda every single time. Even diet sodas have a tendency to make you crave sugary foods later, so how about opting for a piece of fruit and a water? Or maybe some milk? Calcium makes you pretty. Fact.

5. Take the stairs.

If you’re not into the gym, and the thought of sweating makes you nervous, take the stairs to and from every class instead of the elevator. It’s not much, but it will keep your body moving. Bonus points if you attack all 128 steps on the Million Dollar Stairs more than once a day.

6. Be active.

Running on a treadmill and lifting weights might not be your scene, so taking one of the classes offered at the Plex or walking around the Res (that’s the Chestnut Hill Reservoir just past Alumni Stadium, for those of you who have not yet discovered it) is a great way to keep active and clear your head. It’s important for your health now, and it will benefit you later in life. Aim to do something active at least four days a week.

7. Make your mantra "Green Is Good."

I hate salad. I think it’s gross and unacceptable. I do, however, think that adding vegetables to as many meals as possible is essential to your overall health. A side of steamed vegetables is a side of joy and fiber, and fiber makes things move. Feel me?

8. Don’t be a boozehound.

I know that no one under the age of 21 ever drinks, so I guess this doesn’t apply… But just in case it does, relax with the sugary drinks and keep the keg stands to a minimum. Choose something simple like a vodka soda when you can, and limit the quantity. Just never forget that whiskey straight is whiskey done right.

9. Don’t order in.

Your parents--or whatever source finances your Boston College education--have blessed you with a $2,400 meal plan each semester, so you have no right or need to order take out. Real talk, cut it out. It clogs your arteries, adds excess calories and depletes your bank account. No excuses.

10. Snack smart.

I realize that three meals a day is totally out of style now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to eat five huge meals instead. Unless you play football, eat three square meals per day and add smart snacks like fruits, vegetables or nuts in between. If you’re pulling an all-nighter like a crazy person, avoid the vending machine at all costs. Pack snacks, so you don’t pack on the pounds. #fitspo

As a side note: Please eat. There are so many people who develop various eating disorders throughout their time in college. Your health is far more important than the number on the scale, so please don’t take avoiding excess weight as avoiding all food. Just remember to make the right choices when heading to Mac or Lower those three times each day, and you’ll be golden.