How To: Avoid the Freshman 15

Yes, it’s real. Freshman 15 is real. And it makes sense. Easy access to unhealthy food, late study night munchies, weird eating habits, alcohol. Although it’s common, it’s totally avoidable, and for some, it might be a healthy negative Freshman 15. That’s right! Below I’ve provided ten practical tips to make sure you can avoid the Freshman 15 and stay healthy this upcoming fall:

How To: Avoid the Freshman 15 | The Bella Insider

This. delicious. cinnamon roll a la Bribery Bakery in Austin, TX (See Tip #10) 

1. Stay on the edges of the grocery store for healthy snacks.
I know how hard it can be to reach straight for the chips. (Any other Cheetos lovers out there?) My best tip when grocery shopping? Stay on the perimeter of your grocery store where things are refrigerated. It’s a great rule of thumb to find healthy, perishable snacks. I love avocados with honey, fresh + colorful veggies with hummus, a bowl of berries, yogurt, and cheese for snacking when studying.

2. Walk to classes if you can.
If you can walk from class to class on campus, do it! No step goes in vain if you’re looking to keep healthy. It gets super hot in Austin, but it’s a great way to work up a sweat and get in some exercise rather than drive around or take the bus to class.

3. Don’t skip meals – especially breakfast.
I’m guilty of this one. There have been many times where I forget to eat, because I’m focused on my work. They’ve done a study proving that eating a donut is better than not eating at all. I find when I make sure to eat breakfast, I’m less likely to eat more during lunch and snack on a bunch of things throughout the day. The best thing to do is try to schedule classes that accommodate meal times, so you don’t make an excuse to miss meals.

4. Choose your drinks wisely.
Alright. First, alcohol shouldn’t be an issue, since underage drinking is illegal. But if you choose otherwise, make sure and understand that a lot of alcoholic drinks are packed with sugar. Not only that, it really dehydrates your body. Choose carefully, and know your limits and possible health consequences!

5. Eat on a smaller plate.
Studies have shown that the larger your plate, the more you’ll eat – even with untasty food. I love the tip of eating on a small plate, because it’s a great way to control portion sizes. Large plates can make a serving of food appear smaller and trick us into eating more. Choose a smaller plate, so the same quantity of food will fill up the plate.

6. Take advantage of workout classes on campus.
Lots of college campuses provide awesome workout classes. Bring a friend and try some fun classes together like Zumba or circuit training. It’s a great way to get moving and get motivated with others, too.

7. Drink more water.
Y’all know how much I love carrying around this water bottle! (mentioned here and here) Sometimes, it’s easy to think you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Carry a water bottle with you, and sip throughout the day to stay hydrated and not overeat.

8. Veggies first. 
Fill your plate with veggies first, then protein, then carbs (rice, beans, potatoes). It’s a good way to make sure you get lots of vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients before filling you up with empty carbs. Find leafy greens and other vegetables with vibrant colors!

9. Get your sleep.
Y’all. You have to sleep! Try to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted rest. It’ll help with your metabolism and curve late-night snacking. It’s seriously the best thing we can do for our health, so make it a priority.

10. Treat yourself once in a while.
If you’re super dedicated to making sure you don’t gain weight in college, don’t forget it’s okay to splurge once in a while. See that cinnamon roll the size of my face? You deserve it!

I hope these tips were helpful, y’all! What tips do you have to avoid the college weight gain? Let me know down below. Thanks for stopping by on the blog. Have a wonderful day!

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Leave a Comment


  1. 6.28.16
    Carrie C said:

    What a great topic for your audience! Well written, Sarah. I love the way you reference authoritative studies and such. You are a great writer.


  2. 6.28.16
    Sarah said:

    Thanks a bunch for your kind words, Carrie. I so appreciate your continuous love and support on The Bella Insider. Hope you're having a great week! XO, Sarah

  3. 6.29.16
    Audrey said:

    Don't grocery shop on an empty stomach! Be very intentional about what you buy at grocery stores. If you don't buy bad food, you won't have it around to tempt you to snack on. // I agree that breakfast is so important and PE classes are fun 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  4. 6.29.16
    Sarah said:

    Audrey, I think that's a great tip. Shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea! Thanks for sharing your insight. XO, Sarah

  5. 6.30.16
    Unknown said:

    Love this! Definitely something I struggled with. Alcohol is a big one and I think choosing drinks that are less calories is great as well as not drinking too often. 🙂 Great post.


  6. 7.1.16
    Sarah said:

    Andie, I think that's a great tip. Thanks for your input on how on stay healthy in college. XO, Sarah