Avoiding the ‘Freshman 15’

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Let’s face it. BYU and the surrounding area are full of mouth-watering food and dessert choices. Even on campus there are those one-of-a-kind chocolate-covered cinnamon bears, not to mention the endless supply of ice cream from the Cannon Center and the Creamery on Ninth. Food is good. And it is even better now that you don’t need your parents’ approval on dietary choices. However, nobody wants to be the poster student for the “Freshman 15.” I’m going to let you in on a few facts to follow while at BYU.

1. “All things in moderation” is our religion. 

It is in our Word of Wisdom, and it is something I have come to love and treat like a commandment. Dieting is hard and usually ends up in eventual weight gain anyway. I’ve found that the less you restrict your diet choices the easier it is to not crave sugar all the time. Your body knows what it needs, and your mind and mouth know what they want. It is OK to indulge in sweets sometimes, as long as you are also getting balanced meals and healthy snacks every day. Remember it is ALL things in moderation.

2. Plan out the grocery list. 

What you buy is what you eat. Simple, right? I know there have been many times in my college experience that I have checked the fridge or pantry to find a meager supply of juice, chips and something that used to be vegetables. The only thing that finally fixed this reoccurring disappointment was planning out my meals. Whether this is something you do alone or together as roommates, you are more likely to eat your healthy groceries and home-cooked meals if you have a plan in place to do so. It is too easy to grab fast food when this planning isn’t in place, ultimately resulting in a thinner wallet and tighter skinny jeans. For a few healthy meal- and snack-planning options, look here.

3. Get involved, and bring your friends.

Although being fit and healthy depends 80 percent on diet, getting up and active helps you stay on track. I doubt you want to be cramming down cookies and ice cream if you have an intramural game within the hour. You don’t have to be an athlete on campus to get active. There are dozens of fitness classes and groups you can join for little or no cost. If that doesn’t entice you there are millions of fitness apps and online videos you can participate in for free. Studies have shown that students are more successful in their studies when they have a fitness outlet. Another proven fact is that people are social beings who thrive on interaction. A workout buddy can do wonders for your attitude and, ultimately, your health and happiness. There will be days you drag your feet on that workout plan. Find a friend who will be there to push you along and someone you feel responsible for as well. The more you work together to find new ideas and innovative ways of being healthy and active, you won’t find yourself giving up so soon.

4. Have fun! You only get to live college once (hopefully).

College life is hard. The constant loom of tests, the stress of longer-than-necessary papers and the math homework you think will never be solved; we all feel it. But there is so much more to college than the HBLL, as exciting as that midnight music may be. Prioritize your time so you have time for fun and new experiences. When you are utterly drained from a long day of school and homework, get out and do something! The more time you spend sitting/relaxing, whether that includes catching up on Instagram and Twitter feeds or watching Hulu, the more food and snacks you will ingest. We all know you somehow need to make time for dating, but even more importantly you need to make time for yourself. College is a place to make memories (which hopefully will include a Cougartail or two). Don’t fear the “Freshman 15”; just avoid it with plans to make college count in every way.

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