Beating the “Freshman 15” one student at a time

Moving to a new place can be scary, but the threat of the “Freshman 15” can be terrifying.

A term coined the “Freshman 15” describes the weight gain that many students experience during the first year of college.

Junior Georgia Morley of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. said when she was a freshman she was one of the lucky ones and did not gain any weight.

“I believe [I didn’t gain weight] because I watched what I ate and made sure to have a routine eating schedule instead of just going [to dining halls] whenever I wanted,” she said.

Morley said controlling her eating habits was easier freshman year because she had more free time than she does now.

“Sophomore year, I became busy in school and stopped eating in the cafeteria regularly,” said Morley. “This caused me to have to snack on junk food and eat unhealthy meals in my room, leading to me gaining the freshman fifteen.”

In her junior year, Morley learned to balance exercise and nutrition in a way that battled the “Freshman 15.”

“This year, I took charge and re-evaluated the portions I ate and substituted junk food with healthy food like fruits and vegetables,” she said. “Combined with working out when I could, eventually I lost all the weight I had gained and more.”

Morley offers advice to help freshmen avoid weight gain.

“Just watch what you eat and take advantage of the salad bar in the cafeteria. Make sure you’re planning out your meals so you don’t snack in your room all day,” she said.

Upperclassmen have already learned their lesson, but freshmen are still battling the dreaded “Freshmen 15.”

Freshman Colleen Lierman of Holt, Mich. says that she is battling the “Freshman 15” with exercise, yoga and eating right.

“I remain active at all times; whether it involves running on the treadmill, taking yoga or even getting involved in programs,” said Lierman. “I have greatly reduced my intake of soda pop and other junk food and now feel more healthy than ever.”

Lierman offers her own advice on how to battle the “Freshman 15.”

“If you have the urge to have the really unhealthy food, just counteract it and have something healthy the next meal,” Lierman said.

Morley and Lierman have proven that the “Freshman 15” can become a myth with a balanced lifestyle, an appropriate amount of exercise and portion control.

Next time you are in the cafeteria, try getting a salad instead of a greasy slice of pizza or a burger. It may not be satisfying now, but you’ll thank yourself later.