It's back to school time and if you're an incoming freshman, you might be at risk for gaining those dreaded 15 pounds during your first year away. The biggest contributing factor for this problem the abundance of food available to students but luckily, there are still some ways you can avoid unwanted weight gain.
If you live on campus, chances are that you or your parents are paying for a meal plan. Most cafeterias are going to have all you can eat buffets. This is great if you're hungry but can be a nightmare if you don't want to gain weight.
Moderation really does count. Of coarse you're going to want to have the steak, mashed potatoes and desert but don't go back for more after your first plate. If you really can't resist getting more than one plate, start your meal off with a large salad. This will fill you up and hopefully force you to stop eating once you get full. It's better to get full from lettuce and tomatoes than it is to stuff yourself with pizza or hamburgers.
All You Can Eat
Another option is to avoid the all you can eat places. If there are cafeterias where you have to pay for individual meals, you're unlikely to eat more after you're already full. You might even save a few dollars.
You can also try cooking a few times during the week. If you live in a dorm there should be a kitchen somewhere in the building.
It can be difficult to find a time in which the kitchen is free to use but the amount of calories you'll save by making your own food will surprise you. It's defiantly worth the trouble.
Your first year away from home can be very stressful. You don't have the direction of teachers or parents to tell you when to study or how to live your life. You're going through new experiences, each with their own challenges.
The Bottom Line
Gaining 15 pounds during your first year away can start a dangerous lifestyle that you shouldn't have to live with. Taking these simple steps can save you a ton of problems later on in life.