15 Surprising Ways to Beat the Freshman 15

Keep in shape with these expert fitness and health tips

It's really no surprise that students put on weight when they arrive on campus. At home, mom and dad didn't allow 3 a.m. pizza runs or root you on during your keg stand at the nearby frat party. [slideshow:748]

At college, students can take full advantage of their first year of freedom. However, the power to make your own (good or bad) decisions can often take a toll on your body. In this article, we'll help you better understand the Freshman 15, as well as provide expert tips on how to avoid putting on those extra pounds. 

So first, the good news: Research suggests the freshman 15 is likely a myth. A 2011 study of more than 7,000 students showed that average weight gain in the first year of college was just 2.5-3.5 pounds.

Click here to learn how you can avoid gaining weight in college.

But here's the kicker: The study also found that weight gain accumulates over the course of four years. By the time students graduated, women had put on an average of nine pounds, while the men had gained an average of 13. 

Click here for tips on how to avoid the freshman 15.

For this reason, it's important to know how to take care of your body not just in your first year, but throughout your college career. For practical tips on how to make the most of these four years without sacrificing your health, we talked with two college fitness professionals. The first, Justina Wentworth, is the assistant director of fitness at the University of Vermont. The second, Leah Okner, is the assistant director of fitness and wellness at the University of Georgia. These women have years of experience helping students cultivate healthy minds and bodies, despite the (sometimes overindulgent) fun and stresses of college.

Click here to see their tips and learn how you can stay in top shape during college.