Fact: Beer Can Pack On the Pounds from Ways to Beat the Freshman 15

Ways to Beat the Freshman 15

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Fact: Beer Can Pack On the Pounds

They don't call it a beer belly for nothing. Click here to see the calorie counts of popular brands. After five beers at a party, you can easily have consumed a quarter or half of your day's required calories.



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Eat Breakfast

“A lot of people wake up and don’t feel hungry or don’t have time to eat,” Okner said. However, eating a healthy breakfast can help you keep off the pounds by reducing your hunger throughout the day. 

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Stock Your Mini Fridge With Healthy Foods

For the days you wake up too late for breakfast, a fridge stocked with healthy snacks can be invaluable. In addition, this can also make sure you get your nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, Wentworth said. Not only are these foods full of nutrients, but their fiber will also curb cravings. 

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Join a Club or Intramural Sport

For those who prefer working out with friends or a team, club sports are a great way to go. Most schools have a wide range of options such as soccer, rugby, ultimate frisbee, hula hooping or even quiddich (that's right—Harry Potter's favorite sport).


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Buddy Up

Social support and accountability is what gets people to adhere to any kind of fitness program,” Wentworth said. “A lot of people here will rally workout groups, get people on their dorm floor to do runs or ask me to send a yoga instructor to teach at their dorm.”

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Know Your Resources

Your student fees will cover a lot of health and fitness-boosting perks. These could include group fitness classes, access to the gym, nutritional counseling, meditation courses and more.

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Buy a Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re tracking your calories-in and calories-out, a heart rate monitor can be a very useful tool. While cardio machines can give you a broad estimate of what you burn, a heart rate monitor more accurately tracks your exertion. Many heartrate monitors also come with pedometers so that you can make sure you're fitting in the 10,000 steps per day recommended to stay healthy.

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Don't Forget to Laugh

“Kids sometimes come to school and take themselves way too seriously,” Wentworth said. “They think they have to become an adult overnight and not have fun.” By remembering to keep things lighthearted and laugh, she added, you can help ward off some of the stress that can lead to weight gain.

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Take Advantage of Organized Outdoor Excursions

Many schools offer a variety of outdoor trips, Okner said. These may include kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking or other activities. This is not only a great way to mix up your exercise regimen, but also to get out of the college campus bubble and meet new people.


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Schedule Your Exercise Like a Class

At the beginning of the school year, treat your workout like a formal commitment and put it on your calendar.

“It’s easy to take things off your plate, but it’s hard to add them on,” Wentworth said. Once you get started with classes, friends and other obligations, it could seem impossible to fit in a trip to the gym.

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Get Your 8 Hours of Sleep

Sleep helps you control your appetite, Okner said. In fact, a recent study linked sleep deprivation to junk food cravings. Because getting enough sleep in a noisy dorm can be a challenge, Wentworth recommends you have an eye pillow, ear plugs and a fan to drown out sound. 

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Purchase a Fitness App

Wentworth finds that more and more students are using iPhone apps to track their fitness. The two most popular on her campus are FitBug and My Fitness Pal, she said. They’re free and they allow you to track how many calories you consume and how many you burn, among other features.

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Ask About Student Rates For Personal Trainers

At many schools, there are personal trainers on staff at the recreation centers, Okner said. The student rate to work with one of these professionals is far cheaper than you'll find at any nearby gym and you can't beat the personalized attention if you're trying to reach a fitness goal (or just trying to stay in shape).

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Carry a Water Bottle

“Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re really thirsty,” Wentworth said. By carrying a water bottle around, you’re more likely to stay hydrated and therefore be able to tell the difference. Women should drink 2.7 liters of water every day, while men need 3.7 liters, Wentworth said.

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Decompress With Yoga

"If you are working out, you should have something that slows you down to balance," Wentworth said. "Yoga works as a stress release so you’re not so revved up all the time."

Ways to Beat the Freshman 15