Guest Post By Melissa Miller
We've all heard the horror stories regarding weight gain in college. Through Facebook, I've seen one too many pictures of high school jocks and homecoming queens going off to college only to return looking much more filled out. It's a sad tale, and it happens more than it should. Even though it's a highly publicized trend, thousands of freshman students still manage to gain unwanted weight each and every year. What gives? Well, aside from the fact that freshman are being introduced to a whole new world of late-night study sessions and intensive, stressful courses, they often find themselves reaching for one-too-many midnight snacks, skipping their daily exercise sessions, and drowning their sorrows and stresses in alcohol. If you're preparing to venture off to university for the first time or just want to integrate some healthier habits into your routine, here are four ways to avoid packing on the pounds in college.
Find a Devoted Workout Buddy
Working out is the best way to avoid weight gain. Unfortunately, it's ever so easy to neglect your normal workout routine in college, especially when you get overloaded and busy. Although you might want to attend every party possible and cram in as much last-minute studying as you can, you should never skimp on workouts. If you realize you're not hitting the gym as much as you should, the best thing to do is find an inspiring, reliable workout buddy. As long as they drag you to the gym as opposed to ice cream socials, then you and your partner should be able to stick to a solid, effective routine.
Keep a Food Diary
This is a tedious tip, but it's a helpful one. Sometimes we deny how much we've been eating when we notice we've gained weight. Especially when you're having a good time, the last thing you want to admit is that you've been overindulging or living unhealthy. Eating sinful foods every once in a while can't hurt, but when it becomes a habit, you're only doing harm to your body. To prevent unexpected calories from creeping up on your waistline, document every single thing you eat in a journal. By making yourself acknowledge every morsel and crumb that enters your mouth, you'll be able to hold yourself accountable for any weight gain.
Join Weight Watchers
One of the best ways to solve a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Weight Watchers isn't just a source for people losing weight; it's also a helpful outlet for those trying to maintain weight. By joining Weight Watchers, you'll preemptively strike and prevent weight gain from happening in the first place. The Weight Watchers system is a highly successful, highly trusted resource, so if you're really serious about avoiding any weight gain whatsoever, join Weight Watchers and start tracking your daily food intake.
Weigh Yourself Every Day
Scales can either be your friend or your foe; it's up to you. If you make time for stepping on the scale every morning, you'll be able to recognize and acknowledge any weight problems as they come. The longer you delay it, however, the more dreadful your weigh-ins will become. I've had friends who say they limit their weigh-ins to once a week, as weight does tend to fluctuate from day to day. Yet I think it's a much better idea to weigh every day, since once a week is much easier to skip out on. So as much as you might hate it, go ahead and step on the scale every morning. Once you see your weight remember it and then repeat the routine again the next morning. Keep up the habit and before you know it you won't even blink twice when you step on the scale. Heck, it might even become something you look forward to.
Weight gain is not a pleasant topic to talk about, yet it's something almost everybody struggles with from time to time. If you're about to venture off to college, try integrating these four habits into your routine to prevent gaining any weight.
Melissa Miller is health blogger and freelance writer for associatedegreeonline.com. She is interested in education and health trends and writes to help students navigate the challenging world of academics and nutrition. Email any questions to [email protected]