Ways to Fight the 'Freshman 15'
WebMD News Archive
In truth, not even the cafeteria salad bar is completely safe
if students aren't careful. "A few years ago, a study found the biggest
percentage of fat calories in young women's diets came from salad dressings. So
the salad bar can undermine the desire to eat fewer calories," Rolls says.
"The salad bar can be a disaster."
Some other warnings and suggestions from Rolls:
- Bottom line: Calories count. If you eat more than your body needs, you'll
- Listen to your body, and don't eat when you're not hungry.
- Snacking can be OK because it controls hunger at meals, but watch what you
- Include lean protein in your diet, such as lean beef, turkey or chicken
breast without the skin, fish, and beans. Protein can help control hunger, and
your body needs it.
- Watch out for emotional overeating: Don't eat because you're stressed or
- Remember that eating with friends can sometimes lead to eating when you're
not hungry, or eating that dessert you might have avoided.
- You will encounter new, unfamiliar foods; learn about the calories and
nutrients in these foods.
Food, of course, is just part of the equation. "It
underscores the fact that it doesn't matter where you are -- you have to find
an outlet for physical activity," Zellman says, because 15 pounds can be
tremendously difficult to shed.
Still, all this talk about the freshman 15 troubles one college
counselor, who says students concentrate too much on appearance alone. "I'm
realistic. It's a legitimate concern," says Gary Glass, PhD, of the Boston
University Counseling Center. At the same time, though, he offers some thoughts
on other things freshmen gain by going to college: a sense of independence, a
deeper understanding of friendship, romance, and spirituality.
As he puts it in a list of "A New Freshman 15":
"Gaining a growing recognition of my strength as a human being -- as the
natural course of growth makes me larger in physical size, and larger in life's