College is the first time many first-years have absolute freedom. Not only are freshmen free from their parent’s curfews and mandated household chores, they are free to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. This newfound freedom from the dinner table often results in all-pizza diets or routine university dining hall pig-outs.

The freshman 15 is a college myth or legend that suggests that college freshman will gain 15 pounds in their first year of college. While the number of pounds typically varies, it is common for college freshman to pick up three to seven pounds.

Undoubtedly, whether a freshman picks up three pounds or 15 pounds they are likely to pick up bad eating habits, habits that will contribute to weight gain in college and throughout adult life.

You may not be able to control your Statistics teacher’s thick accent or your roommate’s crazy mood swings, but you can control your diet and exercise regimen.

It is important to eat healthy snacks or mini meals throughout the day to avoid binge eating. Finding time to exercise is also vital because though your new college schedule is demanding, life after college will probably be even more hectic. Adjust now or gain later.

In addition to exercise and frequent small healthy meals or snacks, it is important not to eat to cope with emotions. You should also remember not to skip breakfast because breakfast wakes up the metabolism. People also forget that alcoholic beverages are heavy in calories and contribute largely to weight gain.

Moreover, many universities have resources to guide students in controlling heir weight such as university dieticians and nutrition counseling services.

Be proactive and take control of your eating and exercise habits early on.
The freshman 15 is a myth, not a pre-requisite.