How to Side Step The Freshman 15

Staying fit and healthy at uni is hard, especially during your first year: it’s the first time you have to cook for yourself, pay for your own food, and you don’t have enforced P.E. anymore, (which can be both a blessing and a curse, as it turns out.) As a result, crude as the phrase may be, gaining “The Freshman 15”- or at least a bit of extra weight to some degree- is an almost inevitable reality. But it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple hacks to avoid that Freshman 15, once and for all.

1. Get Yourself The Right Gear

Everyone loves new buys, so put some money aside for the beginning of the year, to invest in some shiny new purchases that will help you on the way to getting fit. These can include things like colourful and quirky kitchen utensils, pans, and chopping boards, but also, some nice new gym wear; new trainers, matching sports bra and leggings, a new sweat band- it’s amazing the motivation you can get from the prospect of wearing new clothes!

How to Side Step The Freshman 15

2. You don’t have to be lonely!

Find keep-fit activities you can participate in with friends. Group exercise classes, park runs, and even just going to the gym together can really encourage you to exercise more than you usually would! You can cook meals together too. Make a rota so you can go to someone else’s house for each culinary work out, and you’ll be able to get a good gossip in as well!

How to Side Step The Freshman 15

3. Find things you like

This isn’t rocket science: find things you like doing. Just because you have to exercise and eat well, doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to do sports you despise, and make yourself sick with food you hate! Take the time to research easy, healthy meals that you like the look of, ones that contain your favourite ingredients- finding new dishes and recipes can be really exciting. Don’t put yourself through unnecessary stress: if you have no co-ordination, don’t force yourself to play netball three times a week with national-level athletes, and if you hate being by yourself, don’t limit yourself to the gym. There are so many ways to keep fit out there, so find one you enjoy!

How to Side Step The Freshman 15

4. Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping brekkie is always tempting, especially when it’s frequently a choice between having breakfast or an extra 15 minutes in bed. But as per the mantra nutritionists constantly bore us with: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast gives you the energy to do all the things that keep you fit during the day, so make sure you always have your breakfast food in the house. There’s so much tasty breakfast food that’s overlooked because it’s the least popular meal, but a Wheetabix, a smoothie or granola, are all healthy and delicious ways to start your day. There’s also the fact that you’re so much less likely to put on weight by snacking if you’re already full!

How to Side Step The Freshman 15

5. And if you need a snack- snack healthily

Just like breakfast foods, there are so many healthy and tasty snack options out there! Try to avoid just buying food when you’re hungry, but rather make sure your cupboards are stocked weekly with healthy snacks like cereal bars, fruit salads, a bag of mixed nuts, or carrot sticks and hummus. That way, you’ll be able to recharge your energy levels, and to avoid weight gain.

How to Side Step The Freshman 15

What are your favourite ways to stay fit and healthy? Let us know in the comments below!

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