University is where our home and school disciplined diets go to die. We’re finally free to eat and drink what we want! But that also means we’re more likely abusing and misusing a lot of the foods we were limited to while growing up. Drinks during freshers, excessive junk food, snacking while studying and overeating all lead to what’s commonly called the freshers 15 (pounds), or freshers 5 (5 kilos).
The most probable cause: Sugar. So here’s how to cut down on it to avoid gaining the freshers 15.
Cut Down on Cocktails
Whoever says drinking isn’t apart of college and uni culture clearly didn’t go to any parties – but to each their own. Drinking is also one of the main contributors towards the freshers 15. Cocktails contain a lot of sugar and calories per glass and when you rack up a few, that could amount to more than your daily recommended allowance, depending on the drink.
To cut down on sugar and prevent the freshers 15, you’ll have to pick a new favourite drink. Long island iced teas are infamously strong, but did you know that each potent cocktail can contain over 400 calories? Swap it out for a simple rum and diet coke for 154 calories or a margarita for 168 calories.
Replace Unhealthy Snacks with Healthier Options
Replacing your unhealthy snacks is incredibly difficult. We all have our go-to comfort foods, and at university, our snacks are what we’ll undoubtedly fall back on when we’re stressed or want to relax. To make it easier, cut out all the snacks you feel are unnecessary and replace them with healthier portions of fruit and nuts. You still get to keep your favourite snack but do try to eat less of it if it’s calorific.
Use Honey Instead of Granulated or Caster Sugar
Sugar is a very abused foodstuff when it comes to sweetening foods, manufactured or homemade. You’ll even find some form of it in your face wash! Honey is only slightly less calorific than sugar but it’s rich in antioxidants, had less ‘bad sugar’ and is twice as sweet so you’ll definitely use less of it. Replace your sugar with honey when you sweeten your tea, make any baked goods, or add something sweet to your meals.
Make Yourself Extra Food Before a Night Out
Not eating a full meal before a night out is a massive reason why people gain the freshers 15 so quickly. It may sound contradictory, but after several hours and all of those sugar-filled drinks at the club, you’ll find yourself down at the chippy at 3 am eating a full doner kebab. Instead of eating greasy food that’s unhealthy, make yourself extra food before you go out. It saves money and calories!
Drink More Water and Less Coffee
This one is simple. Coffee, especially the lattes and mochas contains way more sugar and calories than you needed to make you feel more awake. Replace them with americanos and substitute the sugar for honey or just drink more water. Coffee dependence is not the best thing to have when you’re still young and should have a lot of energy.
Make Sure You Get a Full Night’s Sleep
Midnight snacking while studying is what you will do when you are running low on fuel and need a quick fix. Get a full night of sleep and plan out your day so you have time to study when you are not hungry or tempted to gorge on unhealthy snacks. There are apps you can download to keep track of how much sleep you are consistently getting each night and stepping away from afternoon coffees will help you get to sleep much quicker. Try Listening to ASMR before you go to bed, too.