Photo: Premila D'Sa

Here’s how to avoid the Freshman 15

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By Yazmin Harris

Whoever told you the “Freshman 15” only attacks your butt, thighs or anything else, flat out lied to you. Those 15 pounds can be sandbags plummeting from the ceiling when you’re trying to pry yourself out from between the sheets. They can drag behind you like a wilted kite while you try to get yourself to social outings. The Freshman 15 is a reality for a lot of people, and it most definitely does not look the same for all of them.

Get your sneakers on. We’re running ahead of this bastard.

1. Pace yourself: That booze isn’t going anywhere

Count down the days until frosh, the days until winter break, heck, even the days until graduation if you need to, but do not count your calories. Just remember this: three pints of beer to your face is a quarter of your recommended daily calorie intake. You’ve got the rest of your life to be a belligerent drunk if you so desire, no need to rush all of those experiences into first year. Your gut will thank you.

2. Endorphins first, abs second

Stop exercising to get fit. Move to sweat. Move to build the bridge between your body and mind. Move to move. Exercise is by far the cheapest and most effective form of therapy accessible to you: Use it! Keep in mind that excessively exercising won’t change the fact that physical activity only influences weight loss by 20 per cent, according to the cliché.

3. Food is fuel, not your support system

In Finding Nemo, Bruce the shark created a new generation of vegans when he told us that “fish are friends, not food,” and while I’m a firm believer in keeping the animals out of our bellies, seeing food as a friend is a sure way to fall victim to the Freshman 15. Seek support in yourself because you can be the friend that’s always there. Eat mindfully, and that means definitely not snacking at the SLC while cramming for your final.

4. You could use a cry

JOR 07C. Go there. Sit with a counselor who is paid to listen to what you’re convinced is psychotic ramble infected with “first world problems.” You may not love the first person you get, you might feel super uncomfortable and itchy and awful, but keep at it and use this resource to your advantage. Your weight gain might feel completely physical, but chances are that weight has settled in your head, too. Mental pushups, yeah!

5. Shut up and sleep

The stress hormone cortisol is the real- world version of the dementors in Harry Potter. It’ll suck all of the happiness out of your life, and throw a few pounds on too while it’s got you within its grasp. Download Headspace off the app store, have a look through my all-time favourite meditation library at yogajournal.com or just search “guided sleep meditation” into YouTube to change the way you sleep for the better.

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