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The 411: Youth

Avoid the ‘freshman 15’

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August 9, 2011 | 1,416 views | Post a comment

Easy access to food and changes in lifestyles for first-time college students can lead to unwanted weight gain. The so-called “freshman 15” -- named for the 15 pounds young students may gain during their first year in college -- can be avoided.

Amanda Smith, assistant director of student wellness at the University of Texas at Dallas, says that with a little planning, staying fit is easier than students think.

“Without mom or dad there to provide balanced meals, it’s tempting to go for pizza, sweets, and other fast foods,” Smith said. “We advise students to stay healthy by making smart food choices.”

Thinking about what you eat and when you eat are keys to success, Smith said. She also recommends starting an exercise routine, joining an intramural sports team, or working out at the campus gym.

“Drink lots of water throughout the day, and try to keep healthy snacks around,” Smith said. “Finding a workout buddy is also great motivation for staying in shape.”

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