15 tips to avoid the Freshman 15

Graphic by Michelle Kumata/The Seattle Times/MCT

Graphic by Michelle Kumata/The Seattle Times/MCT

It’s no secret that many people put on the infamous “Freshman 15” during their first year in college. It can be all too easy to forgo a healthy lifestyle when you enter college. There are only 24 hours in a day and it is difficult to balance school work, a social life, extracurriculars, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Follow these tips to help maintain your summer beach body and stay fit during your first year at Wake.

1. Watch your alcohol intake: Alcohol slows down your metabolism, which leads to fat gain. It also prevents vital fat burning processes from occurring within the body, thereby bloating your stomach.

2. Limit your sugar: Sugar may be one of the worst fattening foods with little to no fat in them. Sugar almost always leads to fat gain, as sugar becomes stored as fat in the body. Watch your sugar intake even more closely than you watch calories or fat.

3. Avoid the Grill at the Pit: The greasy grimy cheeseburgers in the Pit are definitely something to stay away from. The hamburgers are loaded in fat, and they come with a price: extra poundage on your body.

4. Steer clear from beer: Beer contains, wheat, yeast and a lot of empty calories. Simply put, there is basically no nutritional value in beer, and it strips your body of water — an essential fat burning mechanism. Other than being illegal for underage students,  consuming large amounts of beer will make you pack on the pounds.

5. Ditch the bread: Stay away from bread and wheat products as much as possible. If there are only sandwiches on the menu, go for a full grain or whole wheat option. White bread is low in nutritional value and high in sugar.

6. Make time for exercise: One of the simplest ways to drop/maintain weight is to run, jump on the elliptical or lift weights. It is also very good for your joints, and it can often help prevent other illnesses. Exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

7. Drink green tea: A quick and easy way to burn fat is to add green tea to the morning routine. It is also rich in antioxidants that help prevent illness. Plus it does not stain your teeth like coffee. It also revs up your metabolism and assists your body in burning fat.

8. Eat good fats: Part of losing fat is eating it too … wait what? Yes, avocadoes, olive oil and nuts can help you burn your fat, despite being full of it. Don’t load yourself with these foods, but in moderation, they can be very helpful in keeping you slim, trim and healthy.

9. Try and stay away from Chick-fil-a: This Benson staple is delicious, but it is also loaded in calories and fat. Reward yourself with Chick-Fil-A, but don’t make this an everyday habit. Fries and sandwich will cover practically half of your recommended daily intake of fat and calories.

10. Don’t eat late at night: Everyone wants to make Cookout runs or order a pizza after writing a paper or after going out on a Friday or Saturday night. The irresistible temptation of hushpuppies and a milkshake are tough to pass up, but when Cookout becomes a habit, it could become detrimental to your health and fitness level. If you find yourself famished after a late night, opt for a Subway six-inch sandwich on wheat.

11. Don’t sweat it: Stress is connected highly to weight gain. While you will definitely stress at one time or another at Wake Forest, being an optimistic person and keeping a positive attitude will help your figure more than you think. Wake can be a stressful place at times, but don’t get too frazzled over little things.

12. Find alternative workouts: Maybe you don’t have time to see a friend and lift weights. Basketball or tennis provide wonderful ways to kill two birds with one stone. Find these alternative ways of getting exercise, and your social life and health will thrive.

13. Breakfast of course: This is your most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it and worse off, don’t make it ridiculously unhealthy. Krispy Kremes are delicious every once in a while, but they are terrible health choices for breakfast. Stick with whole grains, fruits and water or tea.

14. Try lifting: By increasing your muscle mass, you will burn calories faster because your muscles will require more calories. Lifting weights is not only beneficial for male students, but females as well. Lifting weights will help your body composition significantly. If you do not enjoy exercising in the Miller Center, the Six in Reynolds Gym can provide an excellent workout venue.

15. Protein, protein, protein: The one thing that goes with lifting is protein within a half hour of pumping iron. This assures you receive the full benefits of your workout. Stick to 30 grams or less right after your workout. Even when not lifting weights, try and stick to a diet heavy in protein. It will make you feel fill longer and give you the energy you need to get through your day.

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