A student’s first year at college or university can be overwhelming in many ways. A new student may be excited, scared, nervous or even giddy about their first year. Whether it is experiencing these feelings (sometimes all of them at once) or some unknown force that causes weight gain in young college students, the “Freshman 15” can be avoided.
The term Freshman 15 refers to the extra weight young college students often gain within their first year at a college or university. According to www.freshman15.com, the main causes for the Freshman 15 include lack of exercise, eating late at night, keeping unhealthy snacks on hand, eating unhealthy cafeteria food and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
“I think the best way to avoid gaining weight as a college student is to get involved with intramurals because other people can encourage you,” Melissa Carpenter, a sophomore Biology major, said.
WT’s intramurals offers opportunities to get involved in a variety of different sporting activities from volleyball and basketball to horseshoes and golf.
“It’s not very fun working out alone, plus it’s always good to meet new people,” said Carpenter, who said she didn’t really gain any extra weight her freshman year.
Mike Coppinger, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Amarillo, said that alcohol is a huge contributor to college students gaining weight.
“Alcohol is seven calories per gram and all of it is empty calories,” he said.
According to Coppinger, college students need to pay more attention to what they’re eating and monitor their calorie intake.
“Everything you put in your mouth is either going to promote disease or prevent it,” said Coppinger. “WT students have access to a gym and a new outdoor recreational facility, so students should take advantage of it, especially since they’re paying for it anyways.”
Cher Graham, a WT alum, said she was able to avoid gaining a lot of extra weight during her years as a college student.
“It was somewhat easy for me to keep weight off when I was attending college, since I was taking eighteen credit hours most of the time and being a mom, I never had time to eat,” said Graham.
Graham said although she didn’t have a problem with weight gain, she had a lot of friends who had problems maintaining a healthy lifestyle while attending school.
“I worked at a gym for many years and I know how easy it is for people that age to gain weight, especially when they stay inactive,” said Graham. “Watching what you eat is a major factor.”