Freshman 15 Press Releases
Don’t Fail the “Freshman 15” Test
Notorious Weight Gain Does Not Need to Plague College Career
As summer approaches its end, many 17- and 18-year-olds prepare to leave the nest for the first time to begin their journey into adulthood. And for many, that journey begins with college. This next stage involves many new steps, including learning new lessons, accepting new responsibilities, adjusting to new roommates, going to parties, taking exams and, unfortunately for some, gaining weight.
For some incoming college students, gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15” is a mere prerequisite of college life. It’s synonymous with going to classes, studying and hanging out with friends. No longer under Mom and Dad’s safety net – or supervision – many students fall prey to new habits, new workloads and new challenges – including a smorgasbord of dining hall meals – all of which can make it easier to leave college with not just a degree, but also a few extra pounds.
According to Weight Watchers®, the “Freshman 15” need not be an inevitable part of life. By planning meal schedules, setting realistic expectations and anticipating situations that may trigger overeating, the notorious college souvenir can be completely avoided.
“Everything completely changes for students when they get to college, and if unprepared, these new situations can lead to physical and emotional scenarios that ultimately can lead to undesired weight gain,” said Karen Miller-Kovach, M.S., R.D., Chief Scientist at Weight Watchers International, Inc. “The ‘Freshman 15’ does not need to be the defining point of the college career take the necessary strides to determine your personal food profile and adhere to a food regimen that’s best suited to your new lifestyle.”
Weight Watchers offers the following tips to help undergrads pass the test and avoid the “Freshman 15”:
- Take advantage of physical activity programs – At college, numerous fitness resources are at your disposal. Often, most college campuses include an extensive wellness center that features a pool, weight room and racquetball courts; a plethora of credit courses that offer instruction in interesting sports, such as tennis, swimming and yoga; and a walkable campus where nearly every facility is a manageable distance away.
- Plan your meals – As busy as college can get, it is important to take a step back and develop a syllabus of meals. Decide before you enter the cafeteria what you will eat, before the smells of high-calorie and high-fat foods change your mind. Also, by planning your meals, you know when a big meal is coming up, and you can balance it ahead of time with leaner selections.
- Watch out for midnight cravings – If a long night of studying is in your future, be careful it does not turn into a long night of overeating. To help you with your studies, stay away from the chips and pizza and consume wholesome, “brain” foods instead – apples, oranges, pretzels, popcorn and raw veggies are all excellent study companions.
- Preempt your urges – If snack foods are your weakness, don’t keep them in your room. While chips, soda and candy are convenient to eat, they can very tempting and can quickly cause you to pack on the pounds. Instead, save those foods for special occasions, and replace them with many varieties of healthy snacks.
- Plan alternate behaviors – Oftentimes, many people eat in response to boredom or stress. The best way to avoid those situations is to plan different responses in advance. Instead, go for a walk, call a friend, join a campus group, volunteer for a local charity or catch up on some much needed leisure reading.
- Don’t bow down to unrealistic “scale pressure” – Too often, success is gauged by an unrealistic “magic number” on the scale. However, obsessing about an impractical number can actually be counterproductive in your quest to lose or maintain your weight. Instead, determine your healthy weight by visiting the campus clinic or a local Weight Watchers meeting center. If you’re not at a healthy weight, set realistic goals (no more than 2 pounds lost per week) and gauge your success by how your clothes fit.
- Be realistic – College can be a stressful time with many new challenges. While planning is very important, so is flexibility. Don’t label foods as bad and off limits – this only makes those foods more desirable. Instead, allow yourself treats, but in moderation and watch your portions on those higher-calorie foods.
Local Weight Watchers spokespeople are available to discuss these great tips on how to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15.”
For your convenience, this release is also available electronically.
Weight Watchers is America’s trusted name in weight loss and the global leader in weight-loss services, with approximately 46,000 weekly meetings in 30 countries. With over 40 years of experience, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of solutions to meet the diverse needs of today’s weight-conscious consumers. To learn more about Weight Watchers services, products and publications, visit WeightWatchers.com. To find the nearest Weight Watchers meeting location, call 1-800-651-6000 or click on the Find a Meeting link at the top of our homepage.
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