Freshman 15 & College Weight Gain

Freshman 15 college weight gain

Freshman 15 college weight gain

Overview – What is Freshman 15?

Some college students experience Freshman 15 weight gain in their first couple semesters of attending university or a college, don’t freak out! 

Freshman 15 happens more than anyone wants to admit and is caused from a variety of reasons including diet, lifestyle choices and bad habits. 

It is much easier to prevent weight gain than trying to take the weight off in the future, start taking control of your freshman 15 weight gain today.


Freshman 15 Facts

During the first three months on campus, studies show that first year students gain an average of 4.2 pounds

Average freshman 15 weight gain is around fifteen pounds over the course of a year!  Don’t wait until it’s too late, do you really want to gain 15 pounds in one year?

Start to consider your options and work towards a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle before it’s too late.


Should I worry about gaining weight?

Adolescent metabolism shifts as the body grows so it is normal for us to gain weight. The real problem starts when the weight gain starts increasing at a rapid rate.  

During the students’ first two years in college, they gain three to ten pounds on average and this weight gain occurs in their first semester in the freshman year.

Patterns of weight gain could spell trouble if it is established that students continuously put on extra pounds which can lead to long term health issues.


Why does this happen to first year students?

Freshman 15 underlying factors are:

  • ·         New habits of eating
  • ·         Eating while studying
  • ·         Eating late at night
  • ·         Eating snack food
  • ·         Emotional eating
  • ·         Drinking
  • ·         Not enough exercise
  • ·         Age


Causes of the Freshman 15

College diet

Limited cooking experience and having so many food options can make a diet of pizza, soft drinks, chips and fast food a regular diet for college students. After several weeks of this type of diet, weight gain occurs. Find out more Top 10 Unexplained Weight Gain Myths.

Changing eating habits

  • College meal plans. Some schools are offering various plans to accommodate a broad range of habits in eating. Choosing a healthy meal plan for college can be difficult. It is important that students nourish their body with adequate food to give energy to attend an intramural soccer game to a study group and then a lecture because college life can be hectic.
  • Food court cafeteria. Meal plans are made into costs of tuition for most schools, something that is planned for by families and their students. Weight gain and unhealthy habits are the results of tight budgets that most of the time students opt for fast foods that are inexpensive. Most universities offer meal plan varieties which include extra money plus all meal for snacks while other schools are limited. The time that students spend on or off campus must correspond to the plan they choose.
  • Malnutrition. Some medical conditions, nutrient or digestion and absorption problems, or unbalanced diet are the causes of malnutrition. Typically, the issue is an unbalanced diet that may be junk foods or heavy on convenience and light on vegetables, fruits and other nutritious foods. Healthy eating doesn’t mean having a meal plan. With buffet style options, dining hall or gigantic sized helpings are all too tempting.  It is so difficult to deflect the dreadful Freshman 15 that is why portion control must be learned by the students.  


Over eating

People who have an addiction to food have what it characterized as compulsive overeating. To cope with stress and problems daily, to fill a void the feel inside, and to hide from their emotions, they sometimes use food and eating. Find out more about overeating:  Why and How to Stop Binge Eating


Sleeping habits

Your body will not benefit from temptations like all night studying or partying. For keeping the body working right and for renewing cells, sleep- especially deep sleep stages are essential. Our metabolism is affected by poor sleep habits. It can also make it harder for the body to use food efficiently. Know more about sleep apnea on Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?


Alcohol consumption

Remember that a single 12 ounce beer packs a whopping 100 or more calories even if it is a light beer when you hit the party circuit. Beer has virtually no nutrition value at all so your college diet cannot consist solely on beer. Also when drinking, people love to snack on potato chips and other empty nutrition and high calorie foods adding even more danger. To know the effects of alcohol, read Alcohol and Weight Gain – All You Need To Know…



When you are stressed, you tend to overeat. A major tool in defending the body from added weight is de-stressing. A healthy diet is one of the best stress busters. Pick foods like fruits or vegetables that are high in antioxidants that help fight stress.



Fast food quickly becomes appealing on a college student’s tight schedule and limited budget even if you didn’t eat it when you were in high school. It is fast and cheap after all but be very careful not to fall into this trap.  Eating greasy fast food burgers everyday will definitely add tons of weight to your freshman 15!


How to avoid the freshman 15

Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, and a balanced diet are good habits that can do more than keep the pounds off. Eating healthy will also help you to avoid problems down the line and stay healthy.  There’s lots of information in this website on how to avoid the freshman 15, we have you covered.


Exercise workouts

During the college years, regular workouts will never be easier. To get regular exercise, take full advantage of student privileges at the pool and gym. Having a session with the treadmill or a hard game of volleyball or tennis is a great way to bust stress that leads to overeating besides burning calories. Ugly Truth about Exercise for Weight Loss



It is very difficult to start managing your diet on your own in you first year away from home. Don’t freak out if you do gain weight. Make adjustments by taking a look at your eating and exercise habits. Top 3 Diets That Work!

Weight loss programs

Consider finding the best weight loss programs to help keep the pounds off along with eating right and exercising. Amazing Secret Weight Loss Programs


Food – Healthy eating guide

As your chief source of food around the campus, try to stick to the low calorie, low fat vegetarian choices. Keeping in mind the timing and the quantity of food you consume, try to regularize a particular meal pattern. Teach Yourself What to Eat to Lose Weight

  • Eating on campus. An all you can eat mentality are encouraged in campus dining rooms. By filling your plate with at least 50% green stuff, you can counter it.
  • Ordering out. A tricky issue is eating out. Your food choices are influenced by your friends.  One sure way to gain weight is social eating while ordering take away pizza all the time.
  • Grocery shopping. For your physique, buying groceries yourself can cause miracles. Don’t stick with the Ramen pasta diet please. Instead take a little extra care and try to purchase fruit, cereal, milk, meat and bread, the basic foods.
  • Smart snacking. In between meals, you should satisfy your hunger cravings with vegetables and fruits rather than junk food.


Lifestyle changes

To manage your weight, making some lifestyle changes and eating a balanced diet will work miracles to keep your body in shape.  Honestly once you get started in a different routine it comes naturally and your body will thank you for it.

It is not inevitable to gain weight during the first year of college, you can stop the freshman 15 from happening!

To help you fend off excess weight while keeping you physically and mentally healthy, a few simple changes to your daily routine is necessary.

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  1. Carla says:

    At the age 18 eating habits are very much different to the older people. At this age over eating is a habit. Fast food is very appealing and at 18 it is very tough to control food at this age. This time they first enter school. Over eating and sleeping habit are changed this age very rapidly. A few rules at this age in dieting habit is very important. Exercise is very important at this age.

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