Advertisement

As a teen, how can I avoid gaining weight when I go to college?

Starting college calls for a whole new set of "routines."  From getting up for class, food choices, bedtime, and exercise, the freshman college student has a vast number of choices to make. Things that will help prevent weight gain during this time are to continue exercising most days of the week for at least 30 minutes, avoid high sugar, pre-packaged foods, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and keep tabs on your weight. If you notice it starting to creep up it's time to reassess your choices!

Here are some tips that can help:

DO get enough sleep. It’s not surprising that research suggests that college students often fall short in the sleep department. Insufficient sleep can cause an increase in ghrelin, the hunger-promoting hormone, and a decrease in leptin, the hunger-suppressing hormone in the body. Naps are an excellent way to catch up on lost sleep.

DON’T skip breakfast. Research suggests that adolescents who skip breakfast are at an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. If you skip this important meal, odds are you will be hungry later on in the morning and be more likely to find yourself impulsively snacking on high calorie foods from the vending machine or college convenience store. Rise and dine on a bowl of high fiber, whole grain cereal doused with skim milk. Add some protein, such as string cheese or a handful of nuts to your meal to help appease your hunger throughout the morning.

DO walk off your stress. A major lifestyle change, such as going off to college, can be initially stressful. When you feel wound up, lace up your sneakers and release some of the emotional stresses of college life on the walking path around campus or on the treadmill, rather than in the dining hall.

DON’T study with the microfridge. If studying at night causes you to nervously munch, don’t study in your dorm surrounded by your roommate’s chips and other snacks piled high in the dorm refrigerator. Study at the campus library where eating is prohibited.

DO make sure fruits and veggies are a part of all your meals. Eat a salad or vegetable soup before your lunch or dinner, which has been shown to help individuals cut back on the calories consumed at the meal. How? Fruits and vegetables will “fill you up before they fill you out” so are kind to your waist.

DON’T drink your calories. A 20-ounce bottle of soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks can pack over 250 calories. Drink low fat or skim milk with your meals and water (zero calories) in between.

Continue Learning about Teen Perspective: Nutrition and Healthy Eating

What are the best fruits to snack on at college?
Daphne OzDaphne Oz
These are some of the foods I was able to find easily at my college, either at the campus food ...
More Answers
Why should I eat breakfast as a teen?
Daphne OzDaphne Oz
Eating breakfast daily ensures that your body won't go into starvation-preservation mode and als...
More Answers
Why Teenagers Should Watch Their Sodium
Why Teenagers Should Watch Their Sodium
As a Teen, Should I Drink Energy Drinks?
As a Teen, Should I Drink Energy Drinks?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.