7 ways to avoid Freshman 15 Over the Holidays

Kailey Carpino

        With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, it is common for college students to gain a few pounds.  Here are some tips to help you stay in shape during the holidays.

        1. Manage your stress.  Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, not to mention that final exams start just a week and a half after Thanksgiving.  Stress can lead to stress eating which will most likely result in weight gain. There are many ways to reduce stress such as deep breathing and exercise.

        2. Eat breakfast on Thanksgiving day.  A lot of people don’t eat breakfast on Thanksgiving day and then gorge themselves later.  It is healthier to eat a light breakfast so that you’re less likely to overeat when it’s time for dinner.

        3. Make your food from scratch.  Holiday foods such as boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing may be quick and simple to make, but these foods are more processed and are more likely to cause weight gain.  Even if you’re not the best cook, there are plenty of easy step-by-step recipes online that you can use. If you don’t have time to make all of your food from scratch, try asking some of your family members to help out.

        4. Drink water with your holiday dinner.  A lot of drinks, especially soda and alcohol, are high in calories, so just drinking water can prevent you from gaining extra weight.

        5. Just because you’re eating vegetables doesn’t mean that you’re eating healthy.  Out of all of the traditional holiday side dishes, mashed potatoes have the most calories and fat because of the way they’re prepared.  You can make mashed potatoes healthier by not adding as much butter or using low-fat butter.

        6. Be active or exercise.  After eating a holiday meal, a lot of people sit on the couch and watch TV with their family.  Instead, try playing a game or doing an activity that would get you off the couch and moving. You could also work out later in the day or even the next day.

        7. Don’t eat too many leftovers.  A lot of people have leftovers after a holiday meal that they don’t want to go to waste.  If you have a lot of food leftover, see if any of your friends or family are willing to take some of it.  Make sure that if you still have a lot of leftovers that you are also eating other foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and not just turkey sandwiches.  If you know that you always have a lot of leftovers after holiday meals, buy smaller portions.

        It is not uncommon to gain a few pounds around the holidays. Between getting ready for the holidays and preparing for exams, this time of year can be stressful. Managing stress, eating breakfast before big meals, making food from scratch, exercising, and drinking lots of water all significant ways to reduce the amount of weight gained over the holidays!

        Hopefully, these tips can give you some easy ways to avoid gaining the freshman 15 over the holidays.