Is the dreaded “Freshman 15” fact or fiction? A little bit of both, it turns out. According to new research, most students don’t actually gain 15 pounds during their first year—but 70 percent do pack on some pretty significant weight throughout their college career.
And guess what? While women often take the most heat for gaining those dreaded first-year pounds, the study found that men actually did more than their fair share of plumping up—putting on significantly more weight (an average of about 13 lbs.) and body fat than the ladies.
So what’s a guy to do? Here’s are some quick tips to help keep the pounds off during the college years:
- Snack responsibly. Mindless eating can add hundreds of calories to your diet each day, especially when you’re studying, so put snack foods in a small bowl instead of eating out of the bag. And of course, keep healthier snacks (like carrots or apples) within easy reach.
- Drink appropriately. Sure, this means watching how many kegs you and your friends tap in a weekend, but you should also drink plenty of water throughout the day. (Believe it or not, it’s the best energy drink.)
- Move regularly. Set a workout schedule and make it happen. You can also squeeze more activity into your day by taking the stairs to class or walking the long way to the dining hall.