May 18, 2020
I've posted a few times here about what to pack for college. Those of you who will be headed out to the higher education hinterlands next fall need to include one seldom mentioned but absolutely critical item: a bathroom scale. Don't laugh. Take it from a guy whose weight chart looks like a ride on Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster. Weight gains and losses of 20, 30, even 50 pounds are no strangers to me.
I can offer some insight into the reasons behind freshman year weight gains. First of all, there's a group psychology at work, maybe even a "mob mentality," if you will. First of all for many freshmen, it's their first time away from the authoritarian eyes of Mom and Dad. This factor alone can lead to some unbridled enthusiasm when it comes to chucking discipline and controlling one's appetites (of all kinds). Second, when you find yourself among a throng of like-minded revelers, concerns about holistic well-being often get tossed like a beer can out of a car window (not that I've ever done that). So, you may find yourself being swept along in a contiguous series of weekends that begin on Thursdays. So much for moderation.
What's a fresh-faced frosh to do then? Well, Carl Germano, celebrity nutritionist, has some great tips. Take a look at what he says.
The causes of the freshman 15 may seem to be common sense for many people but for those who don't understand why they gain so much weight during the first year at a college this should help. Everyone is settling into their college life, finding out what works for them. However, somewhere along the way health gets put on the back burner. Next, you show up to Thanksgiving looking like the turkey. Here are some reasons:
Although the “Freshman 15" might be a little bit of an exaggeration, most freshmen do gain five pounds.
Cornell University researchers found that college freshman gain half a pound per week on average. That's about 11 times more weight than the average 17-and 18-year old will gain, and nearly 20 times more than the average weight gain among adults. Both male and female college students eat approximately 500 additional calories between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Thanks, Carl! But do we have to give up that Mac & Cheese??? Some of us like it better than beer!
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