When you enter college, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. Suddenly, you 're free to hang out with who you want, party when you want, eat what you want (and hopefully work in some studying, too).
Balancing freedom with responsibility can be a difficult task for any freshman. Sometimes, it 's hard to know which choices are best now that you 're faced with so many.
A primary concern among young adults entering college is the dreaded "freshman 15". Those mysterious 15 pounds that sneak up on you in between your first semester and your second.
Unfortunately, the rumors are true. According to the Journal of American College Health, "Freshman weight gain was 5.5 times greater than that experienced by the general population."
Weight fluctuations are a normal part of adjusting to college life. However, gaining 10 to 15 pounds more than what you 're used to can lower your self-esteem and lead to disordered eating.
A survey conducted by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) revealed that 35 percent of "normal" dieters will progress into pathological dieting, and of those, 20 to 25 percent will exhibit enough disordered eating habits to qualify for an eating disorder diagnosis.
If you 're concerned about gaining weight as a college freshman, you 're not alone.
Thankfully, there 's a secret to avoiding the freshman 15, and it has nothing to do with depriving yourself, taking pills, or giving up your favorite foods.
If you practice these tips each time you eat, your waistline will shrink while your health expands. It 's that easy.
The Hidden Danger of "Forbidden" Foods
If you 're concerned about weight gain, you might make m...
... middle of paper ...
...e the time to savor food, you 'll experience fewer cravings.
Each time you 've chewed, savored, and swallowed a bite of food, put your fork down and smile. For example, if you 're out at a restaurant with friends, go through the first four steps of mindful eating, put down your fork, and allow yourself to fully appreciate the experience.
Talk with your friends. Take note of the ambiance of the restaurant. Enjoy the background music. Then, pick up your fork and begin again.
It may seem awkward at first, but after a while, it will become second nature.
Mindful eating will help you avoid the freshman 15 by allowing you to experience food more intensely so you can enjoy it and feel more satisfied after meals. Once you 've shifted your focus from losing weight to gaining health, you 'll be in the driver 's seat and in better control of your life!
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