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Tips to conquer the freshman 15

Become active again: While on summer vacation, join one of the beach volleyball teams. There are so many sports and activities to choose (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

You’ve just returned home after completing your freshman school year and the clothes you left behind no longer fit!

Don’t worry, it’s normal. According to studies, most people gain about 15lbs in their first year of college.

Although the numbers vary, it’s typical for students to put on anywhere from 10-20lbs.

Check out the tips below to say goodbye to the “freshman 15”!

The transition from high school to college can be drastic.

In high school, where there’s organised sports, you were in every activity from netball to football. Now things have slowed down.

It isn’t too late to resume that momentum and become active again.

Find an organisation on campus that you can participate in. And while on summer vacation, join one of the beach volleyball teams, take up water aerobics, circuit classes or go to any of the local gyms that may have student rates. There are so many sports and activities to choose — consider bowling or even taking up martial arts.

If your class is close enough, leave home in time that you can ride your bike or walk there; using stairs instead of the elevator is also a simple change that can help stave off the freshman 15.

Add green foods: try to incorporate more veggies and healthy green foods into your daily meal planning. Try to make it a lifestyle change and not just temporary.

Drink more water: eight to ten glasses of water each day is what you should be drinking to maintain a healthy diet. If you don’t like water, try mixing cucumber and lemon, ginger or mint in it ahead of time to give you a few flavoured options.

Cut down on alcohol: hard liquor and beer can really pack on the pounds. Sometimes it can be challenging — depending on the college that you attend — not to drink but take notice of the effects heavy drinking can have on your stomach and body fat.

Relax: take these summer months to calm down. School work will be there, money will come and go, that love will last or end. Stress can cause weight gain if you aren’t controlling it. Stay in stress-free environments as much as possible.

Healthy snacking: healthy snacks like fruit and nuts every few hours can help to maintain your diet and take away cravings caused by artificial ingredients that are in chips, sodas and candy. You could also try air-popped popcorn, Greek yogurt or vegetables and hummus for a quick snack. Believe in yourself: love yourself! Focus on self-care and self-love during this process. You may still weigh more than you’d like to, but be proud of the decisions you are making to change your body. It will make all the difference!

Keep going and B-Active For Life!

• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife