We’ve all heard of the dreaded “freshman 15,” where scores of college students each year fall victim to the seemingly inevitable weight gain that comes with living away from your parents.


Admittedly, I was nervous upon entering school that I would also gain weight and develop unhealthy habits. However, I actually lost weight after starting school just from all the walking I had to do.


You can easily walk a couple miles just from walking around campus during the day. If possible, avoid taking the bus and see how much more walking you end up doing.


As far as exercising is concerned, joining the gym is a great option. One-hundred dollars may seem like a lot to shell out for the year to use the gym in the Tinsley Center, but it’s a lot cheaper than other gyms, and they have a lot to offer.


If you can’t spend the money, there is a free suspended track in Tinsley. The track is great for not only running, but there are areas big enough to do ab and other leg workouts as well.


Another option are the free workout classes, like zumba and kickboxing, that are usually offered in Kelly Gym.


Exercising is is just half the battle though. It may seem difficult to eat healthy in our dining halls, but just keep in mind moderation is key. Don’t be afraid to get ice cream for dessert, or a breadstick with your pasta, just don’t do it every day.


There are always healthy options to consider. A rule that I’ve been taught, is to make half your grains whole. So instead of getting white bread at the wrap/sandwich stations, get a whole wheat option half of the time.


Portion control is another concern of health-conscious college students. We are given huge portions at mealtimes. Just because it fills the plate, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. Self-awareness and self-control are key here. If you feel satisfied stop eating, and you’ll realize that you don’t need to eat nearly as much as you think.


Drinking water is another really easy way to stay healthy. If you replace soda or other sugary drinks at mealtimes with a glass or two of water, you’ll feel more hydrated, and eat less. Often when you think you are hungry, your body is simply craving water.


If you are stuck for ideas of how to exercise, or what to eat, there are literally thousands of resources online. Search for health and fitness boards on pinterest, tumblrs devoted to the subject, and look at fitness magazines online.


YouTube also is home to free videos about food and workouts.There are apps that track your fitness progress and keep you motivated.


Bottom line, gaining weight in college is entirely preventable, and being healthy is entirely possible.


Molly Bello is a comment staff writer.Email her at or follow her on twitter @mollybello.

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