How to avoid the freshman 15

Hey freshmen. We are three weeks into school, and I am sure some of you are loving the unlimited swipes and amazing food choices we have around campus. There is an ongoing joke here at RWU that it is not the freshman 15, but the freshman 30. 
As a freshman, I too loved all the food options. Unfortunately, I was not playing sports anymore and my mom was not packing my lunch or cooking my dinner. I am sure some of you are in the same boat. When I started to notice my body changing, I got nervous. I was still going to the gym, but it wasn’t working. 
I then realized my mom always picked out what I ate and helped indirectly with portion control. As a freshman, you might not have a food scale or the ability to buy your own food. However, there are still ways to make healthier choices.
Here are some tips to help you out as you go through your day.

1. The number of calories a person should consume each day depends on multiple variables, including age, sex, weight, height and amount of physical activity. Websites like have calorie calculators, where you can plug in information to get the right estimate for you.

2. You need carbs. If you only eat a salad with lettuce in it, you are looking at a very minimal amount of calories. So when it’s 9 p.m., you’re going to start getting hungry and snack on whatever is in sight. Grab some brown rice and pair it with anything when you go to the dining hall. The rice is served every day at the stir fry station. It is 200 calories per cup. There are also sweet potatoes (if they have them), and beans or nuts. If you do eat something unhealthy, don’t let it ruin your progress. Just adjust your calorie intake for the rest of the day or week.

3. MyFitnessPal is a great way to track your calories and daily activity. It calculates how much you need to eat based on how many calories you burned that day and how much weight you want to lose.
4. Go to the gym and work out. If you don’t know how to use the gym, go on Instagram, Facebook or just Google to see how to how to use certain machines in the gym. You need to mix in 15 minutes of cardio to get your heart rate up, along with five to six weight lifting exercises. It doesn’t matter how long you stay in the gym, just what you do with that time. If you’re looking for inspiration, some of my favorite fitness models on Instagram are Whitney Simmons, Natalie Bally and Taylor Chamberlain Dilk.
5. Do NOT drunk eat. Alcohol itself does not cause fat, but when combine eating and drinking, fat will store. Alcohol causes your metabolism to slow down and it takes longer to digest the food you put into your body. After a fun night with friends, just go to bed and skip the slice of pizza at Lower Commons. 

Fitness Tip of the Week: Start a daily fitness log where you keep track of your meals, activity and goals for the week.