Beating the Freshman 15

Wednesday November 14, 2018
plate with broccoli, rice noodles and tofu

The nightmarish “Freshman 15” is a dreaded term that some of us have experienced. While making the transition to your university life, the “15” somehow, someway, manages to sneak up from out of nowhere by the end of your first year. The good news, however, is that beating it is quite easy! There are a few ways to manage life and not allow that dreaded “15” to sneak up on you.

Take A Sound Approach to Eating.

Make sure you eat slowly at regular times and try not to skip meals! You will want to eat a good mix of nutritious foods while also watching your portion sizes. Replace the empty-calorie soft drinks for water or the “diet” variety. Remember, while french fries and ice cream sounds like a good idea for dinner, it does not fit into the nutritious foods mix.

Helpful Tip: Keep fresh fruits and vegetables in your room for a quick snack should you need one!

Keep An Eye on your Alcohol Consumption.

Not only can excess drinking lead to health problems, but beer and alcohol are high in calories and can be a leading cause in weight gain. Please drink responsibly.

Keep It Pure.

Real. Fresh. Flavourful. This new addition to the Dining Hall provides you with fantastic meal choices to keep you eating healthy. A completely Vegan station, the Pure Station has its own Chef who has developed a complete plant-based menu for you. Give it a try, you won’t believe just how good fresh and tasty plant-based dishes can be.

Get Enough Exercise.

While you can never out train a bad diet, exercise provides a plethora of added benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Reaping the benefits of activity does not have to be as difficult as it might seem. Try to work 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your schedule each day (like walking, jogging, swimming, or working out at the gym), and you'll feel and see the results. For other options, check out biking or hiking trails or sign up for a martial arts class.

Helpful Tip: Take time during the day to get up and stretch. Even if it is only for a few minutes here and there, stretching is never a bad idea (especially during long study sessions).

Explore the Wonders of the Dining Hall.

With an unlimited uOttawa Meal Plan, you can enter our Dining Hall as many times as you like. Take advantage of this wonder by planning out your meals for the day. It is possible to head to the Hall for multiple small meals during the day instead of sticking to the three-meal-a-day plan where most tend to overeat. Eat smart!

Helpful Tip: The term “Take Less, Waste Less” works wonders when it comes to beating the “15”! Be mindful of how much you put on your plate, the more you take the more you may waste. You can always go back for more, two small plates of food is better than a heaping overfilled plate that may cause you to overeat.

Get Enough Sleep.

Sleep is important! Try to work in around eight hours of sleep each night. To get the most out of your slumber, keep a regular sleeping schedule by going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day. Also, try to avoid caffeine in the evening!

Gaining weight during your first year at the University of Ottawa is not inevitable. You may have some ups and downs, but a few simple changes to your routine can keep you physically and mentally healthy.