Fighting the Freshman Fifteen: A College Woman's Guide to Getting Real about Food and Keeping the Pounds Off

Overview

Beware the Weighty Curse of Campus Life!

Congratulations--you've just started college, and it's an exciting time. New friends, no curfew--and the freedom to eat what you want, when you want it. But watch out! These newfound freedoms can lead to the notorious weight gain known as the "freshman fifteen"--the all-too-common rite of passage that adds up to an average weight gain of fifteen pounds for your first semester. You do the math: That's ...
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Overview

Beware the Weighty Curse of Campus Life!

Congratulations--you've just started college, and it's an exciting time. New friends, no curfew--and the freedom to eat what you want, when you want it. But watch out! These newfound freedoms can lead to the notorious weight gain known as the "freshman fifteen"--the all-too-common rite of passage that adds up to an average weight gain of fifteen pounds for your first semester. You do the math: That's almost a pound a week! Chances are, if you're not aware of the temptations of campus life (late-night pizza, all-you-can-eat choices in the cafeteria--not to mention weekend parties and exam stress), then you'll come home for Thanksgiving wondering how you ever fit into your senior prom dress.

But as they say, "Knowledge is power," and Fighting the Freshman Fifteen should be your first required reading. Written by a leading dietitian, along with two college-age women who have battled the "fifteen" themselves, this easy-to-ace guide will arm you with the information you need to make intelligent nutritional and lifestyle choices, including:

* Tips on using the cafeteria wisely * Getting real about portion sizes and calorie intake * Handling midnight study sessions (and other excuses for ordering pepperoni pizza) * Managing PMS, stress, and emotional reasons for bingeing * The lowdown on "liquid calories" and other dieting dangers * Finding the time for fitness * Fifty easy, no-mess recipes that can be prepared in any dorm room

Complete with handy checklists and charts that will help you stay on track, this is an essential course that every college woman should take. The objective? It will help you look terrific,while giving you more energy to keep you at the top of your game.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609809600
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/23/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Welcome to campus!

Join US for an orientation around campus that promises to answer the one question every freshman girl has: "How can I avoid gaining weight during my first year away at college?" We know you have anticipated your first semester with a mixture of joy and fear, and we are prepared to put that fear to rest. Understanding how and why the freshman fifteen happens is half the battle in keeping it from squeezing into your jeans with you by Christmas break.

First, it is essential to recognize that there are really only three things that can make you gain weight this semester:

1. Overeating
2. Overdrinking
3. Underdoing

Conquer these, and you'll be forever svelte. But nothing is ever that simple and so we must look even closer at what it is that can lead to the excessive eating, drinking, and insufficient activity that define college life for most freshman girls. Pay very close attention to the following lessons, because they may be the most valuable ones you'll learn this term.

Too Much Freedom

For most of you, this is the first time in your life that you can literally come and go as you please. You no longer have to answer to a parent, teacher, or any other adult about what you're doing, who you're doing it with, or if you're dressed appropriately. No one cares whether you've made your bed, finished your classwork, or eaten some breakfast. You are on your own.

Gaining all of this freedom so suddenly takes some time getting used to. Many of you will try to find your way by testing the limits of your liberation. You'll stay out very late at night, sleep very late into the morning, and eat at odd hours just to see if anyonenotices. And what you'll quickly realize is, no one does.

Once you are really convinced there are no rules to govern your personal conduct and no enforcers even if there were, your common sense seems to disappear and hedonism takes over. Do you remember reading Lord of the Flies in high school? Everything and anything that was once forbidden or denied can now be indulged. A whole box of Pop-Tarts and a tube of Pillsbury biscuits becomes breakfast. Eating pizza at midnight every night is the norm. Some days nothing but chocolate and coffee are consumed.

You may also recall that in Lord of the Flies the ending wasn't pretty. Too much freedom is not a good thing. Just like those British schoolboys let loose on a desert island, you, too, must rein in your impulses if you have any hope of remaining civilized. Civilized people do not eat one-pound bags of Doritos all by themselves. They share them with at least eleven other people so that you can each have just one and one-third ounces, or about 200 calories apiece. It's the only fair way to do battle with the freshman fifteen.

Too Much Food

Then there is the little matter of the prepaid dining card. Eating from an all-you-can-eat buffet at every meal is like holding a one-way ticket to the freshman fifteen if you don't retain some self-control. In your college cafeteria you will face endless quantities of bagels, pasta, frozen yogurt, muffins, French fries, and chocolate chip cookies and you may take all you want. Your mother is not going to be at the end of the line to check your tray and make sure you also took a piece of fruit and some protein to balance your meal. How about a carton of milk with that Cap'n Crunch? Truth is, you can eat nothing but carbs morning, noon, and night, but if you do, the freshman fifteen will soon follow.

Your best hope here is to look at your tray after you've been to all of the food stations but before you check out, then ask yourself: "Does this look like a meal my mother would approve of?" If the answer isn't a resounding "Yes," then you must return some of those empty calories and replace them with foods your mom or another significant other would approve of. There's no doubt about it, self-control is much easier to practice when a second pair of eyes are on you.

Too Many Parties

Even if you find the food detestable in the cafeteria and are wasting five hundred dollars a month on a meal plan you never use, there is still the matter of college parties. Any time of day, for any reason at all, people are ready to have a good time on campus. This isn't at all like high school, where you had to wait for the weekend and hope that someone's parents were out of town to find a good party. More beer than you ever imagined is available, literally all the time, somewhere on or around campus.

But, alas, too much of a good thing usually turns bad, and all that drinking will definitely add to your girth if you're not careful. Try to think of each can of beer as two slices of bread--both have about 150 calories. Every six-pack you put away is close to eating a loaf of bread! Or imagine each glass of punch or blender drink as a big scoop of premium ice cream worth about 300 calories. After two or three of these drinks, you're into hot-fudge-sundae territory with whipped cream on top. How many of those do you think you can get away with eating in a night? In a week?

When it comes to parties, it may help to imagine that your dad is watching you pump that keg. If that isn't a Kodak moment you'd like to share, find some seltzer to keep the freshman fifteen at bay.

Too Much Strangeness

While college is supposed to be a time of discovery and an immersion into an independent and almost-adult world, all this newness can also feel threatening. It can really hit home when you wake up that first morning in the dorm and realize you are living with strangers. From the moment you received your acceptance letter, the pressure was on: You were going to have to make all new friends because your old high school buddies were not going with you on this adventure.

Even once you're settled into your dorm room, the newness of college life isn't over. You've got to read a map just to find out where to buy stamps, make color copies, get some cough medicine, or buy a birthday card for your little sister. That's when it may strike you, as it did Dorothy when she landed in Oz, that you're "not in Kansas anymore."

As if all that wasn't frustrating enough, you still have to figure out where all your classes are, or where they've been relocated to, and decide where the best place around town is to buy the new or used books you'll need for each one. You need to track down all the ATMs within a one-mile radius of campus, find a decent place to get your hair cut, and remember to save all your quarters if you have any intention of doing your laundry.

When it all seems just too strange to bear, one of the first things most freshmen turn to for reassurance is comfort food. You know, those familiar tastes and smells that let you believe that all is still safe and secure in your world. Things like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, pancakes and syrup, and butterscotch pudding with whipped cream on top can really make you feel at home. Unfortunately, if you find yourself seeking solace from these emotionally rewarding foods just a bit too often, they will stay with you in the form of the freshman fifteen long after you've found your way around campus.
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