Fight Off the Freshman 15

The new school year brings another wave of freshmen into residence, and with it the uneasy mumble of the “Freshman 15”.

Leaving home without any real experience in living without parents is naturally daunting. With it comes responsibilities, one of them being “learning how to actually cook for yourself”. This task comes as a bit of a double edged sword; yes, people should definitely know how to cook for themselves, but portion control tends to get pushed onto the back burner. That in conjunction with the alcohol-infused lifestyle most students adopt and the tendency to make a Tim’s run instead of bothering with dishes (Expositor residents hit the jackpot for that) can make those jeans a little tighter around the waist.

The fact students call it the “Freshman 15” is a little misleading in general. According to a study done by Dr. Nicole Mihapoulos of the University of Utah, men on average only put on an average of 3.7 pounds and women 1.7. However, it is worth noting that the group as whole ranged from having lost 5 pounds to gaining 20. Therefore, yes, some people can put on 15 pounds but students aren’t guaranteed to magically put on weight regardless of what they do.

That being said, weight change is at a record high potential with a drastic lifestyle change that comes with residence. To keep that waistline from creeping students have quite a few resources on hand.

Included in tuition fees, Laurier Brantford students get a membership to Wilkes Gym which is located right outside the Research and Academic Centre. It’s only fair to mention that it can be a little packed depending on the hour, but it’s a great way to try working out for those who have yet to join a gym. Included is also classes like Zumba and spin, which are both fantastic cardio. In addition, students can join the YMCA which is only a minute walk from Wilkes. While it is hard for some students to find the extra cash, there are tons more machines for both cardio and strength training.

Another hugely successful resource is calorie counting. It is definitely not for everyone, but those who can get into the habit have been able to shove off incredible amounts of weight, as well as put on a few pounds while trying to build muscle. At first it is tedious to log every meal, but much like any kind of chore it is something that simply takes getting used to. There are tons of ways to get into calorie counting, but because of the sheer number of examples all of them will not be named. People looking to calorie count can figure out their total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) then count with a notebook, but using an app is far more intuitive. Myfitnesspal by Under Armour and Lose It! are both free and easy to learn with large communities to offer support and advice.

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