The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Fighting the ‘freshman 15’

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One of the best things about college is the fact that you finally get to dictate your own life. For about 18 years your parents have probably been filling your life with home cooked meals and labor intensive sports.

Now that you are in your first year of college it is time to take responsibility for creating your own healthy routine. If you fall for the temptation of greasy fast food and a sedentary lifestyle, you might be on the path to gaining the dreaded freshman 15.

Here are a few tips to help you restrain your newfound power and create a college life that doesn’t involve gaining 15 or more pounds in your first year.


When you step into Umphrey Lee the first thing you might notice is the smell of freshly baked goods or the burgers and pizza spread out for the taking. If you are serious about not gaining the ‘freshman 15’ you might want to take a second and think through your dietary needs.

Late night outings or a crammed class schedule can turn even the strongest willed health addict into a fast food junky. But take a deep breath and remember that Umphrey Lee is only a short walk from your dorm or a quick stop on your way to class. Scheduling a few minutes before or after class to grab an apple or banana will cut your cravings for greasy fast food.

When you find time to sit down and enjoy a good meal, you might want to try one of the hottest food trends. The Paleo Diet is all about going back to your ancestors’ hunting and gathering diet and you can easily find all of its necessities at Umph.

This diet requires you to lower your carbohydrate and fat intake while increasing the amount of protein, specifically lean meats, and vegetables you eat.

The salad bar is the perfect place to load up your plate with fresh veggies, but be careful of salad dressings with deceptively high calorie counts. Caesar dressing can have as many as 150 calories and 8 carbs. Balsamic and Greek dressings are a smarter choice because their calorie count usually stays below 100. Just because it has salad in the name doesn’t mean that the dressing
is healthy.

You should also think about grabbing some healthy protein as well. A classic grilled or herb roasted chicken breast is always good for you.

Most people like to eat this with a side roll or in a sandwich, but be sure to leave the bread off of your plate. Breads and starchy vegetables, like potatoes, are filled with carbs and, if eaten often, can increase your pant size. Substitute your carbs with lots of veggies or a tasty piece of fruit.


Most dining on campus has at least one soda machine and multiple ways to get your hands on an energy drink. These caffeinated drinks hide unnecessary sugars and calories.

Caffeine is a good way to help you stay up late to cram in a last-minute essay, but it is not so great on your waistline.

If you need to feel the tingly sensation of caffeinated bubbles, go for a diet version of your favorite drink, but water is the safest answer if you are watching your weight. It not only has zero calories, but can also help your skin look fresh and hydrated.

To all of the students that are above the age of 21, you might not realize how many calories are hiding in your favorite alcoholic beverage. One serving of beer, on average, can hold 154 calories while one glass of wine generally has 120 calories.

There is also a shock factor when you think about the amount of calories in a shot of liquor; rum and vodka (80 proof) has 64 calories and whiskey (86 proof) can have 70 calories. Add to that the sugars and calories in mixers, like cranberry juice (136 calories per cup) and Coke (140 calories per 12 oz), and you will find yourself with the perfect cocktail to lead towards some extra weight.


You might not realize the amount of calories you burned during your high school sports practice, but if you do not keep up the same or similar workout routine you might notice a change in your body. One of the best ways to fight the ‘freshman 15’ is by heading over to Dedman and jumping on a cardio machine (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, bike).

It’s important to get your heart rate up during a cardio workout. You will notice that your breathing becomes heavier and you begin to sweat. Just remember that the harder you work, the more calories you burn.

The greatest thing about a cardio workout routine is that it takes less time for your body to recover from, so you can do cardio most days of the week.

To keep your routine from getting boring, do not be afraid to try different exercises on different days. Maybe on Mondays head out to the Katy Trail for a jog, on Wednesdays use the elliptical and on Fridays get on the stationary bike.

Some people find the hardest part of a healthy lifestyle is first starting it. Once you get in a routine you will notice how making healthy decisions becomes second nature.

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