How to Avoid the “Freshman 15”

There’s several factors that go into gaining the “Freshman 15,” and it’s not just exercising less.

Many are a bit stressed about new schedules derailing not only my fitness gains, but my wellness progress.

Some simple, useful tips would have been helpful.

So, we’re beginning new academic year with a practical guide for college students.

These are 5 simple habits to implement into your new routine that will help you maximize you health and invest in healing.


Create a Strategic Routine

Getting up early is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially in college. There’s no real arguing that as challenging as it can be.

Waking up between 4:30-5:30 AM and investing in movement, health, and wellness will be essential for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a busy schedule.

Carve out the first 2-3 hours of your day for your own physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social, & intellectual wellness and you will see drastic improvements.

The book The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life WILL change your life.

Overlooking the importance of rising early is easy, mostly because it can be difficult to do. But I truly believe this is an essential habit to develop as soon as possible, for it is game changing, whether you are a student or not.

Creating a strategic routine by rising early is essential for maintaining your healthy lifestyle throughout college & life.

Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and the decline of personal wellness. So it is important that we minimize it at all costs.

This can be challenging with textbooks to read, essays to write, and exams to study for. But there are some practical steps we can take to ensure our stress levels are as controlled as possible.

We’re not quite ready to move on from rising early. There’s another reason you should get up and move.

Again, it isn’t easy, but this is essential to reducing your stress.

Your cortisol levels, or stress hormones, are highest first thing in the morning.

And as we know from research, activity, reduces stress by releasing endorphins, which trigger a stress-relieving, positive feeling in the body.

Tackling this by exercising first thing hormonally sets you up for a positive, productive day.

Another way this reduces stress is, it very obviously, gets it over with early. It’s as simple as that.

You won’t be scrambling later on stressing to fit pilates or weight training in with your study schedule.

It’s already done. You can focus on other tasks because you’ve already prioritized your wellness, health, and fitness.

If you want to maintain a healthy mental and physical state, you must reduce stress.

Choose Breakfast Wisely

This may not apply to everyone especially if you intermittent fast.

But if you’re someone who struggles with anxiety or gets easily stressed focus on a breakfast high in protein & healthy fats.

Spiking your blood sugar levels early in the morning is not helping your mental or intellectual health.

Again, this may not apply to everyone, but this is a science-backed, strategic way to regulate your cortisol & blood sugar. This not only positively impacts your mental health, but it reduces cravings throughout the day.

It motivates you to chose your next meals wisely. And if life happens and you can’t eat ideally the rest of the day, you go to sleep knowing at least breakfast was a win!

You’ll feel more inclined to eat healthy throughout the day when you begin with a nourishing, healthy breakfast.

To avoid cravings, blood sugar spikes, & increased anxiety, eat a breakfast high in protein & healthy fat.

Practical Changes

So this is definitely not necessary to avoiding the freshman 15 & maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But if you spend most of the day studying or sitting at a desk, you should invest in a desk treadmill.

Having the ability to walk whilst working, even if it’s for 20 minutes at a time to give your body a chance to move, is such a luxury.

Getting the chance to work in an hour to walk outside every single day can be unreliable. We’re busy working or studying, not to mention it gets cold and rainy those winter months.

So having this desk treadmill at your disposal is great to help keep you lean, mobile, and productive.

This particular treadmill has a large desk for your laptop, Bluetooth speakers for your music or lectures, and folds for vertical or horizontal storage.

It’s a bit of an initial investment, but just know that you will thank yourself everything you’re on it.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining your health & fitness lifestyle is quite simple if you plan wisely and take simple, yet strategic steps to ensure your physical, mental, and intellectual health are taken into account.

Implementing these changes into your morning routine will increase your academic success without compromising your health.

Comment below any habits or tips I should add!