The popular term Freshman 15 refers to the idea that you will inevitably gain 15 pounds as a first-year student. While not actually inevitable, staying in a mental space where you want to eat healthy can be a challenge in your first year. From snacks between Zoom classes to late-night studying combined with a special visit from the Uber Eats guy, it is hard not to want to indulge.
Because many of us come of age during our time in school, alcohol consumption grows, which is a quick route to gaining weight. Dorm meals and snacks in between classes are a must. Finding quick access to food that’s actually good for your body… well. It’s a challenge.
It feels easier some days to skip a healthy home-cooked meal for something microwaved or ordered because you feel like you don’t have the time or energy to eat healthy. It can become a vicious mental and physical cycle.
A huge amount of our schedule is consumed by studying and projects. It’s more demand on our free time than we’ve ever experienced before. It’s not a crime to take the little time you have to socialize, or simply… relax.
Relaxing can be hard when you’re a student or really anyone. According to MedicineNet, 40% of adults say they have taken part in stress eating, while another 40% eat less when under stress. According to the American Psychology Association, 34% of adults admit to overeating and consuming unhealthy foods due to stress. Emotional eating can be linked to mental health illnesses such as depression.
Creating the time and space in your life to plan out your essentials can be daunting, but it is always ok to reach out to those around you when under stress, to prevent physical or mental damage.
For first-years adjusting to the big shift in settings and scheduling, there are countless ways to stay healthy.
Meal prepping is a smart and fun way to make sure you stay meeting your nutritional needs during the week. Taking only a bit of time on a Sunday night to prepack yourself snacks or meals in preparation for the busy week can set you up.
Wellness apps have recently been on the rise in popularity because people feel like they need support. The app ‘Am I Hungry‘ is available on Apple and Android. It is directed to resolve stress eating and promote a healthy eating cycle. The app ‘Insight Timer’ is directed to improve mental and physical health. With high reviews and free of charge, it is available to both Apple and Android users. As technology becomes more advanced, take advantage of the resources at your fingertips.
At the end of the day, sometimes all we need is to take a step back from the stress. Take time for yourself and do what makes you happy. Prioritize your personal time as much as you do your work, which is honestly easier said than done. One can’t simply ignore stress; however, you can work toward beating it. Keeping yourself, as a whole, healthy will be the key to success: mind and body.
Remember that the most important priority you have is to stay healthy and care about yourself. Whether that’s going for a quick jog or ordering that overtaxed delivery food at 1 am. Enjoy your years as a student and do what makes you happy.
Anyways… did someone just say Triple O’s Tuesday?