As the spring semester kicks off, you might be feeling like it’s time to shed the extra pounds you gained during your first semester of college. Fighting the Freshman 15 can seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. Small changes can make a big difference and you can start your battle by avoiding, or at least limiting, these five Freshman 15 causing foods.
Photo by Francisco Javier Martin
#1 Freshman 15 Food: Pop
Yes, I’m from Michigan so I call it pop, but avoiding the empty calories in soda pop should be a given. One can of coke is 140 calories and has 39 grams of sugar. Just imagine what a Big Gulp would be.
#2 Freshman 15 Food: Pastries on the Go
When you need a little something between classes, a coffee shop pastry always sounds good, but is it really that bad for you? Generally, yes. Even healthy sounding pastries like banana bread can be full of fat and sugar. Starbucks publishes store specific nutrition facts and the banana nut bread on the University of Colorado campus is 490 calories with 19 grams of fat and 46 grams of sugar. Wow.
#3 Freshman 15 Food: Mixed Drinks
Yes I know the legal drinking age is 21 and freshman shouldn’t be drinking anyway, but who are we kidding? If you are going to drink, your drink choices can make a big difference. Choose a vodka soda (64 calories) instead of a vodka and tonic (147 calories) and for heaven’s sake, stay away from frozen fruit drinks. An 8 oz. margarita has 541 calories (source www.bodybugg.com). Yikes!
#4 Freshman 15 Food: Coffee Concoctions
When studying at a coffee shop on campus, your drink choice can make a huge difference. For instance, a Starbucks Grande Nonfat Latte has 130 calories, 0 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar while a Venti Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino has 600 calories, 15 grams of fat and 85 grams of sugar. Starbucks publishes its nutrition facts, so check out your favorite drink.
#5 Freshman 15 Food: Salad
No, this isn’t a typo. When students are forced to eat dorm food, they often turn to the salad bar for a healthy alternative. This can be a great choice, but watch what you put on your salad. Just one serving of ranch dressing is 146 calories with nearly 16 grams of fat (source www.bodybugg.com). Avoid croutons, bacon bits, and heavy salad dressings and don’t forget to watch your portion sizes.
By avoiding or limiting these five foods, you’ll be well on your way to winning the battle of the Freshman 15. For more information, check out our other Freshman 15 tips.