Secret causes of gaining weight, losing weight in college besides diet and exercise

Eat healthy, exercise isn't always enough to lose weight

If you are in college, you might already know about the Freshman Fifteen.  It’s when high school graduates go away to college, and gain 15 pounds their first year away from home.  Some people don’t notice until they come home for Christmas and their families see the change, while others discover that their clothes were ‘shrinking in the laundry’.

The two major causes of the Freshman Fifteen are usually changes in eating and exercising.  Changing diet means less healthy food and more Taco Bell and Domino’s pizza.  And an all-you-can-eat plan often means that every meal turns into a feast, without the person knowing it.  College students often spend more time studying and less time exercising, and that makes getting a fat belly, flabby arms and a ‘muffin top’ easier than ever!

This article covers the basic of the Freshman Fifteen, but it’s only part of the story!

But getting in shape is more than eating healthy and getting some exercise.  There are many secret ways and hidden weight loss tips that help you lose the extra 10 or 15 pounds, and keep the weight off through bikini season. Knowing the facts help you stay thin, avoid the freshman fifteen, or even get in shape when you go to college!

Secret #1:  You're not a little kid anymore.  Sure, when you were younger, your body needed energy to grow.  And if you had a day where you ate a quart of ice cream and six slices of pizza for lunch, your body would use that extra energy.  But that super-calorie-burning switch isn't "on" anymore.  But if you still pig-out on a regular basis as an adult, those extra calories have nowhere else to go but to extra flab. 

To get ready for swimsuit season, see this article (link) to learn the easy way to keep a food diary.

Secret #2:  You're under pressure and a stress monkey.  Your mental health is important to your physical health, and stress, if not handled properly, can lead to depression, anxiety, or anger.  But it also triggers your body to produce stress hormones.  These hormones encourage your body to store extra calories, putting your body in 'survival mode'.  Even worse, that extra fat is more likely to be stored as visceral belly fat, which is the least attractive and the most harmful to your health.  That’s the last thing you want to do when you are trying to lose weight.

To lose belly fat and keep it off - Get a schedule, and stick to it.  Include time for shopping and cooking good meals, and 30-45 minutes of exercise each day.  Exercise is excellent for fighting stress, and healthy eating, including cutting out the caffeine, supports lower stress.  And using workouts as a special time where you put away work stress and home stress helps you lose weight in two ways at once!

Check out this article for an easy exercise program that keeps you in shape and relieves stress!


Secret #3:  You need to get a full night’s sleep, every night.  Not only does it help your stress level, but sleep is needed for your body to build muscle, and keep your body "in the groove" for maximum health. 

Your body loses weight better when stress is low, and your body isn't under 'survival pressure'.  Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night is important to help lose weight, especially belly fat.

Secret #4:  You've discovered alcohol.  OK, this isn’t a secret.  You've been invited to the party, your parents are far away, and you're an adult, right?  Beer is the college drink of choice, and sweet drinks like wine coolers and really popular with younger drinkers.  Add on a rum and coke, or other drink with a sugary soda, and you have added up hundreds of extra calories. 

You’ve heard that alcohol lowers your judgment, right?  That can be a big factor, too.  After one or two drinks, you aren't drunk.  It's not enough to get a hangover, or act stupid.  But you lose a little control - often enough to say "I'll just eat what I want for one day - who cares?"  But that extra snacking can make a big difference in your body and health.  Alcohol already affects your liver, increasing your sugar level and directing every extra calorie into your belly.  If you are eating extra junk food on top of a drink or two, the Freshman Fifteen will turn your body from fit to flabby in a couple of months.

To stay in shape, stay away from alcohol at parties.  Grab a bottle of water (or bring your own), and drink slowly all night.  Alternatively, you can grab a club soda flavored with juice, or even just a single soda that lasts you a few hours.  That’s enough to keep you in the party, without it turning into a ‘belly hangover’ on your belt!