To know did you gain a lot of weight in college….read on this article…
In a study, a group of researchers from the Journal of American College Health found that “about 70 % of students tend to put on a significant amount of weight from the start of college to the year leading to the same”.
Many freshers of college tend to put on a significant amount of weight gain, even if they never had such issues before. In this generation, it is common for the students to suffer from obesity due to homesickness, combined with the difficulty of choosing right and healthy foods when open to various inexpensive fast food options around campus.
Possible reasons to gain a lot of weight in college are:
- Stress During College life:
Even the most competent student feels stressed when the crucial time near midterms, final exams or term papers. Being away from home, and losing the comfort zone combined with the workload can cause stress for students. For freshers, the stress associated with college life can be something new and can lead to weight gain. Stress leads to a higher level of Cortisol hormone in one’s body which results in gaining more weight.
- Irregular eating habits:
As many students who enter the college phase choose to stay in a hostel, they are not able to home-cooked meals very often. Between fast food and midnight snacks, it is easy to pack on the pounds. Unhealthy snacking and calorie-loaded foods lead to significant weight gain, and over time it can lead to serious health issues.
- Less Time for Exercise:
Students are often involved in sports and extracurricular activities during their school time, which are usually enough to keep young metabolism going and these things often change in college. A college student is just like a Busy-Bee. Bound between classes, and social events, many students have little time to exercise. Although it is important, exercise often falls behind due to other things happening in college life, and this is the case that college freshers mostly experience.
How college students can live a healthy lifestyle and avoid gaining weight:
- Keeping handy healthy snacks: The student’s room should be stocked with healthy & filling snacks, such as fruit, brown bread, peanut butter, Greek yoghurt, hummus etc.
- Drink plenty of water: College students need to stay hydrated to have a healthy; stress-free life. They must avoid soft drinks or alcoholic beverages as too many calories from them can lead to weight gain. These drinks also raise sugar levels in the blood, which ultimately leads to increased hunger and unhealthy snacking.
- Staying active: Exercise plays an important role in staying fit and healthy. College students can increase their daily activity level by going to the gym, walking or participating in sports.
- Eat regular meals: Regular skipping of meals can lead to imbalance of diet and weight gain. One must not skip eating breakfast as it helps to jumpstart the metabolism and provides more energy to concentrate during classes.
- Getting enough sleep: Sleeping less than six hours can extremely disturb hormone levels that control appetite and metabolism. Not getting an adequate amount of good sleep often craves high-calorie junk food that the body can quickly break down for energy, which again leads to weight issues.
College students who are concerned about gaining weight, also hold the power to discontinue their unhealthy schedules.
Poor diet, lack of exercise and stress are the main factors in a college student’s life and understanding which of these factors are becoming an issue, one can reverse the trend. One must invest in healthier alternatives for snacking in late-night study sessions.
Students must develop a habit of doing exercise or hitting the gym at least 4-5 times a week, or take up an active hobby like dancing or jogging. With changed and conscious living, a college student can turn the tables and have a healthy lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do College students prefer fast food over healthy meals?
Fast food is the most convenient way of eating even when its nutritional value is questionable. Having high amounts of sodium, corn syrup & fats; fast food has been connected to the main reason for obesity in students. Unfortunately, due to their lack of practical knowledge when it comes to eating good, healthy food, students look upon the desire for easy to eat and tasty meals.
Why are college Freshers more prone to weight gain?
Many new high school graduates are not fully prepared to live an independent lifestyle while in college. Up to this point, most of their meals had been prepared by their mother while they stayed at home. These newcomers lack proper management of their schedule and eating habits.
What are the best healthy food options for college students?
Students must take a properly balanced diet comprising complete macronutrients and micronutrients. For a college-going student, the best healthy food options can include fruits (like apples, bananas, plums, kiwi, grapefruits), nuts( like almonds, cashew nuts) and some green vegetables.