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Fit Foodie Talk: Beat the "Freshman 15"

"Freshman 15" is an expression commonly used in North America that refers to weight gained during a student's first year at college ('15' refers to pounds gained - somewhat arbitrarily!). In Australia and New Zealand it's sometimes called the First Year Fatties, Fresher Spread, or Fresher Five (as in five-kilo weight gain).
Studies show that 1 out of 4 students on average gain 3 to 10 pounds during their first 2 years of college. Most of this weight gain occurs during the first semester of freshman year. The main factors contributing to this are:

  • Liberty to eat any types of foods in large quantities and at any time of the day

  • Increased alcohol intake

  • Decreased exercise activities compared to high school

  • Increased levels of stress and lack of sleep

Some weight gain is normal as an adolescent body grows and metabolism shifts, but pronounced or rapid weight gain may become a problem. People who are overweight when they're young have a greater likelihood of being overweight as adults. Poor diet and exercise habits in college can lead to a path toward heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and may increase the risk for developing certain cancers. Besides weight gain, unhealthy food choices are counterproductive to the energy and concentration levels needed for students to meet the demands of college.

The good news is that this is preventable!

I offer a variety of customized fitness and nutrition packages tailored for students and young adults heading off to university or boarding schools. Ask me today how I can help your child, student (and classmates) beat the Freshman 15!

I offer "Beat the Freshman 15" sessions, which are presented in the format of "Fit Foodie Talks" covering a range of health and nutrition topics. They can run for either 60 or 90 minutes (depending on preferred/available time). These relaxed and informative talks highlight key issues facing young adults today and are presented in an interactive, engaging manner and provide practical and science-based advice that can be implemented right away. 

Topics are tailored to your student's need, but may include:

  • Ideal foods for mental alertness, clarity and concentration

  • Common food myths and misconceptions explained

  • How to read food nutrition labels

  • What to eat at the dining hall and how to 'right-size' meal portions

  • Importance of breakfast and 'grab-and-go' ideas

  • Healthy snacks to keep in the dorm and in the backpack

  • Lifestyle tips on how to improve energy, sleep and promote weight loss

  • Exercise guidelines

  • Lifestyle and stress management

If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring this talk (and others) to your schools, parents associations and other communities, please feel free to reach me over email.

Make the change, one small step at a time!

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