How many times have you reunited with one of your older friends from college, only to notice that they’ve visibly gained a lot of weight during their first year of college? It’s become so commonplace that some people tend to think it’s inevitable. However, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape while you’re in college if you truly want to make your health a priority. This should especially be the case if you are planning to play for one of your college’s sports teams. After all, if you can’t keep yourself in top form, you might get kicked off the team – and there goes your scholarship. Here is how to avoid dreaded weight gain in college.

Start a Consistent Exercise Regimen

If you don’t want to worry about the freshman 15, you’re going to have to start working out on a regular basis. The fact is, with all of the time that you end up sitting in class, reading, writing papers and studying, your lifestyle will become extremely sedentary. That’s why you need to make sure that you’re working out on a consistent basis. This means at least 30 minutes to an hour, three times per week.

Avoid Eating Out

One of the best ways to pack on the pounds is by eating out at restaurants and fast food joints all the time. The problem is that a lot of these places don’t have very healthy options, and there’s no way to really know exactly what kinds of ingredients they use. However, when you buy all of your own groceries, you will know exactly what you’re eating.

Learn How to Cook

Once you start to buy your own groceries on a regular basis, you’re going to need to learn how to cook all of your food. You could just buy frozen foods, but those choices are not only less healthy, they’re also a lot more expensive. Most people gain weight their freshman year because they don’t have their mom’s home cooking to rely on. So why not ask your mom for all of her recipes? You can even have her teach you over


Keep Snacks on You at all Times

It’s one thing to start making your own breakfast, lunch and dinner, but what about when you get hungry between meals? Most of the snacks that you find in the vending machines and snack bars on campus are not very healthy. That’s why you want to keep things like fruit, nuts, trail mix or granola bars on you at all times.

Don’t Party Too Much

One of the other major ways that college students tend to put on weight is by drinking too much. Not only are the alcoholic beverages that they consume very high in calories, but most students tend to eat greasy foods when they’re intoxicated, which can really slow down the metabolism. Even if you don’t start to gain weight, you want to take it easy on the partying, because it can really get in the way of your studies – especially if you’re studying at a prestigious college like the University of Cincinnati.