How to avoid the freshman 15

Cory Sparks, Editor in Chief

Some UW Oshkosh students have found a way to conquer the notorious ‘freshman 15’ by using various campus resources to their advantage.

April Lee / Advance-Titan
Students have many different options for healthy living on campus

As many students leave home for the first time and, if they’re on the meal plan, have full reign when it comes to what foods they eat, the notorious ‘freshman 15’ rings in the ears of many as they try to balance school with health and wellness.

The freshman 15 refers to a college freshman gaining 15 pounds of body fat due to the freedom of being able to eat whatever they would like and the stress of school compiling on top of them.

Although the concept may appear rather daunting to some, there are some UWO students who routinely partake in physical activity to stay happy and healthy on campus.

“I always make sure to hit the gym on campus,” UWO junior Tyrus Washington said. “The most important thing is consistency.”

While the UWO Rec and Wellness Center is an option that many use to fight off the freshman 15 and seek self improvement, other students use the great outdoors to get their cardio in consistently.

“I stay active by going for a run 5-6 days a week,” UWO Junior and former cross country runner Jackson Antos said. “On my off days I’ll bike as an alternative. I like to average around 40 miles a week.”

While staying active and putting oneself in a caloric deficit, a state where more calories are burned than consumed, helps fend off what the body consumes, making healthy food choices also has a huge hand in avoiding weight gain.

Washington took a swing at the keto diet in his freshman year, and he connected. The keto diet is one that heavily limits the consumption of carbs and sugar.

“I try to eat a keto diet. Try is the key word. Some days, if I really want pizza or a dessert, I will have it,” he said.

Antos didn’t do the keto diet, but he did watch his food selections while still remembering to reward himself here and there.

“I did my best to choose the better options that Blackhawk Commons had to offer without being overly strict,” he said. “[I would] still enjoy a cup of ice cream with dinner every night.”

Washington’s motivation to take on a healthy lifestyle in college, which resulted in him dropping 50 pounds in his freshman year, stems from his want to be around his family for a very long time.

“Living a longer life is my motivation. I want to see my grandkids and great grandkids someday,” Washington said.

Antos stays motivated thanks to his constant urge to compete at requiring him to be in shape.

He mainly wants to compete in coordinated races against others despite not running for a cross country team since high school.

“My motivation to stay in shape is pure competitiveness. I love to compete in anything and everything I can,” Antos said. “[The] easiest way to compete at our age without being in an organized club of organization is by racing in organized races.”

While an increased freedom of choice with food and weight gain have a chance of going and in hand, Washington encourages students to flip the freshman 15 into a weight loss story instead.

“Don’t fear the unknown, conquer it,” he said. “Try to eat healthy when you can and the freshman 15 might mean losing 15 pounds.”