Campus Life

Fighting The Freshman 15 (or 20, Even)

I've posted a few times here about what to pack for college. Those of you who will be headed out to the higher education hinterlands next fall need to include one seldom mentioned but absolutely critical item: a bathroom scale. Don't laugh. Take it from a guy whose weight chart looks like a ride on Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster. Weight gains and losses of 20, 30, even 50 pounds are no strangers to me.

I can offer some insight into the reasons behind freshman year weight gains. First of all, there's a group psychology at work, maybe even a "mob mentality," if you will. First of all for many freshmen, it's their first time away from the authoritarian eyes of Mom and Dad. This factor alone can lead to some unbridled enthusiasm when it comes to chucking discipline and controlling one's appetites (of all kinds). Second, when you find yourself among a throng of like-minded revelers, concerns about holistic well-being often get tossed like a beer can out of a car window (not that I've ever done that). So, you may find yourself being swept along in a contiguous series of weekends that begin on Thursdays. So much for moderation.

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