Large meals and binge eating cause freshman 15

Carleigh Thrower

photo by Yasmeen El-Jayyousi
photo by Yasmeen El-Jayyousi
As seniors start to enter into their freshmen year of college the excitement is almost unbearable.  Teens can’t wait to leave the house they’ve spent years growing up in for a chance to be independent.  They can be free from parental constraint, yes the annoying eyes looming over you at every turn that can leave many gasping for a fresh start.  Although with all this excitement comes an often busy and stressful lifestyle, a lifestyle that not all teens are used to and often leave them to the regretful binge eating and unhealthy snacking.  Not only does this affect your overall health it also can lead that the seemingly mythological “freshmen 15.”
Yes we’ve all heard it, the freshmen fifteen.  It looms over student’s heads almost as much a studying for the biology test an hour from now.  Mostly from a combination of stress, changes in lifestyle and eating habits play the biggest role according to About.com.
“I think it’s very important for incoming freshmen to realize it can happen to them,” University of Missouri freshman Kacey Bradshaw said.  “‘The Freshmen Fifteen’ sounds like some sort of mythical thing, and nobody think they’re actually going to struggle with it.  You need to be honest with yourself so that you can go into college with a plan.”
University cafeterias don’t help the matter.  Stocked head to toe with fatty, oily foods, students fall prey to the often tempting treats. The buffet style cafeterias promote unhealthy portion sizes as well as encouraging second and third portions.
“It astonishes me how much food they have there. And you can just go back and keep getting more!” Bradshaw said. “If you have good self-control, you won’t struggle in this area because you can eat normal portions, but the food still isn’t that healthy. Another thing wrong with that food is that you don’t really know what you’re putting into your body, calories, carbs, sugars, a lot of the food is way unhealthier than most people think.”
Universities although are trying to curb their large portion habits by providing nutritional information on the food they serve as well as trying to make the healthy choice the easy choice says University of Missouri Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Professor Ellen Schuster.
“You’re more likely to overeat or make unhealthy choices when hungry, keep healthy snacks available so unhealthy, high calorie snacks don’t tempt you, limit liquid calories – a lot of calories come from sugary drinks or smoothies, be physically active to reduce stress, you also spend time burning calories, not eating!” Schuster said. “Also get enough sleep,there’s research that links sleep quality/quantity to healthy weight.”
It’s even harder to keep off the pounds when you’re a culinary student, constantly surrounded by rich, decatent foods.  Senior, Mallory Barnes will be attending the Culinary Institute of America next fall and says that although she will be babarded with food options she feels her busy schedule will keep her away from eating what she cooks.
“Well at the ‘Culinary Institute of America’ we have a lot of choices from foie gras to t bone steaks to croissants,” Barnes said.  “But they also have healthier choices like local salads.  So just choosing things to eat will be a way to avoid gaining weight.  Also they have a really good althletic center and sports teams so I’m planning on utilizing both.”
Using the opportunities that the school provides will be another addition to help you stay at a healthy weight.  Freqent excercises and increased heart rate burn calories and create endorfensed which in turn help you stay postive.  It is easy to become overwhelmed in a new enviroment, although doing things that benifit you in the long run will ultimately give a more healthy outlook.
“Students may find themselves ‘saving’ calories during the day in order to drink at night – this too can lead to drinking too much (too many calories) and when you drink too much you may not be aware of what or how much you are eating,”Schuster said. “Eating fruits and vegetables can fill you up with few calories. Keeping a food diary or food journal can help you identify when you are eating and perhaps most importantly, why – are you stressed, sad, lonely, etc.”
By Carleigh Thrower