Shelley Smyth’s Tips to Steer Clear of ‘Freshmen 15’

Nobody wants to be THE friend that comes home over Christmas Break 15 pounds heavier.

Shelley Smyth knows most college freshmen want to do everything possible to avoid the dreaded ‘Freshmen 15.’

Smyth is a nutrition and exercise counselor at the Fort Worth Medi Weigh Loss Clinic. She has helped patients lose weight from 10 to over 100 pounds, and wants to help incoming students from gaining weight at college.

Smyth has come up with a few easy tips to help freshmen steer clear of any unwanted weight gain. She says everyone needs to keep in mind that “you do have to make sacrifices,” but for many students it’s worth it.

Smyth has six main nutrition tips and four exercise tips that are key to avoiding any weight gain.

Nutrition Tips:

1. Make sure you keep fresh, healthy snacks in your dorm room fridge: Keep your fridge stocked with fruits and vegetables, low-fat ranch dressing, hummus, lean deli meats and white cheese.

2. Watch your portion sizes: SMU’s Umphrey Lee cafeteria may seem like the perfect place to let yourself indulge in all they have to offer, especially their deserts, but Smythe says you need to eat to live rather than live to eat.

3. Commit to saying no to bread, rice, potatoes and pasta

4. Focus the majority of your food choices on lean proteins: Keep lots of deli meats in your fridge. Chicken breast is also a good source of protein. Grocery stores have microwavable chicken breasts and chicken fajita strips, both are excellent to keep in your dorm room.

5. For those of legal age, watch your alcohol intake: One of the biggest contributors to weight gain is an increase in alcohol consumption. Be sure to stick to light beers. Also, don’t let yourself think a late night In-N-Out run is a good idea, you will most likely regret it in the morning. It helps to have a buddy with you to help you say no if you think you don’t have enough self restraint.

6. Write down EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth: A food journal is very important. It makes you think twice about what you are eating if you have to write it down.

Exercise Tips: 

1. Try all different types of exercise until you find something you enjoy: Not only is SMU’s gyms well equipped with workout machines and weights, but the facility also offers Group X classes. These classes offer a range of different workouts including kickboxing, yoga and cycling.

2. Once you’ve found a few activities you enjoy, find a buddy to join you

3. Don’t let time be an excuse. This is the most free time you will have for the rest of your life

4. Use music to motivate: Having upbeat music to keep you going will help your workout go by a lot faster.

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