The school year is just beginning and freshmen are enjoying the freedom away from home. Partying, meeting new friends, joining various school activities and gaining the unexpected weight. The freshman 15 as we all call it, but for some 20, 25, 30 can be depressing and is in fact a reality. This article will help guide the new as well as the old into tips on how to avoid gaining the weight, taken from someone who has “been there before”.

As a senior in college, I reminisce on the freshmen days where I used to eat at Cook Out at three in the morning, binge on the medium five dollar pizza special at Papa Johns and dwell in the greasy, aromatic lo mein from Shanghei. Trust me as I tell you, it all and I do mean all, catches back to you gradually over time. Now this article is not meant to scare you into not eating these calorie filled cuisines but you have to remember that these should be eaten in moderation, and not consumed every Friday and Saturday night while hanging out with your friends.

  • Campus Dining Tips

There are some healthy choices while eating on campus. Between Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A and Lil Dino’s, I recommend Lil’ Dino’s 4 inch subs with a bag of baked chips and preferably water to drink as the healthiest option of the 3. Skip the French fries or onion rings as fried foods do pack on calories and fat and skip the sodas as they contain sugar which can directly cause weight gain. According to, a health and weight loss website, soda contains about 20 tablespoons of sugar per can.

The dining hall can be a healthy option, but just remember that while it is an all you can eat buffet type of place, try sticking to one plate and a salad for a healthy option.

The C-store does sell healthy options: trail mix, baked chips, soups, salads, spring rolls and more. You can ask the available employees about healthy options, and I am pretty sure they will be glad to assist you.

  • Campus Resources

There are resources on campus that will help you chose healthy options. According to NCSU dining webpage, Lisa Eberhart “has 17 years of experience as a registered and licensed dietician and has been providing dietary consultation to University Dining since 1995”.  You can make an appointment with her by calling the student health appointment desk at 515-7107 or use the student health online scheduler.

Available on the university dining webpage, is a link to finding out the nutrition value of dining hall menu items, which can become resourceful if you are not sure how many calories are in a certain food item. There are also several other links such as: calorie information and counters, information for eating out, general nutrition information and a guide to campus cooking.

There is a free gym! Take advantage of it now while you can, if not then when you leave the university you will be paying for it later. According to the Balleys’ total fitness website, you will most likely be paying $29.99 per month for gym access. There are two gyms, one located at the D building of Wolf Village, and the other at Carmichael Gym. Not only does Carmichael gym have a gym, but there are several scheduled fitness exercises: yoga, pilates, zumba and so forth.

As you embark on this new school year just remember that there are healthy options available on campus as well as many resources that are made available. Eat healthy and engage in exercises and you will not have to worry about gaining weight throughout the four or five years of your undergraduate career. And remember, don’t eat it just because its there.