Freshman 15

As I was walking behind two freshmen the other day, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation about gaining the freshman fifteen. That got me to start thinking about why we gain weight our freshman year of college compared to every other year of school we have ever done.


You always hear parents saying that you gain the weight because you don’t have home cooked meals, but could that actually be the reason why? There is always an ample amount of quick fast food to pick up when you are late to class, but that could be the main cause of the weight gain. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, most people do not know how much calories are in the fast food products they eat. Most of these products are fried or use preservatives, which is very unhealthy for humans. This fact could help explain a lot about the sudden weight gain of freshman, since we know your body can only burn off so many calories before they start to turn to fat.


There was another fact that shocked me when I was reading this website abut how to beat the freshman fifteen, do not skip breakfast. The spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that skipping breakfast affects our metabolism and will make us eat more during the day compared to if you ate breakfast. I found this shocking because I am not a morning person so I am usually not hungry when I wake up and will go to class without eating. After reading that fact though, eating breakfast will become a new routine of my day.


The real killer when it comes to weight gain, in my eyes, is the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol is usually forgotten that it is filled with empty calories and carbs. You may not think that one glass of wine will do much to you, but drinking that wine has as much calories as a slice of cake does. Another misconception is that beer has more calories than vodka so students will just drink vodka. A light beer has about 103 calories in while most vodka has about 100 calories in, so there really isn’t much of a difference. There’s also the fact that when you are stumbling home at two in the morning and see food, there is a good chance you will buy some. This leads me back to my first point of eating badly and gaining weight.


Lastly, many students in high school, including myself, played a sport, which gave them exercise almost everyday and kept them in shape. But now coming to college, these students may not be playing a sport and excising which would lead to weight gain, especially if they are eating badly and drinking a lot.


All in all, if you are a freshman and afraid of gaining the famous “freshman fifteen”, then all you really have to do is just watch what you are eating, be careful how much you drink, and exercise when you can. These easy steps could help you defeat the odds of gaining weight.




6 thoughts on “Freshman 15

  1. Amanda Voirrey Rust

    I am a Sophomore now and every freshman that I talk to, I always mention this “freshman 15”. For me, it was real. Maybe even 20. I really can’t be too surprised though, because of my eating and drinking habits. In high school, I would balance my day out with a few smaller meals and then avoid snacking after 7 or 8pm. Once I got to college, late night eating just became the norm. I found this article explaining some negatives to eating at bedtime.
    I did walk to class every day, but this did not burn enough calories to compensate for what I was eating. Your blog is totally relatable, and If I can give any more advice it would be to get a step tracker, count calories, and definitely hit the gym!

  2. dhc5097

    I think it really comes down to what you eat. We are surrounded by hamburgers, chicken tenders, fries, soda, ice cream, etc and with our parents not here sometimes it is hard to avoid the temptations. If we all keep the right diet I think the freshman fifteen would be rare for college students. Here is a link to a article called “5 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever,” and it gives you good replacement foods and drinks to eat that will benefit your body.


    1. Jarrod T Skole Post author

      I agree with that 100%. If Penn State could give us a healthy option that would be quick to get and could eat it walking to class, I think it would help many students out.

  3. Peter Bott

    I agree with never skipping breakfast. Also another tip to help keep an eye on your weight is never eat right before you go to bed. Northwestern University (link below) preformed a test on mice giving half of them food in the morning and the other half at night. The mice that were fed at night gained twice as much weight as the mice fed in the morning.

  4. mjg6031

    I think the Freshmen 15 is real. I have not experienced it, however I can tell that it can happen. The gyms are super packed right now and people eventually stop going. People have their meal plans and some of them love the food too. Everything is prepared for you. Also, some people drink alcohol. Drinking beer is like eating a lot of bread. With the increase of alcohol, it can add to their gain. However, the reason I have not experienced it is because I have class that goes from early in the morning to late in the evening. I get up and do not have a chance to eat breakfast or lunch. I end up just eating dinner. I haven’t weighed myself since I’ve gotten to campus, however I think I may have lost weight. Here is an interesting link about the freshmen 15. Click here to see the article.

  5. Joe Garrett

    I thought that was an interesting point that skipping breakfast can actually cause more weight gain. I had never really thought that skipping breakfast can mess up your metabolism and appetite for the rest of the day. It would make sense though, that if breakfast is skipped our bodies would like to make up for the missed calories by eating more than we normally would throughout the day. I thought your post was well written and can apply to every person at Penn State, not just freshman.

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