15 ways to beat the freshman 15


Photo illustration: Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Having a routine workout regimen and friends to work out with will help motivate you to stay fit and active during college.

Rachel Geronimo

When it comes to being a freshman, it’s definitely hard to ignore all the goodies with which we find ourselves indulging. Quit beating around the bush and notice that there are 15 little ways to make a huge difference on beating the freshman 15.


Walk. Yes, walk.

Why not run, bike or even walk to your classes? Not only will your body get a good workout from it, but you will avoid bus drivers closing the door in your face when the bus gets too full. So avoid lines, enjoy the scenery and walk around Iowa State’s 490-acre campus. Headphones and music are suggested.

Elevators are not your friend. 

Take the stairs. Whether you’re walking or running the stairs, you can work out those hamstrings and glutes by skipping between steps when walking up. Not only will you get a mini workout in, but your butt will definitely thank you for this decision next spring.


At the end of the day, thank your hardworking brain by giving it some fresh air. Relax and take the long route back to your dorm. 

Cravings are evil. 

Face it — we all find ourselves tempted to eat that chocolate cake that has been taunting us for days. Skip cravings with alternatives. Try a favorite fruit with fat-free whipped cream for those sweet cravings or simply replace those fried photo chips with some cheddar wheat crackers.

Be a chef. 

Cook for yourself once and awhile instead of going to the dining center or a restaurant. Find some good, healthy recipes online that are not only filling but delicious as well. 

Drink water. 

Did you know that your brain is 90 percent water? Actually, your entire body is 70 percent water and the majority of your blood is composed of water along with every cell in the body. Water promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins, improves complexion and more. Ever feel like you need a cleanse? Try to drink about a gallon of water a day for a week and see how refreshed you are!


Build a workout regimen suited to your lifestyle and stay consistent. 


Empower yourself. 

Stamp a motivational quote somewhere you can see it. Memorize this quote and then stamp a new one. If you tell yourself, “I’m going to the gym tomorrow at 4 p.m.,” then go to the gym tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Social media

Ever heard the saying “misery loves company”? Follow positivity and avoid drama.

Food is a teacher. 

Be aware of what you’re eating and keep track throughout the day. Learn your suggested caloric intake for your body type and monitor your eating habits. Balance is key and will help you from consuming unnecessary calories.


Motivate others to keep aware of their health and motivate yourself to remain aware. Also, don’t get discouraged. Being healthy is a journey, not a destination.



Junk food plus moderation plus balance equals yes.

Junk food plus oversized proportions plus stress equals no. 

We all know comfort food is probably the best food ever created, right? But the fact is that most comfort food choices are far from being dense in essential nutrients. Instead, try eating whole foods when stress puts you in action. This behavior can save you from being a step closer to the big “15.”


Stop emotional eating and find alternative ways to get your mind off problems. Go play frisbee or dance to some music. Essentially, just make yourself busy and find extracurricular activities on campus.


Be prepared. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, deal with it and gain your confidence. Start doing things for yourself that make you smile.

Go Frozen. 

Let it go. Suck in all the stupid emotions and let out the good ones. It doesn’t feel good to let all those stressful emotions build. There is a student counseling service open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday located on the third floor of the Student Services Building.