Skip Nav
Weight gain
5 Ways to Tone Your Tummy
10 Tabata Workouts That Will Help You Burn Some Serious Calories
Fitness Gear
Workout Clothes to Show Off Your Love of Wine

The Truth Behind the Freshman 15

It is back to school season and when I asked you all recently if you gained the freshman 15, many of you responded that you had indeed gained some weight; the amounts varied though. According to a new study, about one in four freshmen gain at least five percent of their body weight during their first semester at college. This averages out to be about 10 pounds — a little over two pounds per month. The freshman weight seems to strike both men and women equally for in this study, performed at a midsized Midwestern university, there was no significant difference in the amount of weight gained between women and men. What's to blame: the study points the finger at all you can eat dining halls on most college campuses.

If you or one of your loved ones are headed off to college, it is important to remember to stay active during the transition from high school to college. Endless servings of mashed potatoes and soft serve ice cream are not the best way to deal with the new stress of life on campus.

Join The Conversation
seldomyes seldomyes 7 years
I too lost weight my first year - in fact, I lost 15 pounds, rather than gaining 15. It was mostly the walking that did it. Also, the dorm dining did not really appeal to me. Most of the food tasted bland (this is what happens when you come from a household that is always stocked with spices). So I started eating a lot of salads and fresh fruit instead.
sourcherry sourcherry 7 years
I live in Portugal and we don't have all you can eat dining halls here. In fact, if one eats at campus everyday, he'll be actually having a fairly healthy diet. For each meal we get a normal sized portion of one of the 3, 4 dishes on the menu that day, and optional soup and desert. But desert is usually a small portion of jelly, or a yogurt, so there's not much harm there... For me the problem is definitely all the junk food you feel like eating while pulling all nighters to study. I managed to stay the same weight, but I had to practice a little more self control than I used to...
a-million-suns a-million-suns 7 years
It was definitely the dining hall. So much junky food and all-you-can-eat. And you had to walk right past the soft serve machine on the way out! Not fair.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I gained weight right away in college mostly because things weren't as structured as they were at home. At home, all I could choose for breakfast was cereal or a bagel. At the dorm cafeteria, they had donuts and cappuccinos and waffles and eggs and bacon, etc. I was like "OOH, waffles and syrup for breakfast on a Wednesday...rock on!" I did that until I gained 30 lbs and then realized I had to have more discipline or I'd end up weighing 300 lbs before I graduated.
ClassicalTorture ClassicalTorture 7 years
I actually lost weight in college. I had been in the suburbs, but my school was in the city, so I started walking a lot more. I was too impatient to stand in line for a lot of the food in the dining hall, so I would go to the less crowded salad bar most nights. And I didn't drink! It's not hard to avoid the freshman 15.
bengalspice bengalspice 7 years
I don't think the all you can eat dining halls had anything to do with my 20-30 pounds ... I blame mono. I was bedridden for so long that I just plumped up. I think I've gained weight more noticeably after college since I'm not eating as healthy as I did in college.
syako syako 7 years
Oh, and don't forget the 2:30 a.m. stops at Jack-in-the-box post alcohol intake...
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
That's what I was thinking. I knew a lot of girls who avoided mashed potatoes and ice cream but took in plenty of alcohol.
syako syako 7 years
Beer and copious amounts of fruity cocktails?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
mmmm..... how about BEER.
Moms You Meet on PTA
Kitchen Tools
Chicken and Beer Recipes
Easy Slow-Cooked Meals
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds