Stepping away from home into hostel or flatting life can frequently be linked with a change in weight. Yes that new found freedom often leads to small lifestyle changes that over a year can have quite an impact on weight, typically weight gain and often referred to as the ‘Fresher 5’.
It’s a time in our lives when we are able to pack plenty into our days – study hard, work hard, enjoy our sport and fitness and be out socialising and connecting with new people. These are years when we should have great energy, keep good health and feel fabulous about ourselves! Maintaining an ideal body weight is an important factor in this – so let’s put a few tips together:
- It’s tempting to sleep in, roll out of bed just in time to get to lecturers or work, but breakfast is the meal most likely to determine the journey of your weight over your life. If you’re in a residence with breakfast provided it only takes 10 minutes to pop into the dining room to ‘fuel up’. If you’re flatting a quick bowl of cereal with generous yoghurt or toast with a topping of eggs, baked beans or leftovers will set you up well for the day
- Without the structure of 3 meals per day it’s easy to slide into snacking. Snack foods are typically refined and carbohydrate based so only give short term appetite control, which promotes that spiral of more snacking
- Keep active – there are plenty of opportunities to continue with sport or join new teams or clubs. But it’s not like school where this is organised, you’ll need to find out when trials are and get yourself along! And of course it’s pretty easy to team up with a few others and head out on foot to explore your new environment
- Keep a water bottle with you. Energy drinks, smoothies and juices all put you on an easy track to weight gain. Water comes at the right price and is the best fluid for hydration
- Of course there will be alcohol and yes it does have calories, but it’s also an appetite stimulant! Aim for keeping it mainly to 1 night of the week and easing up on the others
Having direction and setting up good routines from the beginning may take a bit of practice, but is well worth it!