Undated (WXOW) - It's widely recognized that when freshmen hit the college dorm cafeterias, weight gain is inevitable. It's called the freshman 15, but some experts say not everyone puts on the weight.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the average weight gain of freshmen is about half that at seven pounds. A recent study out of the Ohio State University found that number is even lower, students gained about three pounds during their first year of school.
However, any amount of excess weight can negatively impact one's health.
Here are a few tips to keep college students on track. First, watch the liquid calories. Beverages do not satisfy hunger the same way that food does and calories can add up fast. Plain water is always a good choice.
Eat regular meals and don't skip breakfast in exchange for a few more minutes of sleep. Choose to eat whole foods instead of processed ones with a lot of additives.
Get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation, or getting less than six hours of sleep a night, can negatively impact your appetite and metabolism. Aim for seven to nine hours.
Finally, remember to make time for regular exercise. Experts say to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. They point out that belly fat puts people at risk for heart disease and diabetes.