Ryan Chartrand

College is here. You’re busy making new friends, hanging out with old ones and battling large amounts of homework from the first few weeks of classes. The last thing on your mind is your waistline.

It is now a few weeks into the quarter; you get up for an early class and pick out a pair of jeans you got back home. You struggle to pull them on and try to close the zipper in vain. These jeans fit in the dressing room, so what happened?

That’s when you realize that you are a victim of the dreaded “Freshman 15.” It gets better: The weight gain doesn’t stop after freshman year. Any student on campus can fall prey to its keen eye. No one can really blame you either, you’re a busy college student with more important things to worry about than keeping your one and only body healthy. But remember this well: poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity cause most weight gain.

Most Cal Poly students are not nutrition majors, but eating healthy is as simple as listening to your mother. Eat your vegetables is sound advice, but who wants to eat rabbit food when you can have a nice slice of pizza at Backstage instead? Starchy choices are abound at campus eateries and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that too many carbohydrates aren’t the best dietary choice. Try to add something green to each meal.

It is no secret that America has difficulty with understanding the art of portion control, which is one reason why, doctors suggest, America is having an obesity problem.

Campus Dining doesn’t help by making most of their portions too big for anyone but those with insanely high metabolisms and bottomless stomachs. Guys, I’m looking at you.

Instead of having to pay full price for a half-portion, eat only until you are sated, not stuffed to the point of explosion, and take the rest home. Not only will you not over-eat, but you’ll also save some money on food.

Then there is the problem with exercise. If you’re going to the gym for an hour every few days, congratulations because you probably don’t need to read any farther.

However, if you think that all the exercise you’re going to need is walking up and down the glorious hills of Cal Poly on your way to and from class, start saving your money for a new, roomier wardrobe and keep reading.

Cal Poly offers numerous exciting ways to increase your calorie burning. Besides using the extensive gym at the Rec Center, there are also exercise, martial arts, and even dance classes which you can join for a small fee, and that’s not including the aquatics center, intramural sports programs, and open recreation sports.

If the gym is not your thing, never fear, just go exploring. Find a walking or biking partner and explore Cal Poly’s botanical gardens, what’s left of Poly Canyon, or downtown San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly even offers ballroom dancing and karate classes.

You can earn credits and be able to defend yourself or impress your date! Those of you too busy or lazy to leave your rooms much can buy weights and do crunches in-between studying.

How you would like to defeat the “Freshman 15” is up to you, however, studies show that college educated people live longer. Just imagine how much longer you could live if you ate right, exercised regularly and maintained a healthier lifestyle. Why the freshman fifteen wouldn’t even be a blip on your scale.

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