Can You Lose Weight in College?
When it comes to weight loss, one question that may pop up is, “can you lose weight in college”? This was a question I had pondered for a while when trying to figure out how to even begin with weight loss and health years before I decided to change my lifestyle. Safe to say, I had no idea of how to even begin in the first place. When you hear “college” and “weight” discussed in the same sentence it is usually in the context of that dreaded “freshman fifteen”. As confused as I was in the beginning, I am here to tell you that yes, you can lose weight in college! It is possible! The two biggest factors that come into play are education and mindset. Keep reading if you are interested in discussing how to begin losing weight in college.
First and foremost, I want to add a quick little explanation here. When discussing weight loss, I am discussing it in the context of fat loss. Remember there are different ways to be healthier depending on your personal goals. Such goals include weight gain (referring to muscle gain because muscle is denser than fat — meaning that muscle weighs more than fat per volume) and weight loss (referring to fat loss).
College and the Freshman Fifteen
College is a time for both growth and change. You are living on your own for the first time and meeting new people from all over the place. You are also growing your brain in the pursuit of what you are interested in doing for a career path. (Or maybe, like me, you are not sure of what it is you want to do for or with your major and that is perfectly okay.)
The “freshmen fifteen” is discussed and in good reason. There is a lot of change occurring all at once, which can make everything feel chaotic. You are on your own for food now and both cafeteria food and fast food make things easier and convenient. Although the temptations for the not-so-healthy options are very noticeable, and can be difficult to turn down when you are hungry (been there, done that).
Maybe you do gain a little weight (or a lot, as I did). This can make the freshman fifteen feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy. This, however, does not have to be the case!
Education is important, and I am not referring to your college education (although is also very important!). It is important to educate yourself to understand the basics of healthy living. Ask questions like:
- “What does a healthy diet consist of?”
- “How much sleep should I be getting?”
- “How often should I regularly exercise?”
- “What types of exercises and workouts are there?”
- “How often should I have rest days?”
- “What is BMI and how can I calculate it?”
- “What is a healthy weight range for my height?”
- “What are good ways to track my progress?”.
It may seem a bit overwhelming, but with practice it will get easier. Especially as you learn more.
Once you do have a better foundation you can go more in depth. From here learn and try new things so that you can finetune what works for you and your body. This includes, but is not limited to, diet, exercise, and managing stress healthfully. With college, you learn proper tools to help you research for your many classes. Therefore, utilize them to your advantage to grow you brain and your muscles!
One of the most important aspects of health, fitness, and day to day life in general that I have learned is mindset. Mindset is key for making your new healthy changes enjoyable and fun. Quite simply, a positive mindset will result in positive outcomes, and a negative mindset will result in negative outcomes. Both types do influence mood and experience. If something that you are doing truly makes you unhappy, then change it! You do not have to force yourself to do something that you really do not like.
This is where figuring out what does work for you is important. Maybe weightlifting resonates with you, or yoga or running or boxing. Whatever it is if it gets you moving then go for it! Same with diet. If you cannot stand salads, then figure out a different way to incorporate vegetables into your diet. Do what makes you happy and healthy, and combined with a positive mindset, all else will fall in place easier.
Are you trying to be healthy in college? Do you have any tips for being healthy in college? Let me know in the comments down below!
Related: The Mind’s the Limit