Professor offers insight on freshman 15

Commonly known as the Freshman 15, weight gain is common across college campuses nationwide.Gaining extra weight is a battle college students fight every meal.

“Two out of every three adults are overweight,” said Jean Barfield, exercise science, physical education, and wellness associate professor .

Lifestyle habits can help maintain a healthy weight-or be the cause of excessive weight gain.

Helpful hints:

Subway is one of the best choices for fast food. It won’t hurt your wallet either.

Before eating out, check the calorie content of meals on the restaurant’s website.

Calorie intake varies according to the activity level of a person.

“Women should have an average daily intake of 1,800 calories,” Barfield said . “The average daily intake of men is 2,800 calories.

Students are overloaded with homework, jobs and extra curricular activities; however, making time to exercise can relieve stress, allow time to socialize, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Find a partner to exercise with at a scheduled time, or take a physical education class.

“Phys ed classes force you to be active during the week,” Barfield said.

Students cannot depend on diet or exercise alone. Both diet and exercise must be adjusted simultaneous for them to benefit the body.

Do not lose weight too fast. Doing so can cause you to lose muscle mass and may slow your metabolism.

“Lose only one to two pounds per week, increase activity, and decrease calories,” Barfield said.

Stock your shelves with quick and healthy meals. Nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables are the best options. Pay attention to the amount of sodium in a food item. Sodium causes you to retain excess fluid that will add on a few pounds.

Make regular check-up appointments with your physician. He or she can tell you if you are making the right health decisions and can also monitor your progress.

Get in a routine. Maintain healthy eating habits; exercise daily; and visit free, accredited health websites for more information on leading a healthy lifestyle.