Leaving home and creating a new routine in a new place with new people is difficult enough without worrying about the dreaded "Freshman Fifteen." This modern expression refers to the typical weight gain experienced by new college students. New routines include new eating times and for some using the college cafeteria it can also mean an exposure to unlimited quantities of food. Talking to your college student about food choices can help give them a feeling of control back in an area that seems very difficult to navigate subject.
To help you start great conversations with your college student, we’ve included two ideas from our friend and ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Correspondent, Good Morning America personality and Chief of Women’s Health Contributor for the Dr. Oz show, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
1. Start the Swaps
Everyone has particular cravings that don’t go away when moving to a college campus. But stress, or even unlimited access to the things we crave can create a perfect storm for over indulgence. Instead of ignoring the cravings, Dr. Ashton suggests making key “swaps” for a healthier way of “giving into cravings the healthy and sensible way.” Is pizza on the menu? Swap your order for dish pizza and choose thin crust instead. Love ice cream? Low-fat options and healthier toppings can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding too many calories. “The trick is portion control and healthy swaps,” says Dr. Ashton.
2. Skip the Soda
Many teens fall into the habit of relying on soda for their dose of caffeine every morning if they don’t have a taste for coffee. Because soda dramatically ups your sugar intake many opt for zero calorie sodas with all kinds of artificial sweeteners. But relying on drinks with these sugar substitutes has its downsides too. According to the Canadian American Journal’s review of 37 separate studies about the use of artificial sweeteners, in the short term it provided no weight loss benefits. However, in the long term their use actually contributed to weight gain. Instead of over indulging in zero calorie drinks, Dr. Ashton reminds us that “portion control still is the best way to maintain health.”
At Me to You Box we carefully curate our care packages for your college students by NOT using sugar as cheap “filler.” Our products range from health and wellness to tech and sport. We know you care about your teen and want to help reduce anxiety about being away from home.
Send your college student some love from afar.