The biggest fear of many university students isn’t the classes or the professors, it’s the dreaded freshman 15. Everybody talks about it. Most students accept that it’s inevitable and plan to work it off next year, but Carleton actually helps students avoid putting on the extra pounds in some very unexpected ways.

1. Detox Water


Photo by Lila Seeley

You know that water jug that’s filled to the brim with grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes? It turns out that it’s called detox water and it’s a hell of a lot better for you than normal water. The fruity flavour’s pretty subtle, so if you don’t mind (or maybe even enjoy) the extra bit of tang in your water, go for the detox water to start your day off right.

 2. Tunnels to the gym


Photo by Magda Knyszynski

This Globe and Mail article proves that the ability to focus in class and exercise are linked, so this one also helps your grades. The Carleton tunnels can be a lifesaver on those days when you feel like your face will freeze off if you step foot outside. Since everything is accessible through the tunnels, take advantage and hit up the gym. Not having to lug a gym bag, get a locker, or venture out into the Ottawa winter is a blessing.

3. Fruit in the caf


Photo by Hannah Morse

The only thing you’re allowed to take from the caf is one piece of fruit, so instead of trying to sneak out 12 muffins, grab an apple. After every meal, take a fruit back to your room, even if you just put it in the fridge, because you never know when you’ll be hungry and it’s better to have a banana on hand than a bag of chips. And if you don’t end up eating it, there are a bunch of things you can do with old fruit. Not to mention, it’s free food.

4. No trays


Photo courtesy of @sunnysideupfoodie on Instragram

This one might sound weird, but hear me out. Most cafeterias give you trays, which allows you to pack on multiple plates of food and sit down to feast. Although it might be frustrating at times, it’s probably for the best that the caf makes you get your plates one at a time. It forces you to sit down, eat what’s on your plate and think about whether or not you’re hungry. If you are then you can just get up to getmore food.

5. Vegan bar (even when you’re not vegan)


Photo by Annie Madole

The struggle of the caf line up is real and it really sucks to have to wait for food. The vegan bar is always guaranteed to have the shortest lineup, and it’s that healthiest option anyway. Not to mention that the vegan bar actually offers to most flavorful and unique variety of food at the caf. There’s always guaranteed to be some tofu, a chickpea stew, and some delish seasonal veggies.

6. All day omelets


Photo by Clarisse Callahan

If you have the patience to stand in line, omelets are served all day errday. Wanna go super healthy? Skip the cheese and just get it loaded with veggies. Instant healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner that’s also satisfying. BOOM.

7. Stairs/Ramps


Photo by Jessie Li

All students, no matter which school they go to, will complain about stairs. Carleton’s got it even worse because those uphill tunnel ramps can be a serious killer. If you every walk from the Uni Centre to Tory underground, you know the struggle, and if you’re a freshman who lives on campus, chances are you’re tunneling everywhere. You may feel like dying at the moment, but after you reach the top you’ll feel good enough to skip leg day.

8. Online menu


Photo courtesy of Jessica Payne

Carleton publishes weekly menus on their website with nutrition facts for many of their dishes. The site also includes a calculator and a compare button to add up your meals from the day. Planning out your meals online before you go can help eliminate the question “is this healthy?” or “how bad can this really be?” (Warning: it’s not always 100% accurate).

9. Veggie Mondays


Photo by Alex Tom

The Carleton caf is great at special food days. Big Breakfast Thursdays and Go Local Wednesdays are the highlights of the week, but make sure to check out Veggie Mondays too. Monday is completely dedicated to making sure vegetarians get some love, but you don’t have to be vegetarian to take advantage.

Add this article to the list of reasons why you love Carleton, because as long as you fight the temptation to eat pizza and fries every day, it’s pretty easy to avoid gaining the freshman 15.