As a freshman in college, there is a lot to be excited about: new town, new friends and tons of new-found independence. But with that, first semester freshman year also means one thing: the dreaded freshman 15. This epidemic can be hard to avoid, between Insomnia Cookies calling your name at 3:30 am and bottomless ice cream machines at the dining hall. If you’re an exercise fiend, look up directions to the CCRB and sprint there. But, for those of us who are less physically motivated, here are 15 guidelines to help manage your munchies (especially if you’re taking too much advantage of NYPD’s 4 am closing time).

Photo by Alex Weiner

  1. Late night food is the enemy: No matter how tasty Back Room may sound in the early morning hours, try avoid it. Your stomach will thank you the next day.
  2. Watch your alcohol consumption: Every shot of vodka contains 97 calories. Think about it.
  3. Limit dining hall servings: That unlimited food isn’t going anywhere. If you’re struggling with portion control, try to limit yourself to one or two plates of food and eat slowly while chatting with friends. You’ll be surprised how full you get without going back up for seconds (or thirds) of chicken broccoli bake.
  4. McDonalds is off campus for a reason: The city of Ann Arbor is trying to save you from your cravings. Don’t go there.
  5. Don’t bring food back to your room: If you keep your food space separate from your chill space, you’ll be much less likely to impulse-eat.
  6. Pizza is fattening enough: No need for dipping sauces, guys.
  7. Ignore the food stands on the way to the Big House: Or tide yourself over by having a healthy meal/snack before you leave for the game.
  8. Make smart choices when you dine off campus: Five Guys may taste good, but that little black dress you’re wearing to date party won’t agree.
  9. Exercise instead of having a treat: Cookies and ice cream for dessert? Once or twice a week, do 50 crunches instead.
  10. Manage stress eating: College is hard enough, so go to a friend instead of to that bag of Reese’s.
  11. Avoid snacking: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are there for a reason. Feeling hungry? Sometimes that’s your body asking for water, so bring a water bottle to class.
  12. Swap your between-class snacksCelery sticks make a great alternative to chips. Throw an apple in your backpack for between classes, or a granola bar for later in the day.
  13. Whole-wheat wraps > bread.
  14. Protein, protein, protein: Keeps you fuller longer.
  15. When in doubt, refer back to point one: Do not — I repeat DO NOT — late night eat. Save yourself.

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