One of the main, and often least discussed, reasons for gaining weight the first year of college is stress. Stress over new classes, new people, and a new environment can cause people to look for something familiar. The most familiar thing for many people in such an alien environment is food. In order to limit your dependence on food to distress, consider finding another familiar activity to soothe yourself. In addition to cafeterias most colleges also have game halls where you can play pool and other arcade style games. Consider heading there before you go to the cafeteria and giving yourself a half hour of game play to determine if you are really hungry or merely seeking food because you are stressed. Modern campuses also generally have bike paths or hiking trails for their athletes to use for training purposes. These are also available for non athletes and are a great way to unwind after class instead of heading immediately for the vending machine.
What to Eat
If after these activities you are still hungry then you should head to the cafeteria. Once there don’t automatically go for the pizza or home style cooking. Instead look for the salad and baked potato bar. These can be found in most schools and offer a healthy and filling meal option. Other good options include deli sandwiches, and the grill station.
How to Exercise
If you notice that despite your best efforts you are starting to put on unwanted weight it is time to exercise. There are many ways to exercise on campus for little or no additional cost to you. Find out if there is an on campus pool and gym. Many schools have these options available for free to their staff and students. If your campus has either of these options you should make every effort to make use of them several times a week. Other ways to sneak exercise into your hectic schedule include walking to classes instead of driving to them and taking the stairs at the library instead of the elevator.