10 Ways to Avoid College Weight Gain – From Dorm Snacks to Yoga


You won’t gain weight at college with these tips. Four are from a college student who graduated without gaining an ounce, and six are from me (I lost 25 pounds after getting married).

These tips for not gaining weight at college will help you avoid the freshman 15. I’ve included info about a series of DVDs that helped me tone down and lose fat – and develop defined abs for the first time ever! I write at home full-time, and losing weight has always been a struggle…until I discovered 10 Minute Solutions.

Before the tips, a quip:





“It’s very important to have the right clothing to exercise in,” says Cheryl Tiegs. “If you throw on an old T-shirt or sweats, it’s not inspiring for your workout.”

If your exercise outfit matters to you, then by all means do what works! But don’t spend money on expensive exercise gear until you know for sure that you’ll stick with your fitness plan.

My favorite way to exercise is with the 10 minute solutions DVDs, because I don’t have to leave the house for a quick work out. The 10 Minute Solution: Sculpt, Tone & Reshape Kit is excellent – and so are the Pilates ones.

If you’re a “gym rat”, read 8 Reasons Home Workouts Are Better for Weight Loss Than Gyms.

10 Ways to Avoid College Weight Gain

The first four tips for not gaining weight at college are from Jenn, who didn’t gain an ounce in four years of college – and she didn’t work out at all!

1. Don’t keep snacks/sodas in your dorm room. It’s a lot less tempting to eat from boredom if you have to leave your dorm to do so. If you need quick snacks for busy days, stick to things like apples and bananas (which you can frequently smuggle out from the dining halls when you get your regular meal…).

2. Walk, don’t drive. I didn’t have a car till senior year and had to walk EVERYWHERE, usually carrying a heavy book bag. It’s not a bad thing to add a few extra minutes of cardio to your day. (Also, knowing I’d have to hoof it to get somewhere made me consider value of the trip, for example, did I really NEED to go to the mini-mart for a Slushie? Was it really worth the 20min hike from the dorm?)

3. Take a physical education class at college. Most undergrad majors require you to take some sort of phys ed credit, so find something you might actually enjoy rather than whatever sounds like an easy “A.” Some schools offer classes like fencing and yoga for credit–WAY more interesting than the general PE stuff.



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4. The least-fun tip of all… DON’T DRINK. Seriously. It’s just empty calories that turn to sugar in your blood stream. The freshmen I knew who gained the most weight (including my roommate) were the ones who partied a lot. Also, when you’re drunk, fried food and fast food sounds REALLY good… and you’ll tend to eat more of it than needed.

5. Declutter your home and study area. There’s a connection between gaining weight and clutter. Clutter can act like a depressant, which decreases your energy to exercise, cook healthy meals, and get your coursework done. The less clutter you’re surrounded by, the more you’ll avoid gaining weight at college.

6. Study while walking. Take a few sheets of information that you have to memorize or learn for an exam, and go for a walk. Walk around the track, on a quiet path, or on the treadmill at the gym. This will help you avoid the freshman 15 and keep your brain oxygenated as you study!

7.Never eat while studying. It’s easy to scarf down an entire bag of cookies, candies, or potato chips with noticing if you have your head in the books! To not gain weight at college, try chewing sugarfree gum while you study. Floss and brush your teeth right after dinner; the fresh, clean feeling will help curb the desire to eat.

If you eat until you’re so full you want to burst, read When You Never Feel Full and Can’t Stop Eating – 4 Non-Diet Tips.

8. Find healthy ways to deal with exam and course load stress. Stress will never go away, so the sooner you learn to deal with it, the better! Instead of eating because you’re scared, anxious, or stressed, learn effective ways to cope.

If you’re stressed about going to school, read How to be a Successful College Student.

9. Find a fitness program that you love. For the past six months, I’ve been doing Pilates and kickboxing four times a week, with the three DVDs pictured. I’ve never stuck with a workout routine this long or lost this much weight, and it’s just because I love the 10 Minute Solutions series! To avoid the freshman 15, find an exercise routine that suits your lifestyle and personality.

The Yoga for Beginners Boxed Set (Yoga for Stress Relief / AM-PM Yoga for Beginners / Essential Yoga for Inflexible People) is an excellent source of stress relief and weight loss for college students.

10. Stop procrastinating instead of studying. I use food to procrastinate when I don’t want to write, or if I’m anxious about a deadline or article assignment. To not gain weight at college, don’t use food as a diversion. Either find a healthier way to procrastinate (exercise, volunteering, cleaning the house, etc), or learn a few tips for ending procrastination for college students.

If college doesn’t thrill you – but you want to get your degree or diploma – read 5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Go to College – From Bored to Inspired!

What’s the hardest part of not gaining weight at college? 



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3 thoughts on “10 Ways to Avoid College Weight Gain – From Dorm Snacks to Yoga

  • Laurie Post author

    Jenn, thanks for your tips for avoiding college weight gain! I added them to the article – they were too good to get lost in the comments section 🙂

  • Jenn

    I didn’t gain any weight during 4yrs of college and didn’t “work out” at all. May I add a few suggestions to your list?

    1) Don’t keep snacks/sodas in your dorm room. It’s a lot less tempting to eat from boredom if you have to leave your dorm to do so. If you need quick snacks for busy days, stick to things like apples and bananas (which you can frequently smuggle out from the dining halls when you get your regular meal…).
    2) Walk, don’t drive. I didn’t have a car till senior year and had to walk EVERYWHERE, usually carrying a heavy book bag. It’s not a bad thing to add a few extra minutes of cardio to your day. (Also, knowing I’d have to hoof it to get somewhere made me consider value of the trip, for example, did I really NEED to go to the mini-mart for a Slushie? Was it really worth the 20min hike from the dorm?)
    3) Most undergrad majors require you to take some sort of phys ed credit, so find something you might actually enjoy rather than whatever sounds like an easy “A.” Some schools offer classes like fencing and yoga for credit–WAY more interesting than the general PE stuff.
    4) The least-fun tip of all… DON’T DRINK. Seriously. It’s just empty calories that turn to sugar in your blood stream. The freshmen I knew who gained the most weight (including my roommate) were the ones who partied a lot. Also, when you’re drunk, fried food/fast food sounds REALLY good… and you’ll tend to eat more of it than needed.

    (Sorry if this was too much unwanted info. It what worked for me, so I thought it might help others, too!)