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Level Three Page Title

. . . . . . . . . . F . R . E . S . H . M . A . N . .. . .S . U . R . V . I . V . A . L . . . . . . . . . .

Taking a "Bite" Out of the Freshman 15

The infamous "Freshman 15" refers to the belief that college freshmen commonly gain 15 pounds during their first year of college. With all the stresses of vigorous studies, being away from parents, and adjusting to a new living environment with unlimited access to food, it’s easy to see how quickly the rumor can become fact.

Below is the new “UAlbany Freshman 15” – 15 smart tips for making the right food choices to maximize an active, healthy lifestyle and not your waistline!


1. Eat Meals!!

This sounds pretty basic, but eating meals helps to avoid snacking on high calorie foods. If you have a tight class schedule, ask your Dining Hall Manager for a box lunch.

You can also use a meal swipe at Campus Center's "Outtakes Quick Cuisine" for a boxed lunch which includes specialty sandwich, chips, a piece of fresh fruit, dessert and beverage.

2. Eat Where People are Concerned About Your Health

Visit the nutrition information displays in the dining halls for brochures on health, diet and exercise. Check out the Terra Ve options. Terra Ve is a vegetarian and vegan program with over 200 recipes which have an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, grains and soy.

Fast foods can be tempting, but they are usually high in calories and fat--plus they are expensive. If you do choose fast food, be sure not to super-size.

Buddy Up for Exercise

3. Buddy Up for Exercise

It is a lot more fun to exercise with a friend, plus you can act as the other's conscience!

Try and log 10,000 steps a day. Here are some estimates to help you out.

  • 1 mile = 2,000 average steps

  • 1 block = 200 average steps

  • 10 minutes of walking = 1,200 steps on average

  • Bicycling or swimming = 150 steps per minute

  • Weight lifting = 100 steps per minute

4. Avoid "Mindless Munching"

Stay in tune with your body and recognize when you are hungry. Whether you are snacking or eating a meal, set aside time to eat and relax. Avoid combining eating with studying, watching television, or other activities which may cause you to mindlessly eat a lot of extra calories. And remember not to soothe the homesick blues by eating.

Keep your Micro-frig loaded with fresh fruits and veggies to dip. Stock up on pretzels, low-fat popcorn and whole grain crackers. Best beverage picks are water, unsweetened tea, and 100% juices. Remember alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories and are usually accompanied by high calorie foods such as nuts, chips, or pizza.

5. Do a Walk By

Visually graze the entire food line and salad bar before you place your order. This way you can select items that you really want. Remember, pizza, burgers, toasted cheese are always available, so there is no need to "team" them up with another entrée. Plus, you can always go back for them if you are still hungry.

Don't Pile It On

6. Don't Pile It On

Because it is tempting to eat everything on your plate, always ask for a small portion--you can always go back for more. Use the plates and bowls as a guide to correct portion sizes. If you use two dinner plates, chances are you have more food than you need.

7. Keep It Simple

Choose a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger--and limit yourself to only one burger. Ask for mashed potatoes without gravy and entrees without sauce.

8. Strive for Balance

  • Combine a high fat entrée with low fat sides. For example, with cheese lasagna select a colorful garden salad with low-fat salad dressing and a glass of milk.

  • Choose high fat entrees such as fried foods and foods with sauces and gravies, only a few times a week.

Share and Share Alike

9. Share and Share Alike

Sharing a dessert with friends can be a way to deal with the temptation and not feel deprived.

10. Customize It

  • Combine the marinara sauce and pasta from the dinner pasta bar with fresh vegetables from the salad bar.

  • Toast whole grain bread from the deli bar and top with sliced turkey breast, vegetables and cheese from the salad bar. (You can even use the microwave to melt the cheese).

  • Make a warm waffle and top it with fresh fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt.

  • Create a main dish salad by combining dry tuna, hard-cooked eggs, or cheese with fresh vegetables from the salad bar.

11. Make Time For Breakfast

The CoopBreakfast is the best way to maintain your energy level--a great way to avoid falling asleep in those morning classes. It also curbs the cravings for snacks and helps prevent overeating at lunch time. Eat a yogurt in your room, make a fresh waffle in the dining hall, or visit the Campus Center's "The Coop" for an omelet made-to-order using a meal swipe.

12. Hit the Vegetables and Fruit Hard

Eat several servings of fruits and vegetables daily, just watch out for the sauces and butter on the vegetables. Take a fruit with you from the dining hall for a snack later in the day.

13. Be a Dinner Detective

Whether dining on or off-campus, shop around for the menu which best meets your taste and nutrition goals. Check out residence dining menus at Recipes have been analyzed for nutrient content and are available from Chartwells. Be sure to visit the unique destination dining concepts in each quad.

  • Cravings at the Indian Quad The Indian Quad, Cravings, mini convenience store offers
    "to go" entrees and snack items.

    Wheat Street Deli
  • Wheat Street Deli located at State Quad and will prepare, by request, sandwiches and hearty soups

  • Sweet Peas vegetarian café is housed at Colonial Quad and has a culinarian in attendance.

  • Wrap-A-bles at Dutch Quad features made to order wraps and sandwiches.

  • Zepps II is a mini version of Campus Center's Zepps Sub Shoppe.
    Zepps IILocated in Indian Quad, it serves made-to-order hot and cold
    submarines and hearty soup.

14. Steer Clear of Sabotage

Avoid people who put you down for trying to maintain weight or encourage you to eat or drink too much. Often they are threatened by you, and are jealous of your will power!

15. Talk To Us

  • Ask For It
    Hungry for a grilled chicken like Mom makes? Talk with your Quad manager about making you a special meal and arrange a time to pick it up.

  • Complete Comment Cards
    We want to hear from you. Take time to fill in a comment card and the response will be posted within 48 hours on the dining hall bulletin board.

  • Let Us Help You
    If you have nutrition questions or dietary issues please call the registered dietitians.
    • Karen Kettlewell at 437-4755
    • Cheri Domanico at 437-3672

As you can see, healthy eating is mostly common sense. So take the "weight of the Freshman 15" off your body and shoulders and enjoy your first year at the University at Albany!

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