Proven Ways to Lose Weight in College

a young man is doing outdoor workout

According to statistics, about 70% of college students gain weight during their study years. With the escalating issue of obesity, the health of modern youth is threatened by fast food and harmful chemicals in products people consume every day.

There is a common expression that applies to the eating habits of college students – freshmen 15. It means that an average student gains about 15 pounds during the first year of education. Though it’s not supported by any statistical data, this expression is widely used for describing the beginning of college life.

After graduating from high school, many students have their first experience of cooking on their own. The availability of various unhealthy foods and lack of parental control play a significant role in gaining weight.

So, it’s not surprising that many students start working on their diets with the intention of losing weight in college. Here are a few tips that will help you stay healthy and fit.


Movement is the essence of life. So, stop lying in bed and look at some of the most effective exercises which won’t take too much time to do but will positively affect your body, such as the 7-minute workout.

Which kind of sport do you like the most – swimming, football, dancing or maybe horse riding? Choose the best option for your studying schedule and for your liking. Encourage your friends or roommates to join you to make this more fun. Also, don’t forget to check out apps that are designed for you to get fit:

Some of the most common types of activities for weight loss are listed below.


Yoga is a widespread discipline that integrates physical and mental practices. It helps burn calories and calm down at the end of the intensive day or boost vitality in the morning. Even 20 minutes of yoga training will make you feel more energized. There are plenty of types of yoga practices – you can definitely find the most suitable one for you:

  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hot yoga, etc.

Yoga can be performed in a group or individually in a studio or at home. You can also do yoga with an instructor or using educational videos and manuals. For example, you can find yoga lessons at Do Yoga With Me, Daily Yoga, etc.

Working Out

Sport is great for your health – it gives you a good sleep and keeps your energy high. If you want to lose some weight, search for the nearest college health center (usually free) and find the most suitable schedule that won’t damage the studying process. The best option would be working out with your friend; this way, you’d feel less awkward and can always get a helping hand.

Do I need any equipment?

You can also try out video lessons for exercising at home. You won’t need specific equipment as you can use heavy books or bottles with water as weights. You can find useful lessons on YouTube or at platforms like Make Your Body Work.


Running is a great cardio exercise. It’s free, and you can run wherever you want. Choose the most suitable time for this (usually, the morning before classes), pick some active music that gives you positive vibes and go for a run. Many people say that running for 30 minutes alternating with walking is a good and energetic start of the day. And we think so too!

Track the distance and burnt calories with fitness trackers. They can also show you if your heartbeat is dangerously high. Use apps like Strava or Runkeeper to keep up with your progress.

Adjusting Your Meals

When it comes to healthy eating, many people think about exhausting diets and constant hunger. However, this is not the case when you have your meals balanced and nutritious.

Putting yourself in tough frames is not good for your health. That’s why you should never exhaust yourself with strict diets and starvation.

Many students ask, “How to lose weight in college without exercise?” You need to balance your schedule and take care of your eating habits.

First, go and see a dietitian. Only an expert with vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the digesting processes can develop a meal plan for your body type. This way, you can get a personalized scheme with an explanation of what and when you should eat to lose weight.

But if you want to get some hints on how you can eat healthy food and lose weight while not starving all day long, take a look at our useful eating tips that we have prepared for you.

Stop Eating Junk Food

Fast food, chips, and sugary drinks are not healthy. They contain a lot of chemical ingredients and urge food craving. While snacks are meant to fight off hunger, most of them make you even more hungry. This is the first reason why you eat much larger portions of food than your body actually needs.

You can cook healthy snacks that are perfect for your daily routine filled with brainstorms and stressing tests:

  • Nuts (a quarter cup per one meal)
  • Sugarless fruit bars
  • Raw veggies with hummus (baby carrot is a perfect match)
  • Dry roasted edamame
  • Kale chips
  • Apples with peanut butter

Don’t let fast food control your life – find the inner strength to say “No” when someone invites you to have lunch at McDonald’s. Avoid drinking alcohol, as it contains tons of calories. And try not to use dorm vending machines – they rarely carry healthy food. Especially be careful with eating foods directly from packages, bags, and cartons.

Eat Smaller Portions

The more you eat, the more you crave for food. This is a vicious circle that you need to break. Your body doesn’t know when you need to stop eating, but you can slowly teach yourself to understand and distinguish the real hunger from boredom or sadness. Here are some quick tips on how you can eat less:

  1. Use smaller plates. The portion you get will look bigger if there is less free space on the plate around it. You can trick your mind that you eat just as much as earlier. If you’re eating in a dining hall, ask for a smaller salad plate.
  2. Eat slowly. When you consume food in a hurry, you don’t give your body enough time to understand when it is full. Eat slowly, and you will catch the moment when your body tells you that’s enough for you.
  3. Don’t eat everything you put on your plate. Finishing your meal no matter what is what most people do because they don’t want to throw the food away. However, you need to make a habit of stop eating when you’re full, not when your plate is empty.

If you follow these simple maxims, you will soon see that smaller portions are enough for a productive day.

Adjust Your Schedule

Everyone knows that eating at night is bad for your body. While you’re sleeping, your body is resting too and isn’t spending energy to digest all the food you ate before going to bed. This makes you gain weight while you’re sleeping. Creepy, huh?

Important: Skip meals that you usually have late at night.

Yes, snacks count too! We know that it might be challenging at first, so, of course, you need good motivation. Think not only about the benefits for your body but also about the chance to avoid health problems. Obesity provokes diabetes, heart and brain problems, and fragile bones. You need to keep yourself fit. Healthy eating is what will help you in your journey.


Remember that all of these tips are strictly general. Please get advice from a professional dietitian. And remember that people gain weight not only during the freshman year, so you need to be attentive to your meals all the time.

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