Staying in shape and avoiding the Freshman 15

Certified personal trainer Jennifer Jones has some simple solutions for staying in shape

By Alexandra Fruin - Producer , MJ Acosta - Reporter

Freshmen in college are often excited for their first year of freedom, but many of them learn the hard way that being free to eat whatever you want isn't always good for your body.

Many first year students struggle with weight gain known as the Freshman 15.

But health expert Jennifer Jones says there are some simple ways to stay in shape, even while living in a dorm.

Just because you don't have a full kitchen at your fingertips doesn't mean you have to eat poorly. She suggests trying healthy and cost-efficient options like tuna. Its often cheap and can be dressed up, without too much hassle.

"They often give you little recipes on the back too, like a little cheat sheet," she showed Local 10's MJ Acosta. As a side, she suggests microwavable rice, like Uncle Ben's, which offers several flavors.

Instead of wasting money at the vending machine between classes, Jones suggests keeping some trail mix with you instead. Its not only portable, but it will also satisfy your sweet and savory cravings.

It's also important to keep up a regular workout routine. You can team up with your roommate to keep each other motivated.

Jones says you can even add your textbooks to your workout for added resistance.

Healthier Care Packages

Parents can also help their kids in the fight against the Freshman 15 by sending them care packages that will help them stay on track.

Keep sugar-free and gluten-free options in mind when sending them baked goods from home. After many meals in the dining hall, they probably won't be able to taste the difference and it's a much healthier option!

Jones also suggests sending snack size versions of low-fat natural peanut butter. The smaller size will keep college students from over-indulging.

Instead of sending cash, send gift cards instead. Whether its to a health food store like the Vitamin Shoppe or a local grocery store, at least you'll know where your money is going!

Jennifer Jones is a NASM, IAFS certified personal trainer and the founder of Absolute Fitness, PT LLC.

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