OPINION: How to manage weight gain or loss

By Adriana Mancilla

After graduating high school,” many students” experience “what is called” the “Freshman 15,” a weight gain issue. But some students can gain more than 15 pounds or lose weight.

In an article written by Julie Janeway and Haleigh Mistry titled, “Preventing the Freshman 5, 10, 15, 40,”  the Obesity Action Coalition organization website mentions tips to prevent this issue for most college students. The article argues that it is not just a freshman issue, but it affects many college students.

The article provides a long list of tips for students to avoid this common health issue. Some of the tips are not skipping meals, avoid eating food late at night, avoid cheap fast food meals, eating a good breakfast, avoiding late nights, with walking to class and events and changing your food habits and philosophy. Other tips, are to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, getting exercise and many more.

There are also some apps that help keep track of a student’s food intake and helps keep track of calories. Some of this apps are “LOSE IT!,” “Calorie Counter – My Fitness Pal,” “MyPlate Calorie Counter,” “My Food Diary” and more available in the Google and Apple app store.

“LOSE IT!” is one of the apps which includes a premium feature or a free feature with limited resources. The app keeps track of everything consumed in a day.

There is also a feature in the app where you can scan the barcode of a food item and add it to a list of foods a person consumes throughout the day. It depends on the student to be accurate as possible for better results and helps bring awareness to what the student eats throughout their day.

The student, may not eat as much in a day, or may be overeating, depends on the individual’s health goal. Steven Luis, a psychology major, who graduated in 2015, started attending East Los Angeles College in Fall 2015 shared his personal experience.

“I did experience some weight gain (and) it was very little difference. Probably like five pounds, or a little more. I did work out at least twice a week before I graduated. Eventually, I stopped so all I did was ride my bike often, at least three or five times a week for about 30 minutes. I noticed a lot of weight gain in other friends, only through the pictures that they would post on social media,” Luis said.

Another student, who wants to remain anonymous, said “I did experience weight gain. I graduated 2013. By stay in shape try to go to the gym when I can. I’m pretty petite, so it is hard for me to gain weight even if I eat whatever I want. My friends have gained a lot of weight compared to me.

Every student is different and may not be affected by the Freshman 15. “After high school, I actually lost weight. I graduated 2014 from Montebello high school (and), I started Elac a year after that. I did start gaining weight, so I would work out every week, but then I stopped. It was on-and-off working out”,”said nursing student Guadalupe Diaz.

Every student is different but yet may share similar experiences with other students. Whether the student’s goal is to gain weight, lose weight or maintain their weight they can find many resources to help achieve their goal.

As obesity continues to affect many people in the United States the apps mentioned are great and are usually free to help a person keep track of their food intake. Once a student takes care of their own health it would be less stressful and could create more confidence.

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