College life brings a world of changes to just about every aspect of life one could imagine. Balancing and adapting to a schedule of study, social life, new routines, and diet is an inevitable challenge during these years of academia.
Needless to say, the outcomes of these changes can manifest themselves for many different reasons and in many different forms, including an increase in weight.
The Many Factors of College Weight Gain
If you noticed a shift toward later hours in college, you’re not alone. With all the added responsibilities, newfound freedom and all the more there is to fit into the day, it’s quite common for things to spill over into the later hours for college students, switching their waking hours a bit more toward the nocturn.
Unfortunately, whether you still have to wake up early for class in the morning or if you otherwise have the luxury of sleeping in, neither are good for you after a late night.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on you in many ways but as evidenced in many research studies, one thing is overwhelmingly evidenced: when sleep goes down, weight goes up. An eye-opening study from the University of Colorado showed that after sleeping about 5 hours a night for just one workweek caused participants to gain nearly two pounds of weight.
Sleeping in doesn’t help either. Another study from Canada’s University of Alberta showed that simply less sunlight can cause weight gain. Stress can even further disrupt your usual sleep schedule, and an off-kilter sleep schedule can feed the cycle of stress.
Term papers, exams, mid-terms. Even the most apt student can feel the stress and strain around crunch time. Work, being away from home, developing new relationships, and maintaining new responsibilities can all create cortisol-inducing stress for anyone. And people with higher levels of cortisol tend to gain more weight.
Especially when attending school away from home, college students get far less home-cooked meals. As evidenced with cafeteria cuisine, unhealthy snacking, and convenient fast food, these changes in diet can seriously contribute to weight gain over time. Factor in some beverages not-unknown-to-college, and it can even further compound the impact on your weight.
As we all know, alcohol is quite rampant in college. A USA Today survey even claims that “College freshman study booze more than books,” contributing to the common weight gain associated with entering college known as the Freshman 15.
In fact, all calorie-rich drinks including coffee and other sugary beverages are easily increased in consumption during college and are often overlooked as factors in weight gain. These drinks also contribute to spikes in blood sugar which can increase hunger.
Avoiding the Freshman 15
Clearly, there are many risks involved with obesity. Fortunately, college students have the power to take control of the cycle! At Figure Weight Loss, college students can receive $10 off every visit.
Our dietitians and personalized plans are developed on an individual basis, tailoring to each patient’s specific needs and challenges with flexible schedules to ensure a successful and sustainable weight loss program.
Start your journey today!