Nutrition Information Services
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The notorious frosh fifteen refers to the extra fifteen pounds (or more) typically gained by students between their first class in September and the tearful goodbyes to newly found friends when departing for summer break.

A combination of factors contribute to this weight gain. More importantly, these factors can be managed and the trauma of the frosh fifteen can be avoided altogether. While college is often the first opportunity young adults have to live their lives virtually unsupervised, avoiding the frosh fifteen involves a little discipline.

So, what can you do?

Take control of your life. Keep in mind that the decisions you make on a daily basis will impact your future. Take a pro-active approach right from the start. Get your new friends in on the deal by getting a group together to go to the gym, run or roller- blade through campus. Work together to keep each other in shape. Exercise is also a great stress reliever and it tires your body out, making it easier to sleep. It may be especially helpful to workout 3 to 4 hours before you want to go to sleep. As your heart rate and temperature drop after a workout, you naturally feel sleepy.

Focus on nutrition. Get your hands on some portable nutritious snacks. Here is a suggested list of foods to keep around instead of sugary, fatty snacks:

  • Fresh fruit & vegetables
  • Canned fruits packed in pear juice
  • Dried fruit (i.e., raisins craisins, dried blueberries, apricots, banana chips ...)
  • Vegetable and fruit juices (Look for the term Ajuice@ on the label!)
  • Instant oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Graham crackers, arrowroot cookies, fig newtons
  • Kellogg's All Bran Bars
  • Rice cakes and multi-grain crackers
  • English muffins and pita bread (whole wheat)
  • Cereal containing >2g of fiber per serving
  • Popcorn
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Reduced fat cheese
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Instant soup in a container (just add boiling water)

Other suggestions on how to fake out the frosh15:

  1. Respect the importance of mealtime by putting yourself on an eating schedule. You may never have a 9 - 5 day for your college experience, but your body will do better if you can impose an eating plan to keep you on track. Try and eat within an hour of waking and then refuel every three to four hours. This way, you won't feel out of control hunger and you may even be able to fill up on great food at meal times rather than snacking throughout the day.
  2. Plan to move your body each and every day. Do something everyday that is active ... walk to class, take a bike ride, sign up for a fitness class. Staying active will help you feel better, alleviate stress, motivate you to eat better, provide the opportunity to think better ... and even help you to sleep better.
  3. Don't drink your calories. Large quantities of alcohol equate to large numbers of calories. (One beer contains about 120 calories). But it's not only the calories in alcohol and beer. Drinking fancy coffee drinks, pop or other sweetened beverages can help pack on the pounds. Stick to fruit or vegetable juice, 1% or skim milk or good old H2O.

Focussing on nutrition will not only prevent weight gain - it will keep you healthy. There is a direct link between your diet and your immune system. This is important when you're living in such close quarters with hundreds of people. Eating the right food, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk products and meat or alternatives will provide your immune system with the weapons to fight off these germs. No flu for you!

Your frosh year truly is about fun. The frosh fifteen is not that much fun, but it is common. So if you feel like your situation is getting out of control, or you just need a gentle nudge in the right direction come see me and we can work on your personal nutrition and fitness goals. Knowledge is power - you have choices so "Chews" wisely.

Enjoy eating well, being active and feeling good about yourself. That's vitality.

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