• By Jeff Olsen

Mayo Clinic Minute: 4 ideas for avoiding the ‘freshman 15’

August 12, 2019

In this season of packing up for college, here's a warning about packing on the "freshman 15."

"It's usually not actually 15 (pounds). It's more often seven or eight," says Dr. Denise Millstine, a Mayo Clinic internal medicine physician.

Still, it's extra weight that Dr. Millstine says is often caused by a change in activity and eating habits from high school to college.

"If you're going to be eating at a cafeteria or eating out more, stop and think: How am I going to manage this?" she says.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Dr. Millstine offers four daily goals for every freshman. No. 1: Eat plants.

"Ideally, at least five fruits and vegetables every day," says Dr. Millstine.

No. 2: Don't drink a lot of calories.

"If you're going to class and you're grabbing a coffee drink or a smoothie, it can have a lot of calories in it," explains Dr. Millstine. "Same thing with energy drinks."

No. 3: Find ways to move.

"Take the stairs instead of the elevator," she explains. "Always make sure you're walking to class."

And No. 4: Get decent sleep.

"Really trying to get that seven to nine hours of sleep consistently, whatever your body requires, can help you to manage your weight." Dr. Millstine concludes.