How To Avoid The Freshman 15 In College

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Full Healthy College Student Meal Plan

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing my best tips on how to avoid the freshman 15 in college, as well as a full healthy college student meal plan.

If you’re a college kid or a parent of a college kid, this video post is for you.

Or if you still live the college kid lifestyle, this video post is also for you, but it’s time to get your act together 😀.

Let’s be real.

It’s Not Hard To Tell College Is Back

Grocery carts are filled with processed frozen dinners and junk food.

7 Calories Saving Frozen Meals

Attention college kids: you can still Live Lean on a college budget while experiencing the fun college lifestyle.

So take your seats, because Live Lean Nutrition 101, is now in session.

I Did All The Fun Things In College Without Packing On The Freshman 15

I’ve been through everything you’re about to experience.

I’ve lived in college dorms, I’ve lived on a college budget, and I also experienced a lot of fun during my college years.

Giggidy 😋.

However, with all that said, I never packed on the Freshman 15. 

I’m living proof that you can experience all the fun that college has to offer, and still enjoy a healthy lifestyle of Living Lean 365 days a year.

How To Avoid The Freshman 15 In College

So I’m going to show you how to do avoid the freshman 15 in college.

Even though most of the tips in this video post is about nutrition, I want to first touch on fitness.

Make Sure You Use Your College Gym To Workout

Your college tuition probably covers a gym membership, so make it a habit and go.

I’m serious.

Don’t make me come over there and drag you to the gym with me.

Trust me, I can be mean when you don’t obey me.

Use These Tips To Live Lean In College And Stop the Freshman 15

Ok let’s get back to nutrition as it is key to Living Lean.

Nutrition is critical to Living Lean.

Even though eating healthy can seem like an impossible task in college, remember, you are in control.

In other words, you are the one putting the food in your mouth.

And yes, peer pressure in college is crazy, but it’s up to you to be an individual, and always keep your health goals in mind.

But Do Not Over Analyze Every Single Thing You Eat

Luckily you’re still young, and your metabolism is probably still on warp speed.

Therefore, you do not have to over analyze every single thing you eat.

Plus, I’m not asking you to perfect with your college diet, I’m just asking you to live above “normal”.

You feel me?

Food Impacts Your Body And Brain

The foods you’re eating not only affect your physique, but also your mental performance in school.

Remember, you’re not only fueling your body, you’re also fueling your mind and mood.

So let’s start with the nutrition 101 basics.

College Nutrition 101: The 3 Macronutrients

The 3 macronutrients that are found in food are:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat

Protein: Best Types Of Budget Friendly Protein Sources For College Kids

Best High Protein Foods For Weight Loss And Muscle Building

Foods high in protein can often be the most difficult nutrient to consume during your college years.

However, protein is critical for building and repairing muscle tissue, and keeping you lean and sexy.

The Best Types Of Budget Friendly Protein Sources Are:

To add a little more protein to your diet, supplement with a high quality protein powder for snacks and a quick shake.

We recommend this whey protein isolate or this egg white protein powder from our friends at EarthNutri.

Use coupon code: LiveLeanTV25 to save 25% off.

earth nutri egg protein

Even as a college student, you can get enough protein into your daily diet by simply having:

Depending on how much protein your body needs in a day, you can adjust the amounts.

How To Calculate Your Macronutrients

However, this meal plan will put you in the ballpark.

Next, let’s talk about carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates: Best Types Of Budget Friendly Carbohydrate Sources For College Kids

Carbohydrates can be found everywhere.

In fact, this macronutrient probably makes up the majority of the average college kid’s diet.

That’s not a good thing.

Although carbohydrates do provide the body with energy, it is very easy to over consume them.

The overconsumption of processed and refined carbohydrates is what wrecks havoc on your body’s fat storing hormones

How To Avoid The Freshman 15 In College

When this happens, say hello to the freshman 15, 20, 30, or even 40.

When it comes to carbohydrates, do your best to stick to fruit and vegetables.

The Best Types Of Healthy Budget Friendly Carbohydrate Sources Are:

The next macronutrient is dietary fat.

Fat: Best Types Of Budget Friendly Fat Sources For College Kids

8 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny

Healthy forms of fat are critical for your hormones, which can help you have healthy skin.

Consuming dietary fat will also help you absorb many vitamins.

Focus on consuming the following healthy sources of fat.

The Best Types Of Healthy Budget Friendly Fat Sources Are:

Here’s A Healthy College Meal Plan To Avoid The Freshman 15

Here’s a full college kid’s meal plan with more healthy ideas on what to eat.

Breakfast: Egg Muffin Cups

Print Recipe
Spinach Egg Muffin Cups
Spinach Egg Muffin Cups
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Spinach Egg Muffin Cups
Instructions
  1. First thing you'll do, as soon as you get up out of bed, is pre-heat your oven for 400F.
  2. Then go to your fridge and grab 4 whole eggs and spinach. Since you're probably rushing around your kitchen as this point, don't forget to shut the fridge door 😉.
  3. Grab some cooking spray, preferably avocado oil cooking spray, or extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, and sea salt from your kitchen cabinets.
  4. Then quickly grab your muffin tin, a mixing bowl, and a fork. Again, don't forget to close the drawers, as it really hurts when you charley horse yourself with the opened drawer.
  5. Crack 4 eggs into the mixing bowl, then grab a handful of spinach (1-2 cups) and tear it up into small pieces. If you have time, you could also use a knife to dice it up.
  6. Add a dash of sea salt and black pepper to the mixing bowl, then take your fork and beat it all together.
  7. Spray your muffin tins with avocado oil cooking spray to prevent the egg muffins from sticking.
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tins. Depending on the size of the muffin tins, this recipe should make 3-4 egg muffins.
  9. Open up the oven, stick the egg muffins in, then to ensure they cook, don't forget to shut the oven door 😂.
  10. Depending on the strength of your oven, back the egg muffins for 10-15 minutes.
  11. While the egg muffins are baking, go get in the shower, put some deodorant on, brush your teeth, and put some clothes on 😝!
  12. After 10 to 15 minutes is up, it's time to get you some eats. By now you should be showered, with deodorant applied, teeth brushed, and dressed and looking sexy.
  13. Once they're ready, grab an oven mitt and take the egg muffins out of the oven. Take a brief second to admire how good they look, then since you're late, add the egg muffins to a glass storage food container.
  14. Remove the egg muffins from the muffin tins and add them to the glass storage food container. Beautiful and smelling delicious!
  15. You are now ready to get these egg muffins into your stomach and continue Living Lean.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 280

Protein: 24g

Carbohydrates: 1g

Fat: 20g

Enjoy this with a cup of coconut oil coffee.

Print Recipe
Coconut Oil Coffee
Coconut Oil Coffee
Course Snack
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Course Snack
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Coconut Oil Coffee
Instructions
  1. Brew one cup of coffee in a mug.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 1/2 tsp of stevia (optional).
  3. Pour the coffee into a blender, and blend for 10-20 seconds, or until frothy.
  4. Pour the coffee back into your mug and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories: 120

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 0g

Fat: 14g

Lunch: Tuna salad

Print Recipe
Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad
Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad
Course Snack
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Snack
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad
Instructions
  1. Add 2 cups of the grated purple cabbage, 2 cans of drained white tuna, and 2 tbsp of sesame oil to a big mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it all together.
  3. That is it. You're done.
  4. Grab your tupperware, dish yourself a serving of the crunchy cabbage tuna salad, then you're ready to go.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories: 284

Protein: 40g

Carbohydrates: 4g

Fat: 12g

Mid-Afternoon Post Workout Snack: Protein Shake & Banana

Print Recipe
Maple Banana Post Workout Protein Shake
My Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipe
Course Protein Shake
Prep Time 1 minute
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Course Protein Shake
Prep Time 1 minute
Servings
serving
Ingredients
My Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipe
Instructions
  1. In a blender, add 1 cup of water, 1 and a half frozen bananas, 2 tbsp of maple syrup, 1 serving of protein powder, and 4 ice cubes.
  2. Add the top to the blender, blend until smooth, then pour it into a glass and give it a taste.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories: 452

Protein: 37g

Carbohydrates: 74g

Fat: 1g

Dinner – Chicken Fajita Salad

Print Recipe
Chicken Fajita Salad
Chicken Fajita Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Chicken Fajita Salad
Instructions
  1. Heat a pan over medium to low heat. You don't want to heat the pan too hot as we're using olive oil.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan, then allow it to heat up slightly before adding the onions.
  3. Saute a 1/2 cup of sliced onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent.
  4. Add 1 diced chicken breast to the pan, then add the spices by sprinkling 1 tsp of cumin and 2 tsp of dried oregano over the chicken and onion mixture.
  5. Stir up the chicken and onion mixture and allow it to cook throughly for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the diced red bell peppers to the mixture, stir, and heat for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add a handful of red leaf lettuce to each plate. If you don't have red leaf lettuce, any leafy green will work.
  8. Add a 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, the chicken fajita mix, and then finally, the sliced avocado on top.
  9. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories: 471

Protein: 41g

Carbohydrates: 7g

Fat: 31g

Add a side of sweet potato if you like.

Night Time Snack – Paleo Protein Ice Cream

Print Recipe
Chocolate Banana Paleo Protein Ice Cream
If you love ice cream, especially soft serve ice cream, this is for you!
Chocolate Banana Paleo Protein Ice Cream
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Chocolate Banana Paleo Protein Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. 1. Add the bananas, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and protein powder to a food processor (or high powdered blender) and blend until smooth (typically 1-2 minutes).
  2. 2. Serve the ice cream into 2 bowls then top with a drizzle of honey (optional) and a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
  3. 3. If you enjoy harder ice cream, place in the freezer for up to 60 minutes. But if you love soft serve ice cream, enjoy right away!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories: 235

Protein: 16g

Carbohydrates: 22g

Fat: 9g

How much you should eat?

Now that you know the best types of budget friendly foods to eat, let’s talk about how many calories you should eat.

First of all, you’re in college, so don’t stress out over counting calories.

If you’re eating the whole foods that I mentioned above, you will be feeling full, energetic, and your appetite will be in check.

Combining these filling foods along with a high metabolism, you’ll have a hard time eating too many calories.

Focus On These 3 Things For Every Meal And Snack

  1. Consume a protein source with every meal and snack
  2. Fill out your plate with vegetables and fruit
  3. Enjoy a tbsp of oil, nut butter, or a handful of almonds for a healthy fat

When Should You Eat?

If you’re eating at meal hall, eat when they are serving food.

Try not to skip meals as eating every 4 hours will help to keep your hunger in check.

If you are living in an apartment, time will be tight, and you will be eating on the go a lot, so try to prepare your food ahead of time.

Again, aim to eat approximately every 4 hours to keep your hunger in check.

I know, the sounds of eating every 4 hours may seem tough.

Focus On Ready To Eat Pre-made Snacks:

You can also set a side time for meal prepping in bulk one day a week.

This will make eating healthy much more manageable for you.

Whenever you’re cooking something at home, cook a lot of it, and become friends with your glass food storage containers.

A George Foreman grill can be a college kids best friend!

george foreman grill

How Do You Eat Healthier In The Dorm Cafeteria?

The number one way is to make better food selections.

Remember, you do not have to be perfect.

Most cafeterias do have some sort of lower carbohydrate options and decent protein and vegetable sources.

First, add a protein source to your plate.

This could be a bunless hamburger, chicken, or eggs.

Next, throw a bunch of vegetables on your plate and top them with olive oil and vinegar.

Lastly, add a cup of fruit and a small handful of nuts, then you’re gold.

Best Types Of Healthy Drinks For College Kids

Don’t ruin your healthy meal by washing it down with sugar filled fruit juices and sodas.

Stick with the following healthy drinks with your meals:

Alright, What About Party Time?

How To Party On A Diet (DRINKING ALCOHOL AND LOSING WEIGHT)

Have fun and enjoy the college experience.

Remember don’t stress over it.

You have earned a fun night out every week when you stick to these nutrition rules, the majority of the time.

Just know your limits.

Watch my Food Wars episode on the healthiest option for alcohol.

What Is The Healthiest Alcohol To Drink On A Diet?

How Can I Stretch My Budget?

Simple.

  • Load up when food is on sale
  • Use coupons
  • Ask for student discounts

When non-perishable or freezable foods such as meat and chicken go on sale, load up.

Shop with coupons and ask about student discounts since most stores offer them.

You can also find decently healthy options at fast food restaurants when you have to.

Check out my Food Wars Playlist to see the healthiest choices offered at the most popular fast food restaurants.

Most fast food restaurants do offer a side salad instead of fries.

So order the grilled chicken burger, ditch the bun, add it to the salad, and wash it down with some water.

Just go light on the dressing.

You Can Get Amazing Results Sticking To This 80% Of The TIme

Remember, don’t stress out over this.

Try to stick to these tips 80% of the time and your body will take care of the work.

Please share this post with two of your friends, or if you’re a parent, share it with your kids.

Have fun kids, you’re only young once.

Class dismissed.

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Question For You:

  • Are you currently in college or are you a parent with a kid in college?
  • Did you experience or are you experiencing the freshman 15?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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  4. College tuition includes a gym pass in the US? That’s crazy – even at the student rate, my university gym is crazy expensive.

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