Just What Is The Freshmen 15 And How Do You Avoid It?

Along with chatter about class schedules, the campus bookstore, and your dorm roommate, you've probably heard the expression Freshmen 15 as you prepare for your first year away at college.

Just what exactly is the Freshmen 15? Is it 15 new friends? Or is it 15 college credits that are required each semester? Or perhaps 15 different brews on tap at the college bar? Proverbially, this old adage refers to the 15 pounds of weight gained during a typical freshman's first semester at college.

Click here to see How to Avoid the Freshmen 15 (Slideshow)

But is this true for all freshmen entering college? According to Laura Cipullo, a registered dietician who runs her own private practice out of New York City, unfortunately it is. Cipullo tells us that recent research findings confirm the Freshmen 15 theory, and tell us that a small but significant amount of weight gain occurs during the first year of college. It's not necessarily 15 pounds in most cases, but sometimes as much as 5 pounds.

Being healthy at college is a challenge for many, and Cipullo warns that sometimes those who are too focused on avoiding the Freshmen 15 often harm themselves in the reverse way. Here at The Daily Meal, we love food and love learning about different cultures by utilizing our taste buds, so the last thing we'd want to do is restrict ourselves when beginning a new chapter in our lives.

Rather than focusing on ways to diet or to avoid gaining weight, Cipullo encourages new college students to think of freshmen year as a time when they cement sound and well-balanced eating habits, keeping the Freshmen 15 off and making them the healthiest they can be. To help students have a successful and healthy year, she provides 15 valuable tools that will help keep diets in check all year long without the restrictions.  These tools are easy to apply to everyday life and will make sure freshmen don't miss out on the first year of college fun.