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April 6, 2014 | by  | in Features |
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Fresher Five

“The way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” ― Dave Barry

Is anyone else feeling this guy? Living in the halls, nobody is foreign to the sweet sweet taste of Mi Goreng noodles, or buttery popcorn on movie nights, but why is it that our jeans are becoming a little more snug, and our baggy t-shirts are feeling a little less loose? Is the notorious “Fresher Five” already rearing its ugly head? How is that even possible, when every day we climb that nasty hill up to the university, puffing and panting, not unlike a 40km marathon runner? There have been studies done looking at why most students put on weight when at university, particularly in the first year, and what factors contribute to this.

The first major indicator is the alcohol consumption which has no doubt upped its regularity in all of our lives. Is it already time to start saying no to the beersies? In just one regular glass of beer is hidden 153 calories. If the lads decide to down a box every weekend, the beer belly may decide it’s time to make an appearance sooner than expected. It’s not just the beers though – in just a single bottle of Raspberry Vodka Cruiser is a whopping 176 calories. What even is that! So if trying to drop back on the cals, a good start would be to opt for a sober night out. You and your body will thank you for it the next day, plus no nasty cravings for oily foods to cure a hangover, win win!

Another contributor to potential weight gain can be getting used to living out of home. We all miss mum’s home cooked meals, but love venturing out and making our own food choices. Dr Brian Wansink of Cornell University concluded that students he studied tended to choose unhealthy snacks over nutritious ones, particularly in the weeks leading up to exams. We can all vouch for that, particularly with New World Metro being so close to most of the halls, and packet noodles being so darn cheap! Supporting this, psychiatry professor Sylvia R. Karasu says a lot of weight gain can be attributed to living in halls and the readily available café food that surrounds us at university, “as well as the psychological stress of living away from home, family, and friends”.

Despite these factors, there is still hope for us all! According to the New Zealand Heart Foundation, just thirty minutes exercise per day not only helps to maintain weight, but it also reduces stress, anxiety and tension. To aid us in our fight against the fresher flab, Victoria Uni has gifted us with sign up fees for the rec centre being at ridiculously cheap prices compared to other gyms, and also having a wide variety of sports teams available to sign up to. This could be your opportunity to become the next Jackie Chan of the martial arts club, or you might be quite savvy at croquet, or maybe you just want to be a benchwarmer (that’s kind of okay too, at least walk to the game!) But whatever you choose, it’s all about getting active to some extent.

So next time you pop into the corner dairy and looking at that lusciously inviting tube of Pringles, just stop, weigh up the situation (no pun intended) and say no, the fresher flab has got to go.


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