Going to college? Have diabetes? That is a recipe in itself for the freshman fifteen. What is the freshman fifteen? This refers to extra weight that many students gain when they first enter college. Students deal with diabetes while doing all of the rest of the same things as other college students do; stressing out, over eating, staying up late to study and partying. Finally getting out of the parent’s home gives a young freshman the desire and power for freedom of choice. Sometimes this causes choices that are not wise for people who are diabetic. Many diabetic college students end up gaining the freshman fifteen due to lack of exercise, making unhealthy food choices and staying up late with not enough sleep. Lack of sleep can be caused by either studying or partying.
There are ways to avoid gaining the freshman fifteen and staying healthy throughout the college years. These will also better help the student to live a healthier lifestyle while attending college and thereafter.
Steps to avoiding the freshman fifteen:
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting enough sleep keeps your body stronger to maintain a healthy immune system and an alert mind for classes.
- Try to keep late night binge eating to a minimum. If you stay on a healthy diet for diabetes, rewarding yourself once a week to splurge is acceptable. This is as long as you continue to test your sugar levels on a regular basis to ensure your levels are not fluctuating.
- Exercise is the key to keeping fit and healthy even if it means using the stairs rather than elevators. Another choice can be walking around campus rather than driving to and from classes.
- Eating healthy choices at mealtimes and choosing fruits or vegetables for snacks will give the body fuel during the day. Limit the use of fast foods and comfort foods. These foods will make your diabetes less stable and cause weight gain
- Limit the amount of alcohol due to diabetes. Binge drinking is very dangerous when being treated with insulin or diabetic medications. Excessive beer can cause high heart rates and blood sugar levels to fluctuate severely. Sugar levels that fluctuate very high or extremely low can cause many medical complications to arise.
- Drink plenty of water as it helps stabilize many key body functions and keeps diabetes under more control. Water is a wonderful way to replace minor snack cravings because it can help you feel full and also helps to keep diabetes from spiking.
Keeping a close watch on what you eat, making sure you get enough sleep and providing ways to do some exercise will keep the freshman fifteen out of the way. This will help to have a healthy and happy future because the diabetes during college was kept under control through wise decision making. Always accept that there will be some fluctuating sugar levels. However, with careful planning and consideration, college life can be fun and full of wonderful memories. Diabetes is not a handicap or a disability; it’s a metabolic disease. This means that it is controllable and manageable with the proper care and decisions.