I'm a freshman in college and I've had my encounters with the infamous "freshman 15." I'm in my second semester of college and haven't gained a pound because I've learned to control what I eat. There are three places where poor college students (literally poor) go wrong: the cafeteria, the weekends, and sleep patterns. Any of these encounters has the potential to cause unwanted weight gain; however, they can also be innocent occurrences that you need not worry about. If the college student can learn to have good habits in these areas they will reduce their chances of facing the "freshman 15" You are about to embark on a brief guide towards starting good habits that apply to anyone-college students and work-a-holics alike. The first step towards avoiding weight gain is to know how to behave in the cafeteria. When I first entered college I had the philosophy of "getting my money's worth." As a result, I overate in the cafeteria with the thought that i needed to eat that much to get my money's worth. Soon enough, my jeans got a little tighter and my philosophy changed instantly. Instead, I altered my philosophy to "Quality and Proportion". Every time I entered the cafeteria I grabbed one cereal bowl and filled it with whatever I wanted. With prior knowledge that the stomach is stretchable to approximately 2 fist sizes, one bowl of food per meal was more than enough. This may not seem like much, but by week two your stomach will have shrunk and adapted to the new proportion sizes. Plus, it's not like you have to put cereal in it. I've put chicken nuggets, french fries, and even pizza into my bowl--just only fill it once. My one bowl trick at meal time is the best tip I have for college students in the cafeteria. (Remember, I haven't gained a pound with this method). Weekends are the second culprit towards college weight gain. Between drinking, going out to eat, and ordering late night pizza, college students are just setting themselves up for a waistline that is not so admirable when they are shakin it on the dance floor. So if you want to keep your sexy shape I suggest to keep reading. College students know that weekends are what get us through the long semesters of school work. The weekends are a time to let loose and have a little fun and forget about the stresses of life. However, forgetting about responsibility for a few days can creep into your weight status. Alcohol consumption is by far a major culprit to weight gain. With mixers, beer, chasers, and the alcohol itself consumers can bet on 500-2000 calories per night of fun. Remember, 3500 calories equals a pound of fat so three nights of fun could cause the drinker to instantly gain a pound. Times that by 4 and you just gained 4 pounds this month! So to prevent gaining extra pounds, get to the gym or decrease your alcohol consumption. I found that dancing on the dance floor is a good way to avoid drinking. Another trick I use is putting apple juice or water in a water bottle. To avoid peer pressure, just make up an alcohol inside the bottle. My apple juice instantly becomes "jack daniels" and my water instantly turns to karkov (remember, you're a college student...you're poor so karkov is a realistic made up vodka that no one will ask to try). Finally, sleeping patterns can greatly affect weight stability. During my first semester of college I slept approximately 5 hours a night. I instantly became sick all the time and was bloated and just felt gross. By second semester I made sure I got a hardy 8-10 hours and feel great. Through my own experience I've found that sleeping more helps me stay more repetitive in my lifestyle as far as habits go. Sleeping more keeps my appetite down as well as rejuvenates my body. Sleeping helps keep everything in order on the molecular level, so just get some sleep and you will feel so much better. I hope this article helps future and current college students with their battle to defeat the "freshman 15." This information is pretty basic but is easy to forget about or overlook. 5 or 10 measly pounds isnt much but if you let yourself do this over a period of years, by your first high school reunion you'll be the guy who people say, "boy did -your name here- get fat!" Don't be that guy...it's worse than being a statistic.