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Is the Freshman 15 Just For College Students?

freshman 15

What Is The Freshman 15?

In prehistoric times when I went to college, the weight gain characterized by freshman year was called the freshmen ton; meaning that if you added up all the weight the freshman gained by throughout the school year, it would equal a ton. The Freshman 15 is close enough and is defined as the amount of weight an average freshman will gain by the end of freshman year. Some folks are spared but unfortunately many freshmen end up with the extra pounds. This type of weight gain is likely to follow us throughout life, as we encounter similar life stresses. The gain is blamed on a variety of issues, including:

  • A decrease in regular physical activity or sports involvement.
  • Dining halls (or cupboards) with unlimited food choices (both healthy and not-so-healthy).
  • Increased snacking.
  • Drinking more caloric beverages such as high-fat, sugary coffee drinks, soda, energy drinks and alcohol.

How can young, vibrant 18 year olds be gaining that much weight? Is it a myth or urban legend? Aren’t they walking to class, meeting with friends, dancing, and partying? They’re too busy to gain weight right? Unfortunately, researchers followed 131 students over four years of college and found that a whopping 70% of them packed on pounds by graduation (average of 12 pounds). The overall percentage of students found to be overweight increased from 18% to 31%. The researchers noted gains in body fat composition and waist circumference as well.

A new study, published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, flies in the face of previous studies, which found that the average student gains merely 2.5 to 3.5 pounds and accused the media of fomenting the Freshman 15 myth.

But the researchers in the Auburn study observed that the “growth” they found in the college students consisted primarily of fat mass (meaning natural growth patterns could not account for it). And all the above factors were significant contributors to the gain.

Carol Holland, D.Ph., an associate professor and a psychologist in the counseling center at Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania, says that the stress of adapting to a new situation and academic and social challenges can be a problem. Students may miss the support system of friends, family, and activities that they had in high school, so they use what’s available. Food becomes a pacifier, and this coping skill can follow after college leading to adulthood obesity, if it’s not recognized early.

How To Avoid Fall Weight Gain Whether Your In College Or Not

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Total Gym Boot Camp Workout with Sherry Goggin


Total Gym Boot Camp Workout

Miss Fitness America Sherry Goggin joins us on Total Gym Pulse to bring us her Total Gym Boot Camp Workout! This consists of alternating from one exercise to another with no rest period between exercises.




Sherry begins with bicep curls. She starts by keeping her arms down at her side, palms up and slowly brings them up in a curling motion.







Sherry transitions to the next exercise working the shoulders with upright raises. Keep your elbows up high, back straight and stick your chest out as you bring the cables to your chin.



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Recipes with Avocado That Aren’t Guacamole

avocado uses not guacamole

Avocado Soup and Avocado Milkshake Recipes

Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit belonging to the drupe family, which are one-seeded fruits with a firm exterior, often resembling berries. Avocados provide more than 20 vitamins and minerals, and are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats; so consider if it’s time for you to start getting the health benefits of avocado by regularly enjoying this delicious fruit.

When choosing an avocado, color is not an indicator of ripeness. Choose avocados that are free of bruises and heavy for their size. If the avocado is hard to the touch, it is unripe. To ripen, place them in a brown paper bag at room temperature until they are slightly soft; this usually takes from 2 to 4 days. Once the avocados are ripe, place them in the refrigerator and enjoy them within a couple of days.

Avocados can be used in a myriad of recipes ranging frombreakfast (like an avocado smoothie) to lunch recipes (such as an avocado stuffed with chicken salad). You can even enjoy sandwiches with avocado, such as the BLAT sandwich found in trendy delis. In case you didn’t know, that is a bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich. Some great avocado recipes for dinner might include an avocado dressing on your salad or a delicious avocado pasta recipe.
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Stuck In Plateau Limbo? 8 Tips To Improve Results


Tips and Tricks To Improve Your Workout Results

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”- Einstein

The Workout Plan Starts Out The Same For Everyone

We all have good intentions when we start exercising. We commit to working out three times a week, eating a healthier diet, and going for a hike with friends on the weekends.

The first week goes great. Most of us are sore because the only movement we’ve done in the last couple months is the move from the couch to the bed to the office chair. The next few weeks go by without any issue. Around the third week, the soreness has lessened, energy levels have increased, clothes are fitting a little looser, and people are starting to notice positive changes, both mentally and physically.

You think to yourself – I just need to maintain this consistent routine and the positive changes will continue. Results are happening. Life is good.

The Inevitable Workout Plateau

You are now 6 months into your healthier lifestyle. You miss a workout now and then but, for the most part, you’ve been getting your 3 workouts in every week. You lost weight and dropped a few inches around the waist. Sadly, when you step on the scale now, it seems to always be on the same number as the week prior. The compliments from family and friends have tailed off as well. You are working just as hard as you were in the beginning, but the strength gains and fat loss results have hit a wall.

This is a critical time for folks. Unfortunately, many get frustrated and revert back to their unhealthy lifestyle citing it’s too much work for such little progress. Others will continue to exercise but really just go through the motions and remain stuck in “plateau limbo.” The last group is the determined group. The mentally tough and focused group who will do whatever it takes to overcome this sticking point. The final group is the group that will find a solution to this all-too-common problem.

Solutions To Get Past The Workout Plateau

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What Are Your Sleep Habits Saying About You?

sleeping patterns

Understanding Sleep Habits for Better Sleep

Ironically, the question of how to get a good night’s sleep seems to keep a lot of people up at night. My experience tells me that the secret sauce of restorative sleep is to first find genuine inner peace in order to have that good night’s sleep that’s truly peaceful.

If you are tossing and turning, not getting your 7 or 8 hours of commonly suggested sleep, it may well be due to a lack of a peaceful internal dialogue with yourself…and with others. Blame your lack of sleep on all of the things you have to do (even that notion is inaccurate). The list of inner strife about life goes on and on into the wee hours of the morning. You run out of sheep to count before you have to get up and drag yourself into another sleep-deprived day. See? No inner peace leads to no resting in peace.

What Kind of Sleeper Are You?

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Catch Stress Before It Starts


How To Prevent Everyday Stress

Wouldn’t you rather prevent a problem instead of spending time and effort managing one? Why “treat” a disease when you can avoid it in the first place?

It’s the same thing with stress. That’s right… Those who sell stress management and stress reduction tools, seminars and supplements may not like to hear this, but stress doesn’t have to ever disrupt your life if you are equipped with the tools to prevent it in the first place. Read on and get ready to live stress-free.

In the 25th Anniversary edition of my 1988 original, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff P.S. It’s All Small Stuff, I point out that stress is a perspective on life.

Voltaire wisely noted, “Life is a shipwreck, but we must still sing in our lifeboats.”

But Michael, my life is crazy, my boss drives me nuts, the kids are always sick, I can never make it to the gym and our finances are stressing me out…I don’t even see a lifeboat!

When it comes to stress, there definitely is a lifeboat. You see, the Greek philosopher Epictetus was 100% right when he observed, People aren’t disturbed by outside things and events, but by the views which they take of them.” There’s a lifeboat all right, and it’s right there behind your eyes, and between your ears.

Become Mindful of What Stresses You Out

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How To Get A Strong Back

how to get a strong back

How To Get A Strong Back

Fitness trainer John Peel shows us how to get a strong back using The Total Gym. In this segment, John demonstrates three different exercises that will help strengthen your back and improve your posture.

weekend warrior 2

The first exercise John demonstrates is the “Seated Row.” Do this by sitting up straight, lean slightly back and hold the cables with your palms facing down. Pull the cables toward you bringing your hands all the way to your ribcage and extend back out. If you want to challenge yourself further, pause for three seconds when bringing the cables toward your before releasing back down.
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Total Gym’s 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge: Week 3

Pike Up Challenge week 3 video

Week 3: The Advanced Pike-Up Edition

Any type of fitness challenge requires commitment, determination, consistency and a plan-of-action to accomplish a set goal. I have created a 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge that will benefit your body mentally as well as physically in minimal time!

New to a fitness challenge? Have no fear! It’s as simple as making a commitment, just like with anything else. With the determination to succeed you can take on the challenge! Keep in mind your current fitness level and start with the basic pike-up movements from week one to build your core strength base, and progress when your body is ready.

This is the final week of the challenge so if you’re just joining in now, please refer back to Week 1 for the basic pike-up exercises. The third week contains a new set of advanced exercises that challenge core balance and stability. These exercises utilize different ranges of motion and functional total body strength.

The Challenge

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11 High Protein Essentials To Add To Your Diet

high protein foods

Healthy High Protein Foods

When we hear the phrase high protein we often think of beefy bodybuilders or people trying to bulk up rather than slim down. However, protein is not only the building block for our muscles, it is also a key factor for losing weight. Protein breaks down slower than carbohydrates. What this means is you’ll have long-term energy rather than short-term energy, you’ll be more full longer and can significantly cut down on sweet cravings. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

In fact, the second most common mistake I see in my nutrition practice is diets that are too low in protein (the most common mistake I see is under eating). Typically we do a good job at lunch and dinner, but breakfast and snacks are where protein seems to fall through the cracks. In order to understand how we can incorporate more protein, let’s look at the primary sources of protein in our diet:

Great Animal Protein Sources

  • Chicken (38 g of protein for 1 cup)
  • Beef (between 20-110 g of protein depending on cut)
  • Fish (between 19-45 g of protein depending on type)
  • Eggs (6 g of protein) for 1 large egg
  • Dairy
    • Milk (8 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Cheese  (7-28 g of protein depending on type)
    • Greek yogurt (17 g of protein in 1 container)
  • Great Vegetarian Protein Sources

  • Mixed Nuts (27 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Soy
    • Soybeans (68 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Tofu (20 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Edamame (17 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Beans (7-39 g of protein in 1 cup depending on type)
  • Lentils (18 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Hemp seeds (89.6 g of protein in 1 cup)

It is important to note that almost all food has some level of protein and this vegetarian list is far from exhaustive. I chose ones that are my favorite, have at least 8-10g of protein per serving and were easily accessible. If you have other great sources of protein I would love to hear about them in the comment section below!

Combine Carbs and Protein For An Energy-Filled Meal

A great rule of thumb is every time you eat; make sure it has a source of protein as well as a carbohydrate. Here are a few examples:
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Yummy (and Healthy) Summer Smoothie Recipes

Summer Smoothie

Create The Perfect Summer Smoothie

Smoothies are a delicious treat on a hot summer day! You can enjoy fruit & yogurt breakfast smoothies, protein smoothies as a post workout recovery treat, or enjoy seasonal fresh fruit smoothies as a delicious snack anytime of day. But not all smoothie recipes are alike. Many of the smoothies you get at fairs and at coffee shops are really nothing more than sugary drinks with artificial food coloring and flavor. But no worries, with a few good healthy smoothie recipes, you can easily enjoy smoothies that are a nutritious addition to your diet.

When searching for smoothie recipes, remember that smoothies are only as nutritious as the ingredients you add to them. Whether it’s green smoothie recipes or kids’ smoothie recipes, choose recipes that use fresh wholesome ingredients without a lot of added sugar. A quick Internet search will provide you with lots of quick recipes ranging from smoothie recipes with spinach to tropical smoothies. But the basis of any good-for-you smoothie recipe is blending together a nutritious liquid such as 100% juice, milk, kefir or coconut water with some fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, with no added sugar. Sometimes, though, adding a little sweetener such as honey or stevia can make a smoothie a bit more enjoyable.

Adding frozen fruit to a smoothie recipe without ice provides dense nutrition and a product that is less watered down. Try searching for some summer smoothie recipes that use watermelon, strawberries, pineapple or fresh mint for fun seasonal flavors. There are some refreshing smoothie ideas out there but remember that some are healthy, low calorie smoothie recipes that can help with maintaining a healthy weight, and some are dessert smoothies that are not healthy at all.

Timesaving Tips and Recipes for Quick Smoothies

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