The fabled Freshman 15—the number of pounds a typical first-year student allegedly gains—may be a myth, some research suggests. But getting heavier over the course of your four years at college is a probability. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered the best advice and posted it right here.

Change of Lifestyle

Entering college is like entering a whole new world. You are surrounded by different people, living away from your family, and fending for yourself on a daily basis. It is notorious that starting college equates to gaining weight. The dreaded “Freshman 15,” as it is known, has the ability to sneak up on new college students. While your schedule may be filled with classes, assignments, and socialization, there are always ways to incorporate fitness into your life.

Alcohol Intake

One of the most common factors to gaining weight can come from drinking a lot of beer. Drinking beer, or any alcoholic beverage, contains empty calories. Realistically, you are probably going to partake in your fair share of drinking or partying, but keep in mind that overdoing it can be one of the ways that you are heading down the path to your Freshman 15.

Cook Your Own Food

While you may not have the same resources you did back home, it is still possible to whip up some quick and easy meals for yourself. Once college starts, you will probably gravitate towards eating in the cafeteria or eating out with your friends a lot. While this can be easy, it is also easy to potentially overeat and gain unnecessary pounds. Plenty of resources for college cooking and meal prep can be found online!

Make Fitness Goals

You don’t have to join a gym or spend hours working on your physique, but setting realistic fitness goals is going to help you in maintaining your health. Go for a run or brisk walk 5x per week, or even recruit a friend and take a fitness class together. There are plenty of ways to get this exercise in, no matter how busy you are. Sticking to your goals will feel great and it will also be a great way to stay motivated in general.

Regulate Your Eating

Having 3 balanced meals each day (plus some snacks, if you choose) is going to help you stay focused and on track. Do not wait until you are starving to eat, and alternatively, do not keep eating if you already feel full. To monitor your hunger, try to eat at approximately the same time each day. If you get into a habit, your body will get used to it over time.