We all know that HBCU students love to indulge on Fried Chicken Wednesdays, Soul Food Thursdays and Catfish Fridays. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal when you’re on campus, but beware of those delicious dishes. Some of our favorite foods can rack up on calories and tip the scales.

Here are some tips to help you avoid that freshman 15 and keep you feeling healthy during your freshmen year.

Enjoy those traditions in moderation.

Some of our favorite HBCU café items are large calorie counters. According to caloriecount.com, one serving of macaroni and cheese is 207 calories, a piece of dark meat fried chicken is 335 calories and one piece of fried catfish is 199 calories. This doesn’t even take into consideration the sides, drinks and desserts that we usually have along with our meals.

Although these meals are a staple of many HBCU menus enjoy these traditions in moderation. It’s okay to choose the baked chicken over the fried chicken every once in a while.

Image result for hbcu gym

Don’t neglect your on campus work out facility.

Have you ever noticed that abandoned room in the student union with all of those cobwebs? Yeah that’s your on campus gym. Free of charge. Flexible hours. Utilize it!

Image result for hbcu gym

Make working out fun and easy.

Not every workout entails hitting the treadmill or lifting weights. Explore your campus recreation center for Zumba, spin, dance or yoga classes. These are great ways to stay in shape while also having fun with friends.

Making minor lifestyle changes can also positively affect your health. Choosing the stairs over the elevator is an easy step in the right direction. Schedule some time to take the long way to class. Anything to get a little extra workout in for the day.

Fast food = slow progress.

A college student’s favorite fall back meal: fast food. Although fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Canes and Cook Out can satisfy your cravings at a cost you can appreciate, they’re terrible for your health.

Treat fast food like a distant cousin: enjoy it every now and again. Don’t make it a habit.

Image result for hbcu party

Don’t turn up too hard.

College students love to party, but partying comes with a cost. Sugary alcoholic beverages can really rack up the calories and add to progressive weight gain. According to greenfieldsfitnesssystems.com, alcohol makes burning off carbs, protein, and fat extremely difficult.

So before you take a drink just think!

You don’t have to commit to a vegan diet, an intensive daily workout session or not partying for life to avoid the freshmen 15. Just mindful in the everyday choices you make! Indulge in moderation and at the end of the day always be confident with what you see when you look in the mirror.

Ready for college but not sure what to expect, or even bring? Before you say goodbye to your parents and friends, check out this ultimate guide to surviving your first year in college, and in particular at the country’s 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). We created the #HBCUFreshmanBible to help build a bridge for students to make a successful transition from high school to black colleges, you can read more here.