10 Tips for Avoiding the ‘Freshman 15’ of Start Ups

The term 'freshman 15' refers to the weight many students put on during their first semester of college. When you start college, you settle into a less active, more sedentary lifestyle. Add dorm food and beer to the mix and you have a recipe for disastrous weight gain.

The same thing happens when you first start a business. You now spend your day hunched over a laptop, wolfing down meals between tasks, and sleeping whenever you have free time.

'Computer butt,' as the start-up version of the freshman 15 is jokingly called, occurs for two reasons – lack of exercise and poor diet. Sleep habits and stress also play a part. Here are ten things you can do to combat that dreaded weight gain and keep yourself healthy as you get your business off the ground.

1. Observe Meal Times

Take the time you need to cook and eat well. When you first start working for yourself, meals are rushed. You reach for the nearest processed food that you can zap in the microwave. But you need to make time for meals. Meal-time gives you a much needed break. It gives you not only rest but also the fuel you need. Make the effort to keep eating well.

2. Go for Variety

Planning and thinking about meals seems like a drain on your time when you work for yourself. But part of eating healthy is eating a variety. Make sure you're getting many different nutrients and not only eating the same few things.

3. Watch the Snacking

When you have long hours in front of the computer, you're likely to treat yourself to a snack, especially when working at night. When you get a snack attack, reach for something healthy. Avoid the junk food trap. Keep your house stocked with healthy snacks that you can eat easily for when cravings hit.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

When you need something to eat or drink, pour yourself a glass of water. Water helps you maintain your concentration. It offers a healthy drink that's not sugar-filled like soda. Another nice thing about water is that it can make you feel full, which helps to prevent overeating.

5. Don't Skip Meals

When you're busy getting your business off the ground, it's tempting to skip meals, especially breakfast. But this is not a healthy lifestyle choice. Skipping meals can throw your metabolism out of whack and cause stress. Eat a balanced breakfast and make sure you're eating lunch and dinner as well.

6. Create a Simple At-Home Workout Routine

The other leading cause of computer butt is lack of exercise. Decide on a simple workout routine that you can do at home. This should be something you can take period breaks and do, like stretching, push-ups or squats.

7. Get Active

Go outside and do something active regularly. It's best to be active once a day but three times a week should be the minimum. It can be something as simple as a brisk walk that gets your heart pumping.

8. Walk Whenever You Can

Take the opportunity to walk rather than drive every chance you get. If you usually drive to a store that's just a 20-minute walk away, walk it. If you take the train two short stations, walk the distance instead. Bring along some music or podcasts to get your mind off of work.

9. Sleep Much and Often

It's only natural that when you get busy, sleep seems like a luxury rather than a necessity. But you need that time unconscious to balance your stress level and give your brain what it needs to get the work done. Make sure that you get enough sleep and try to keep a regular sleeping schedule.

10. Watch Your Weight

Even if you've always been fit and never worried about weight gain, start thinking about it now. You'll be surprised at the pounds you put on, even if it's never been an issue before.

You may not have the most strenuous day job in the world, but when you switch to the sedentary lifestyle of an entrepreneur starting up their business, you're bound to put on some pounds. Use these ten tips to keep computer butt at bay.

You can learn more here in my directory section for how to run a business that will show you more details and steps in setting up and running your business - and keeping yourself healthy from burnout at the same time.

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