Even if you didn't gain the dreaded "freshman 15" during your first year of college, chances are good you probably freaked out about it just a little bit before moving in in the fall. It turns out, though, that you might not actually have had anything to worry about at all, according to a new study.
Refinery29 reports that a study lead by researchers at Middle Tennessee State University has found evidence that the freshman 15 isn't what we make it out to be. Instead, the study, which analyzed 8,984 students between 1997 and 2010, found that any weight gain typically happens gradually throughout all four years of college, not during freshman year alone.
In fact, the average freshman only gained one pound on average. Men gained an average of 14.1 pounds throughout college, and women gained an average of 8.3. (Meaning that even over all four years, neither of the averages actually reached the dreaded full 15 pounds.)
The takeaway here? You shouldn't be ashamed if you notice your body changing beyond just freshman year - and if you're headed off to your first year, it's not necessarily going to mean instant weight gain either. Besides, as long as you're staying healthy and practicing self-care, weight is just a number on a scale.