You’ve all heard the stories, whether you like it or not there’s agood chance you up and coming Freshman are going to fall victim to the “Freshman 15”. Eating well, exercising and whatever diet secret this month’s edition of Shape magazine unveils are all great forms of defense against a 18/F/California’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, most Freshman don’t realize they’ve put on a few extra pounds until Mom makes that slyPhoto credit to Flickr user Qinn remark at Thanksgiving. Here’s a simple way to keep an eye on your weight so that you can make the appropriate changes before your jeans begin to feel a little snug.

1. Buy a scale.

Dorms don’t typically come equipped with scales, however this simple piece of equipment will give you a huge advantage over your classmates in the fight against flab.

2. Track your weight.

This step can be as simple or elaborate as you like. For most, knowing your current weight is enough to keep the pounds off. By keeping track on a daily basis, you can adjust the variables in your lifestyle quickly and effortlessly to resist drastic weight fluctuation. Personally, I use a neat little iPhone app called Weightbot to record my weight each morning. Rotating the phone brings up some cool little graphs displaying your weight over time. Keep in mind that you should record your weight at the same time each day.

Tracking your weight on a daily basis is by no means the absolute solution to keeping the weight off at school. It’s simply a tool to keep you in control and give you the power to make changes before it’s too late.

Freshman, I wish you the best of luck.