These days, more and more people are finding ways to return to education as adults, whether it's because they didn't have the chance to do a degree when they were younger, because they want to retrain for a different career, or because they want to build on their existing qualifications with something like an MBA or a masters in social work.
With online courses and community college courses, it is possible for people of all ages to do college courses without having to relocate to a university campus or get into loads of student debt. However, just as going to college at 18 causes most people to gain weight (the famous 'freshman 15'), beginning to study something full-time can mean spending a lot more time sitting in front of your computer in a sedentary state – especially if you are doing something like an MSW online where even your lectures don't require you to go anywhere or move!
With the temptation to snack and the idea in your head that you are too busy to hit the gym, weight can creep up if you don't take some strategies, like these, to avoid it:
Find Time-Efficient Workouts
You may have some periods of intensive studying or essay writing, but if you find time-efficient ways to exercise then you can stop yourself from letting exercise become a bottom priority you just don't do during the busiest times. High-intensity interval training is great for this, as you can burn lots of calories in just a few minutes a day and get a great metabolic boost for the next 24 hours to boot. It is also something you can do at home with almost no equipment, and can learn from YouTube videos, meaning no time lost going to classes or driving to the gym.
Choose Healthy Snacks
Snacking can actually help you keep going when you are having a long study session, but you need to pick snacks that aren't full of empty calories and simple carbs. Bananas, seeds, berries, and small amounts of nutritionally beneficial but calorically dense snacks like nuts, dark chocolate and olives can all be better choices than chips, cookies, candy and crackers, and all contain beneficial 'nootropic' elements like antioxidants that can actually help brain function.
Don't Stay Sitting Down Too Long at Once
Staying at your desk for hours at a time can not only affect your posture, making you look less fit and toned even if you haven't gained weight, but can also cause your metabolism and digestion to slump. Get up and walk around a little every hour or so, even if you just nip to the store or even just walk around your home a little. Even a couple hundred steps can stop your body going into full 'sedentary' mode if you do them every hour.
These are just three ways you can make a simple but conscious effort to avoid weight gain as you study.