The first year in college is quite stressful for everyone. You have to figure everything out, so every day is pretty challenging. No wonder, statistics show that almost 70% of students gain weight during their first year in college. There are so many things to learn and do that people simply forget to eat healthy. Finding food every single day feels like another job, so students simply ignore it. It is easier to buy a chocolate bar than to think what to cook in your dormitory kitchen. As a result, students who eat fast food and prefer soft drink over water have a tendency toward obesity, heart disease, diabetes. Needless to say, obesity usually comes together with depression. To avoid this, you need to take care of yourself and start eating healthy in college.
Eating healthy in college is possible even on a tight budget. Check these 7 tips on eating healthy as a student.
#1 Drink water
The first and one of the most important rules is drinking water. Forget about coffee and coke because it is not the same. Humans can survive for only 3-4 days without water.
Water is essential for all bodily functions. It can help to remove toxins. Moreover, it can help you with weight loss because it boosts your metabolism.
Motivate yourself to drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day. You can install an app that will remind you to drink water every 2 hours. There are some water apps that you can use for free. Such as Plant Nanny, Daily Water, Hydrate Daily. You can also get yourself a pretty drinking bottle and forget about plastic ones.
Keep in mind that eating healthy in college can only be possible if you drink enough water.
#2 College snacks
Let’s admit, not everybody can cook. So usually students eat snacks for breakfast or lunch. If it is your case, at least make sure to have healthy snacks. It exists!
Forget about chocolate bars. If you cannot make your mind to do so, watch The Sugar Film. Director Damon Gameau shows how sugar affects his body. After watching this movie, you will definitely change your views on highly sugar diet.
There is a list of cheap and healthy options:
- Rice Cakes ( you can add hummus or vegetable on top)
- Mixed nuts
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Dark Chocolate
- Granola Bars
#3 Cook at home
If you want to eat healthy as a student, you will need to learn how to cook. The biggest advantage of cooking at home is that you can control the amount of sugar, oil, and salt. And you will know that nobody touched your food with dirty hands. Unless you do it, but please don’t. Plus, everyone loves people who know how to cook. There is an old saying for this: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
There are so many easy and healthy meals you can cook in your dorm.
Here are some ideas:
Salad with boiled chicken. You can add fresh or dry tomatoes, onions, olive oil, a bit of salt, cabbage, almond, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs.
Rice with beans and tomato-basil chicken.
Oven-baked white fish with boiled potatoes and parsley.
There is one rule. Keep it simple! So, the question “What should I eat today?” won’t be bothering you anymore.
#4 Count your calories
An average person needs 1,800-2,000 calories every day. However, students constantly don’t control how much they eat. If you want to start eating healthy, consider counting your calories daily.
There are some mobile apps that can help you to do so. For example, MyDietPal, Fooducate, FatSecret. Of course, it is quite difficult to count your calories every day, but it will help you to be more aware of what to avoid and how much you actually need to eat. So, consider counting your calories for at least two weeks.
#5 Control your hunger
It doesn’t mean you should give up on eating. You should only know the difference between true and fake hunger.
Before you eat something recall when you ate for the last time. Sometimes you just need to drink some water because you are simply dehydrated.
You can also feel hungry all the time when you eat food products with added sugars and processed carbohydrates (beer, bread, potatoes, soft drink, white chocolate).
There are also some cases when people start eating because they are stressed. When a person isn’t able to fight it (eating in order to overcome the stress), it is important to speak to the college psychologist.
#6 Healthy choices when eating out
Of course, you will not be in the mood to cook every day, so eating out is a good option. However, keep in mind that you need to remember about eating healthy even when you go out. Try to avoid fast food places. If you eat outside, you can order soup, salads, fish, boiled potatoes and seafood. Feel free to order everything that is roasted, grilled and broiled.
Avoid bread basket and everything that is buttery or fried. Chefs are usually very generous with oil, and it is not what you are looking for.
#7 Know what to keep away from
There are a lot of unhealthy products you should know about.
Sugary products for example. Sugar is like a drug. Once you eat two candy bars in a row, you will feel that you need more. Have you ever wanted something sweet in the middle of the night? There is a lot of sugar in soft drinks, most fruit juices, and white bread.
If you start eating healthy, it is better to give up on alcohol, especially beer. You can allow yourself to drink a glass of dry wine instead.
You will probably be disappointed but try to avoid fries. Fries are very high in calories. The same is with chips. Eat plain potatoes instead.
Other things to avoid:
- ice cream
- microwave popcorn
- candy bars
What happens when you start eating healthy?
“Why is eating healthy so hard?” asks every college student. It’s not hard, you just need to be picky about the food you eat. If you start eating healthy, you will be more energetic and productive. It will also help you to lose weight and feel more comfortable with your body. Your mood will also improve, and your brain will function better. It’s impossible to get your work done when you are hungry. Also, your hormones will stabilize within 72 hours. It leads to clean skin and shiny hair. So, take care of your health and eat well.