Depending on your living situation it can be easier for some to eat healthy while away at school than others. If you’re like me and you have your own full kitchen in an apartment style dorm, things are easier. If you must eat from a food court or a cafeteria daily, eating right gets tougher. I believe the major difference in college eating habits comes down to the time of day we eat. It’s the midnight pizza, late night study sugar, and all that soda that gets to us.
The best thing you can do for yourself is not eat anything after 9pm. If you must, eat fruit or veggies. Fruits and veggies will give you a natural source of energy and replace all that sugar and salt. A common mistake made by all people, not just college students is drinking in your calories. Calories are for food. Stick to water, milk, or orange juice to stay hydrated and low cal.
When it comes to eating in the cafeteria, try to balance out your meals. If you like big dinners take a light lunch, or vice versa. Don’t eat every meal like you’re at a three course restaurant. Also, try and cover all the food groups. If you’re a meat eater, pick a piece of meat. Try and choose the meat that looks grilled or baked, fried food will not be as good for you. Balance the meal off with two sides, either veggies, fruit, a piece of bread, potatoes, or some rice. Try as often as possible to skip the desert table. Allow yourself to splurge once a week for sweets. For your lighter meal pick one main dish and one small side instead of two larger ones. If you don’t eat meats replace your main dish by choosing pasta or eggs for protein or make a large salad and skip the croutons.
A great way to start a low calorie day is to eat a big breakfast. It sounds ironic, but by eating a larger breakfast you are less likely to take in as much throughout the day. Make a bagel and replace the cream cheese with peanut butter for extra protein. Choose eggs however you like them but try to skip out on the greasy sausage and bacon. Eat some whole grain toast or a bowl of your favorite cereal. I follow the rule that breakfast should be around 300 calories. I guarantee that you will be less hungry throughout the day and you will have newfound energy to make the day count.
Healthy snacks can include yogurt, nuts, or whole fruit. All of these snacks are easy to carry from class to class and will give you an extra charge throughout the day. Enjoy your new and healthy eating habits, and steer clear of that freshman 15 just in time for summer!
I’m reading Give Me Liberty!: An American History