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Eating Right While Attending College

I am sure you have all heard horror stories from your parents, older siblings or friends about the dreaded freshman 15, but eating healthy at college doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. Although college students are constantly stressed out and have busy and hectic schedules, you can learn how to eat healthy at college and prevent putting on the added pounds.

While most college students do not have access to a full kitchen to make homecooked meals, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat junk food. Almost all college campuses have dining halls that offer a wide variety of food items, most even have a salad bar! Try and find healthy foods to eat in the dining hall such as: baked chicken, cooked vegetables, yogurt, fruit and salad. Take advantage of the wide food selection in the college dining hall, especially if you have a college food debit plan. Instead of buying prepackaged processed food, eat at the dining hall or cook healthy dinners at friends’ apartments as much as you can. Even if you are on the run, you can stop in and grab some fruit or a quick salad. If you live in a dorm room or are constantly on the go, keep things like grapes or granola bars readily available for you to snack on if you do not have time to sit down and eat a meal. If there is one rule that is important above all others it would be to never skip breakfast! Eating a healthy breakfast will fuel your brain and body for the day, you will do better on your tests and you will be less tired throughout the day.

One of the biggest sources of gaining excess weight at college is drinking beer and soda. Beer and soda have very little nutrients and are very high in sugars and carbohydrates which will put weight on very quickly. To maintain a healthy eating regiment you also need to drink lots of water. Bring a water bottle with you to class and work and refill it frequently. You can sip on it during your lecture and give your body the hydration it needs to stay healthy. Another thing you can do to stick to your healthy eating guidelines is to chew sugar free gum. It might sound silly, but if you are one of those people that likes to snack all the time it might save you hundreds of calories. Sometimes when we get bored we eat because it is a force of habit, if you are chewing sugar free gum it will give your mouth something to do without you putting junk food in your body.

If your parents live in the same town as your college, take advantage of preparing meals in their kitchen ahead of time. You can always cook meals and pack them up in plastic containers to take with you for lunch or dinner. If you do not go to college near your parents do not worry, you can still follow the above suggestions to eat healthy at college. Once you get into the routine of reaching for healthy snacks you will realize that there are just as available and easy as the unhealthy snacks. Making the time to eat healthy will be well worth it in the long run, you will feel great, sleep better and will have more energy!
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