College life is a bit different from what most people are used to, especially freshmen. The hectic schedules, numerous assignments, dissertation proofreading, and extracurricular activities take most of your time and leave many aspects of your life unattended. An aspect that’s most often affected is diet and eating patterns. Keep reading as we uncover different ideas for eating healthy in college.
1. Embrace Balancing your Meals
The phrase “eating healthy” is an umbrella term for eating foods high in all essential macronutrients and micronutrients. This type of food is referred to as a “balanced diet”. Macronutrients are fat, carbohydrates, and protein, whereas micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Eating a meal that has at least a piece of all these food classes means you’re eating healthy. An example is eating a serving of fat or starch (whole grain or legume) plus proteins (fish, meat, or eggs) and consuming this with some fruits or vegetables. The mistake many people make is leaving out a whole class of food for a long time.
2. Introduce Fruits and Vegetables
These are micronutrients that should be present in a healthy diet. They help to supplement the functions of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. They also aid in the smooth operation of body processes, provide essential minerals that promote proper body growth and improve your overall eating experience. Furthermore, a lack of these essential vitamins and minerals has been linked to various diseases.
A practical way of ensuring your diet doesn’t lack these nutrients is to stock your refrigerator with varieties. You can substitute salad for extra protein toppings in foods like pizza.
3. Be Intentional About your Snacks
Consuming snacks inappropriately is one of the college’s most common unhealthy eating habits. This is particularly true as most colleges’ schedules are usually hectic with various activities like assignments, dissertation proofreading, and extracurricular projects. This leaves many people consuming excessive snacks that aren’t good for their health and keep them awake during these activities.
Snacking on excessive starch can be detrimental to some people’s health. Hence, you can embrace healthy snacks like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, popcorn, cakes, or roasted soybeans. These kinds of snacks fill you up and, at the same time, provide essential nutrients in the long run.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is an inexpensive way to eat healthily in college. Since water can almost be found anywhere, you should take advantage of this by buying a reusable water bottle and refilling it whenever you need it. You can also invest in packaged water if you do not like the taste of the water available in your dorm or on campus. Staying hydrated helps you stay energetic, focused, and fresh. Also, it can be a good way to clean your mind.
5. Try Different Meals
Usually, college dining halls serve various meals at different times of the day. As such, you should only sometimes focus on your favorite meal. Check the menu and try as many meals as you can eat. Avoid excessively rich sauces and have a grip on the portion you consume. Eating large portions doesn’t necessarily mean more energy in some cases; rather, it’ll make you full and sleepy. It would be best if you also learned not to stay too long in the dining hall. Rest for a few minutes after eating and leave for other activities.
6. Cut Down on Excessive Junk
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to consume only essential nutritious foods. It also entails cutting down on junk, particularly excessive soda and caffeine. Due to the hectic work schedule of many college students owing to lectures, classes, and dissertation proofreading, students often take solace in caffeine and other energy drinks that can keep them awake for a long time.
You can take one or two cups of coffee daily and complement your daily drinking with water or fresh fruit drinks and smoothies. Instead of depending on energy drinks, you can invest in afternoon naps to keep you awake at night.
7. Never Skip Breakfast
There are several reasons why breakfast is considered the most crucial meal of the day. It gives you an energized start to the day as a college student. Additionally, it keeps your blood sugar levels within normal ranges, reduces your drowsiness during activities, and assists you in managing your appetite throughout your lessons. Skipping breakfast can make you sleepy all day, give you less energy for projects, and limit your performance in class. Even if you wake up at noon on a lecture-free day, ensure your first meal of the day is a healthy one.
Following these tips will help keep you active, healthy, and fit throughout the semester. You and your housemates can start a supper club if you reside off-campus. This entails picking one or two nights to prepare meals you both like at home.