6 Tips for Having a Healthy Diet as a College Student
College can be a difficult time for making healthy eating choices with so much newfound freedom. Being on a meal plan can cause room for temptation to eat whatever you like in the dining hall. Living in a dorm makes it easy to just heat up mac and cheese or boil pasta and have whatever snack you want when you want it.
For the first time, you’re making all your own decisions about what you’re eating and no longer having good home-cooked meals. The convenience of the dining halls surround you with some unhealthy choices, but it is possible to make healthy choices too. Here is your ultimate guide on how to eat healthy wisely as a college student.
Fill your dorm with healthy snacks
Your dorm has limited space in the fridge and throughout the room itself. Don’t overdo it on the number of snacks you store in your room, but be sure to be stocked up on healthy snacks during the year. Baby carrots, apples, rice cakes, almond butter, bananas, oatmeal, hummus, and nuts are all great healthy snack options. They are also inexpensive and have a longer shelf life.
Check out the salad bar
Your dining hall is more than likely to have a salad bar station. There are numerous healthier options to make a meal out of this area. Fill up on all the veggies and protein that will satisfy your hunger and opt for olive oil and vinegar instead of salad dressing for a lower calorie option.
Choose water instead
Water is your best, healthiest option for a drink choice. Soda and energy drinks are full of sugar that is believed to give you more energy. However, a glass of water will do just the trick. Add lemon, cucumber or lime for some flavor and purchase a reusable water bottle to fill up throughout the day.
Keep your coffee intake low as well as the large amounts of sugar and cream can spike your cravings and contribute to overeating unwanted unhealthy snacks. Drink tea instead or take your coffee black with an almond milk creamer.
Pick grilled food over fried options
Frying food is a more unhealthy way to cook food compared to grilling. Grilled foods are lower in calories whereas fried foods absorb a lot of the fat when it is fried which increases the cholesterol in the body.
You can usually tell if foods are fried verse grilled. For example, chicken fingers and french fries are the biggest fried foods often served in dining halls. Opt for the grilled chicken option instead.
Eat three meals a day, without late-night snacking
To avoid snacking unhealthy options, always be sure to eat three meals a day. It is critical to have breakfast, so don’t skip it as it will help sustain a healthy diet. If you are in your dorm room some good options are oatmeal with fruit or a rice cake with nut butter and fruit, this will provide you with the energy needed for the day.
College students are known for staying up late and sleeping in, do your best to maintain healthy choices throughout the day. Eating healthier will improve your wellbeing and make you feel much better overall. Don’t be afraid to have that ice cream every now and then though!
Pick low-cost superfoods to eat
If you are on a smaller meal plan and grocery shop, purchase lower-cost food items that are full of proper nutrients. Apples, eggs, avocados, oatmeal, beans, and spinach are all cheaper food options that are the healthiest items to consume. They will also keep you fuller for longer and give you the energy you need for those long days of studying.