Easy Ways to Eat Healthy In College
Gaining weight in college, i.e. the “freshman fifteen,” is so common that we’ve coined a term for it. It’s easy to do, after all, when most food that’s cheap and plentiful (that you can make and/or store in a dorm) is not healthy and the food in the commissary is… also not healthy, really. Sure, they will have some healthy options – but why spend $3.50 on a fruit salad when you can get a burger and chips for less?
Here are some tips & ideas for how to stay healthy when living on campus:
• Acquire a mini-fridge
• Spend time in the gym – there’s typically one on campus, find out where it is and utilize it while you can
• Try not to eat out as much – it’s tempting to go out with your friends, but that really adds up – both financially and in caloric intake. Suggest outings that don’t involve food, or ones where you can bring your own.
• Find a fitness buddy – make friends with someone who is also interested in staying healthy, keep each other motivated and even work out together.
Food to keep around the dorm room:
• Remember that mini-fridge I mentioned earlier? Stock it with cut-up fresh veggies like baby carrots, cucumbers, and celery
• Salsa, greek yogurt, and salsa are great dips and additions to any meal. You may like to try Greek yogurt in your cereal rather than milk.
• Keep some individually-wrapped string cheese in there as well – they’re full of protein and calcium and they’re easy to eat when you’re on the go.
• If you have several classes in a row, try carrying protein bars with you. If you’re hungry, you won’t be able to pay attention as well as you would if you weren’t thinking about your grumbling stomach.
• Buy a box of individually-wrapped raw unsalted nuts and eat only one portion at a time – it can be easy to munch all the way through a box in a sitting if you’re distracted. Try adding some to the yogurt!
• Store only a few pieces of fruit at a time and eat it whenever you want, however you want. Try cut up apples with walnuts and string cheese for lunch, and there’s always apples and peanut butter.
• Keep it crunchy with some popcorn, rice cakes, or soy crisps! Make sure you know what a portion is and monitor it, but crunchy food is always satisfying.
• There’s no excuse for cutting breakfast. High-fiber cereals are desired, but there’s nothing wrong with a cereal you loved as a kid. Add some fruit and nuts, if you like.
• Stay hydrated – drink water throughout the day. Keep a water filter pitcher in your room and utilize reusable water bottles to carry the clean water with your throughout campus.
• Natural peanut butter or almond butter – which is easy to find in your local grocery store, you may even find cheap versions such as Jif or Skippy – they are great on whole wheat crackers, graham crackers, celery, apples, and even mixed in your oatmeal! Try it with everything, it really is one of the more versatile food products out there.
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