7 Tips for Eating Healthy in College

February 3, 2016

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7 Tips for Eating Healthy in College
Photo Courtesy of: Jarylle Montevirgen 

Use Nutrition to Stay Energized, Maintain Weight and Manage Stress

Late night studying, busy schedules, and stressful courses can poorly influence the eating habits of college students; however, students can take control and boost their nutritional health by following some simple guidelines.

1. Listen to your body.

Although eating before bedtime is not recommended, listen to your body if you are hungry.  If your stomach is growling at 10pm because you have not eaten since 5pm, then have a snack!  Likewise, if you are full halfway through your meal, pack the rest and store it for later.  You will enjoy it more when you are hungry as opposed to forcing it down when you are full.

2. Eat breakfast.

Find yourself snoozing at your 8 am even though you got 8 hours of sleep?  This could be your body telling you that you should eat.  Oats is a good choice as it is healthy and keeps you full for hours.  You can mix and match with cocoa powder, granola, or strawberries and sweeten your oatmeal with honey, agave, brown sugar or banana.  If you wake up too late to make breakfast, you can always put your oats in the fridge the night before and take it to go!

3. Stock up on healthy snacks.

Having healthy snacks prepared is great for busy students!  Prepare snacks the night before so they are ready to go when you leave for class in the morning.  If you have four classes back-to-back and have to skip a meal, pack high protein, high fiber snacks such as sliced apples with peanut butter.

4.Use portion control.

Whether you are reaching for almonds or barbecue chips, portion out your snacks instead of eating from the container.  Portion control is one of the biggest factors in weight gain or loss—whether the food is healthy or not.

5. Keep a positive mindset.

Do not feel guilty when you crave some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Limiting yourself completely does not work in the long run.  Instead, scoop out a portion into a bowl and enjoy.  Motivate yourself by keeping the focus on your strengths.

6. Drink water!

Drink at least 8 cups a day.  If you plan on working out, drink more water—before, during and after your workout.  You will also need more than 8 cups if you often have caffeinated drinks.

7. Schedule your meals.

Eat regularly to maintain your blood sugar levels.  Skipping meals can cause extreme hunger and overeating, so plan out and prepare your meals and snacks the night before.  Eating throughout the day helps to keep up your energy when you are studying, working out and spending time with friends.

Take control of your nutritional health as you handle school, work and social life!

 

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