Since college life can be exhausting, proper nutrition and healthy eating habits are essential to ensure that you perform optimally. Whether you're an incoming or returning student, here are six healthy eating tips that can help you throughout your college journey.
Pre-plan your meals
With plenty of food choices, it is relatively easy to treat the college cafeteria as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Pre-planning your meals can help you eat a well-balanced diet and prevent excessive eating. No matter how busy your schedule is, dedicate a few minutes or hours daily to planning your meals. Make sure to have the proper balance of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and proteins to ensure your body functions properly. Include a fruit or vegetable in every meal, and be mindful of your food portions.
Avoid skipping breakfast
To ensure that you do well in your classes, you should always make it a habit to eat a healthy breakfast. If you're pressed for time, choose a high-fiber fruit such as an apple or banana and an easy-to-eat protein-filled food item. While some protein and energy bars are great quick breakfast options, avoid consuming them regularly.
Eating a healthy breakfast can help ensure that your brain gets the necessary nutrients so that you can excel academically, especially during exam seasons. If you're skipping breakfast because of intermittent fasting, make sure you do your research first and read reviews on 'why am I not losing weight on intermittent fasting' so that you're well-versed with its advantages and disadvantages.
Reduce your caffeine intake
While drinking coffee has its health benefits, excessive caffeine consumption can be detrimental to your health. Limit your coffee intake to two to three cups a day, and avoid relying on caffeine when you're sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep plus too much coffee can make you restless, disrupt your focus, and lead to serious health complications. Make sure you get quality and adequate sleep every night and rest often during the day so that you don't need to depend on coffee to boost your mental energy.
Drink more water
Staying hydrated is one of the easiest and simplest healthy habits that can significantly improve your overall health. Drinking water can also prevent overeating as you will feel fuller and less hungry. Drink adequate amounts of water every day and steer clear of carbonated drinks. Carry a reusable water bottle with you, so you don't need to purchase other beverages.
Stock up on healthy snacks
To prevent you from eating processed food during your late-night studies, stock up on healthy snacks in your dorm. Fill your pantry with nutritious food items such as popcorn, nuts, dried fruits, whole grain crackers, and seeds. Avoid depriving yourself of your food cravings, but make sure to do it in moderation.
Find an accountability eating buddy
Adopting healthy eating habits is easier when you have a great support system. Find an accountability buddy who you can check in with every day. You'll be more motivated to cultivate good eating habits if you're sharing your journey with a trusted friend who will hold you accountable for your food choices.
Creating healthy eating habits while in college need not be difficult. Remember to follow the above tips and enjoy your college experience.