The Student Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid
When you go away to college, you are thrown into an unfamiliar environment. Sleeping in a bed that is not your own and dealing with a new roommate you don’t know may be difficult enough, but you can’t forget about learning how to eat healthy foods while at college. Healthy eating is important so that you keep the weight off and keep your immune system healthy.
It is first important to settle into an eating routine. At home, you would probably never eat after a certain time at night—don’t at college either. If you’re used to eating breakfast, wake up before classes in enough time to do so. At the very least, be sure that you have time between classes for a balanced lunch and dinner. Don’t skip meals.
If your schedule is hectic, as most people find, you’ll need to schedule time to eat. Instead of grabbing food from a vending machine when you are hungry, plan ahead. Take a healthy salad or sandwich with you to eat if you have class over mealtime. Most professors don’t mind if you bring food to class as long as your eat it quietly.
When you do have time to eat in the cafeteria, it is important to make healthy decisions. Most colleges offer pizza and a variety of desserts every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them! Look for choices that have a balance of the food groups in every meal. A good indication that you have a nutritious meal is color. If your trey is colorful, with fruits, vegetables, and proteins, you are on the right track.
Of course, not every college has a cafeteria, and even if yours does you might choose to eat elsewhere. It’s very tempting to order Chinese food or other delivery, especially when participating in study groups. Try to find the best options here and allow yourself to splurge only on special occasions. For example, if someone is ordering pizza, see if the pizzeria also offers salads. This may be a healthy option. Try to stay away from fried or greasy foods.
College is one of the best times of your life. Don’t let poor eating choices ruin the experience. You might also want to note as a closing thought that alcohol has more empty calories than most of the foods you can eat at the cafeteria combined. Staying away from it can not only keep you safe, but also healthy. Add an exercise routine at a local gym, and you’ll never see that freshman fifteen!