Eating healthy in college is not exactly the easiest thing in the world. Early classes, late nights, off-campus excursions and lots of naps can make for a ‘unique’ eating schedule… but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat properly just because you’re at school. When I first started college I found myself eating snacks when I was stressed, skipping meals to do homework, and basically unable to establish and maintain any sort of routine. Thankfully, I learned a lot since I first started college.
My advice to eat healthy while in college:
1. Get into a routine– This is my absolute biggest tip! The problem with college (and life in general) is that it can be really hard to get into a regular eating schedule. My advice? Make getting into a regular routine a priority. Start with a healthy breakfast EVERY morning, then have a balanced lunch, a nourishing dinner and a satisfying little dessert. If you’re hungry at night opt for something light and healthy, like some crackers and peanut butter to fill your tummy and help you sleep well.
2. Eat breakfast– I know… you’re tired. But trust me, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Starting the day off right will help you to eat balanced all day long. Breakfast will help you concentrate in the classroom, focus during the day, and even maintain a healthy weight. Try to have breakfast every morning… even if it’s something simple like a nutrition bar and a piece of fruit in your first period class. You’ll be glad you did!
3. Eat protein with every meal– This is a big tip too. I’m a firm believe in the importance of balanced meals. When I was a vegan I used to be ‘fine’ eating just veggies and fruit… but that never lasted very long for me! My body (and yours too!) needs protein regularly. So even if you don’t eat animal protein, make sure you’re getting enough plants-based protein! Nowadays, I focus on balanced meals. I make sure that protein is a part of each meal, like an egg at breakfast, a bit of chicken at lunch, or even some lentils at dinner. Protein fills me up and keeps me satisfied!
4. Exercise!!– Seriously, walk everywhere! I recently bought a Fitbit pedometer and now I walk all the time!! I walk to clear my head or while I talk on the phone to my friends and family. I actually find myself “taking the long way” just to get in some extra steps and because I know it is so good for me! Park your car further away from the entrance. Find a friend and go exploring. Do a couple of laps around that pretty little pond you’ve passed a million times before. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel when you get up and get going!
5. Limit late-night snacks– I touched on this in the earlier tips, but I need to mention it again! Stop over-snacking! My advice? Cut out the extra snacks late at night. Sure, there will be days when we’re tired, or just really craving some extra energy and we’ll end up having an extra snack or a bit more than we planned, but try not to make that a regular habit (portion controlled, healthy snacks are, of course, OK!)
How about you? Do you have any tips to prevent college weight gain? Any tips in general?!