Nearly every college student worries about gaining the “Freshman 15.” While it is true that it is difficult to keep a balanced and nutritious diet while living in a college dorm, it is not impossible. Here are some easy-to-implement tips for eating healthy while in college. You can still have your snacks and late-night treats, but you just have to be wise about it. So write down a
Go for Foods with a Long Shelf Life
That doesn’t mean that you should buy that economy-sized package of instant ramen. The trick here is to go for healthy foods that last a long time without refrigeration. Some perfect examples include nuts and seeds, low-sugar granola bars, rice cakes, dried fruit, and peanut butter. Add the dried fruit and nuts to oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt. For a late-night craving, spread some peanut butter on some rice cakes.
Focus on Fruit
If you can, snag some extra apples, bananas, and oranges into your backpack when you are in the dining hall. Having a bowl of fruit in your dorm is a win-win situation. It prevents you from getting hungry and cranky during those hours-long study sessions, and fruit is a delicious and nutritious snack. Paired with peanut butter, it is a quick breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Sure, many college students choose to sip beer as their staple beverage, but be smart. Reserve alcohol for the weekends, and even then, limit yourself to a couple of drinks. During the week, sip on water (add sliced oranges or lemons if it’s too boring for you). Believe it or not, the more water you drink, the better you’ll feel, sleep, and perform on your schoolwork.
Pack Your Fridge with Protein
Being a college student can be super stressful, but starting your day with a great breakfast is one way to set yourself up for success. Take full advantage of your mini-fridge by stocking it with Greek yogurt, eggs, and low-fat cheese sticks. The yogurt is a great snack, or can be paired with fruit and seeds for a yummy breakfast. The cheese sticks are great for eating on the go, and you can cook eggs in the microwave (really!)
Know How to Navigate the Cafeteria
Many college dining halls are filled with the familiar chicken nuggets, pizza, and ice cream. And while it is fine to eat these things from time to time, they should not make up the majority of your diet. Explore the other options that your school’s cafeteria has to offer. More and more colleges are going with healthier alternatives, such as vegan and vegetarian dishes and more cultural cuisine. So don’t be afraid to try hummus, Asian stir-fry, or the tofu hiding out in the salad bar.