Eating healthy does not have to be as much of a challenge as some people can make it seem. Does it mean you can never eat bad food again? No. Does it mean you are going to hate the taste of what you put into your mouth every day? No! Healthy eating habits are very easy to find and maintain, and doing so when you are in college is especially important. It is so easy to slip into the routine of greasy dining hall food or cheap junk food from the grocery store. Here, I am going to help you discover some healthy eating habits for college students!
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the hardest healthy eating habits to get started on, in my opinion, but once you do it and get the hang of it, it is totally worth it. Basically, intermittent fasting is only eating at certain parts of the day, and going long periods of time just drinking water. For example, I tried intermittent fasting once. I typically wake up around 8 in the morning, and I drink water until around 11. I keep myself busy by completing tasks I need to do to kick start my day. I love water, so this challenge wasn’t too bad for me. If you are not a big water person and need a little flavor, try enhancing your water with lemons, limes, cucumbers, mint, or any other fruit! This is a healthy way to get a bit more flavor in your drink. Check out this article from People, where stars such as Jennifer Aniston talk about their positive experiences with intermittent fasting.
2. Diet Plan
Diet plans are great healthy eating habits for college students who may want to cut out a certain type of food from their diet. For example, the Keto diet has become increasingly popular in the past year. The Keto diet is basically a diet in which you lower your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake. Since your body is used to using carbohydrates for energy, it will now have to start burning fat to use for your daily energy. It sounds a bit weird, but it has proven to be very effective. I did the Keto diet for a month, and lost 10 pounds! It is surely tricky at first, given your body will crave carbohydrates and you will lack energy. However, once the body adjusts to this change, you will be in the state of “Ketosis” and the weight will pretty much fall off your body.
3. Avoiding fast food
Healthy eating habits are hard to maintain in college, I know. And it is not a sin to indulge now and then. Everybody deserves a reward for their hard work and late nights studying. However, one thing I really advise all college students is to avoid fast food! It is so much easier said than done because obviously, I am guilty of this as well. But once you have fast food once, you will want it the next day, and the next day, and the day after that, and that, and that… it is so easy to resort to fast food as it is convenient, quick, and delicious. But trust me, it isn’t worth the money. When you go grocery shopping instead, pick up a few treats so you can reward yourself without going out and spending more money!
4. Meal Prepping
Healthy eating habits such as meal prepping are a great way to kickstart a semester and any stressful week. Busy studying or doing work all week? Just grab a prepared meal from the fridge and heat it up, and there you have it! Meal prepping is so easy and so fun to do on a lazy Sunday with your roommates. Just cook up a bunch and food and box it away. A lot of different websites have meal prepping guides if you want to weigh out your food or go by a certain diet, so you don’t have to be in this alone. Meal prepping can seem stressful, and sure, it is a lot of work, but it makes the rest of your week a lot more simple. Definitely give this a shot!
5. Listening to your body
This is so important. And one of the most healthy eating habits there are, even if it isn’t a real eating habit. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, EVERYONE! At the end of the day, only YOU know what is right for you. Nobody can tell you what to eat, how to eat it, when to eat it, or what to look like. If your goal is to lose weight or tone your body, then do it! But if you are content with who you are and what you look like, then don’t change for absolutely anyone else. It is super important to emphasize that nobody ever NEEDS to go on a diet, it is a lifestyle change you are DECIDING to make. There is not one of type of body that is beautiful, every body is beautiful in its own, unique way. Is your body feeling deprived and you need a little pick me up? Girl, go get that snack! Feeling down in the dumps and craving some ice cream? Eat it! No matter what your eating habits are, there is no reason to restrict yourself if your body is craving something. Maybe you have been sticking to intermittent fasting for a while but it has made your mental health decline. Then stop doing it! There are so many other dieting methods out there- and finding one that is just right for your mental health is just as important as it is to find one for your physical health too.