One of the hardest things that accompany being a college student is definitely eating well and staying healthy. Am I right!? Finding time to make or buy food can take up a lot of time, especially when you factor in eating healthy, wholesome meals. Eating healthy can be a struggle, especially as a college student, living on a low budget, and with a crazy, busy schedule. So to help you out, here are 10 ways to eat healthy in college that have really helped me! I hope they can benefit you as well!
1. Cook for yourself.
This is a big one! Cooking for yourself can be sucky sometimes, especially when you don’t really know how, or when it feels like there’s never enough time in the day to get this done. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible! You can YouTube tutorials on how to cook basic meals, and it’s a great way to take a break from studying. If you don’t have a kitchen and/ or are living in a dorm, and you want to cook for yourself, there are tons of tips online about microwavable meals. And I’m not referring to the cheap TV dinners you can get at the store. I’m talking about real meals you can put together simply using ingredients, a bowl, and your microwave! The possibilities are endless!
2. Grocery shop and buy non-perishable food in bulk.
In order to cook, you’re going to need to go grocery shopping first. If you think you don’t have time to go grocery shopping, you can grocery shop online now! There are tons of companies that deliver fresh produce and ingredients right to your door, and all you have to do is sit on your couch, and use your computer. But, if you would rather go grocery shopping, then set a good time in your schedule to go one day a week, on a day that you are not too busy. It’ll get you out of your house, and for many people, grocery shopping is super stress relieving. Also, when you go grocery shopping, it helps to buy non-perishable items in bulk. Buying food in bulk can save you a lot of money, and makes it a lot easier to plan your weekly meals.
3. Meal prep and plan.
This is a big one! I really didn’t think planning and prepping your meals in advance was beneficial in any way, until I actually tried it. It not only saved me tons of time at the grocery store, but it’s really helped me a lot during the school week. I meal prep all my food on Sundays. (Pick a day to meal prep that works for you.) I store each individual food item in Tupperware or Pyrex containers, and when it’s time to eat, I just grab what I want to eat, toss my meal in a bowl, heat it up, and I can eat right away. No hassle, no stress, and no time wasted!
4. Eat snacks.
We live in a society where so many people avoid snacks. “Snacks are fattening.” “I don’t need the added calories.” “I’m going to get fat if I eat that.” These are a few of the phrases I hear people using when the topic of snacks comes up. So many people avoid snacks. The fact of the matter, however, is that many times, not eating snacks can actually hurt someone more than it can help. The purpose of snacks is to nourish you in between meals, to give you that extra boost of energy to push through those three-hour lectures, and to satisfy that “hangry” feeling, so that you can avoid binging on tons of food later on in the day. Eat snacks! They’re pretty darn good, too!
5. Don’t diet.
What person hasn’t been on a diet, especially in college? What young adult isn’t afraid of gaining the “Freshmen Fifteen?” Did you know that it is actually a myth? The “Freshmen Fifteen” is not a real thing. Also, dieting is not the best way to lose weight, eat healthy, or feel good physically and mentally. Diets are by no means healthy ways of hoping to achieve a healthy lifestyle!! Diets are the reason so many people in our society struggle from mental illness, poor body image, low self-esteem, and poor health in general. When your body isn’t getting the proper nutrients from a well-balanced diet, you are setting yourself up for failure, and pure unhappiness.
6. Eat balanced meals.
One of the best ways to eat healthy is to eat balanced meals. Your meals should consist of proteins, fats, carbs, and some sort of vegetable or fruit. This way of looking at meals is a great way to feeling satisfied, and truly happy and healthy.
7. Eat real, whole food that you actually enjoy.
When choosing healthier meal options, it’s always the best to go with real, whole food options. BUT, don’t get sucked into to the idea that you need to just eat leaves or egg whites or low-calorie, diet ice cream and bars that taste like cardboard. Pick whole food options that you actually enjoy. Each food that actually tastes good to you. Don’t let the amount of calories convince you that a meal or snack is unhealthy, when the food is made of real, whole ingredients. Choosing to eat real food will make it a lot easier to make healthier food options.
8. Pack your lunches.
This is a hard one for a lot of people, but it’s truly a lifesaver. After dinner the night before, pack up your lunch as you are cleaning up in the kitchen, or taking a break from studying. This way, in the morning, you have less to worry about. This saves you a lot of time, money, and it’s a great way to achieve eating more healthy and balanced in college.
9. Eat breakfast.
Your mom was right when she said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast has more benefits than not. It kick starts your metabolism, gives you energy to conquer those morning classes without a growling stomach, and it leaves you less prone to binge on snacks or a giant lunch.
10. Don’t let the food you eat dictate the way you feel about your body.
Your body knows what it wants. It knows what food is going to nourish it in a healthy way. Your body needs food to function properly. Without food in your system, it is impossible to live a healthy lifestyle. If you fail to meet those “healthy eating” expectations you’ve set for yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for it. Don’t let the type of food, the calories, the number of meals you eat, the snacks you eat, dictate how you feel about your body. Your body knows what to do with the food in your system. It knows how to honor its hunger and fullness cues, too. The most important thing you can do to eat healthier is to honor your body, and not tear yourself up about it. Not only is this beneficial for your mental health, but this can physically make you feel a lot better, and as a result, will genuinely help you choose healthy food options.
Do you have any more ways to eat healthy in college? Let us know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.