Life is chaotic when you’re a college student. You have a lot on your plate, and it looks like it’s about to tip over anytime soon.
You balance classes, homework, attempts to socialize, chores, sleep schedules, and catching up with family back home if you live in a dorm. And in your endeavors, it is natural for one to often forget themselves and compromise on self-care to compensate for the rest.
And by compromise, we mean giving up on your diet. Healthy eating for college students is severely neglected. A nutritional study discovered that 1 out of every 4 students gained weight in their first year as a college student.
Why is Healthy Eating for College Students Nearly Non-Existent?
Seriously, what is it that’s causing you to run away from such a simple yet important task? Let’s take a look.
- Lack of time to create schedules
- Lack of awareness or education about healthy eating habits
- No one to supervise you if you’re away from home
- No time to cook or create meal plans
- A drastic increase in stress
- Insufficient money to spend on overpriced organic food
- You prefer junk food while you procrastinate/socialize, and everyone around you is under the same influence
Simply put, most college students are unable to see the internal battle raging inside our body due to lack of essential nutrients. Let us give you an insight into what exactly your daily cup of instant noodles for dinner is doing to you.
Why is it Important to Maintain Healthy Eating for College Students
Every research, study, academic paper, and blog post will sing the benefits of a healthy diet in complete harmony.
The numerous results and a vast number of studies alone should convince you that all of this is, indeed, accurate.
Let us paint a picture for you, depicting what a college student with healthy habits would gain.
Some of the many, MANY reasons include:
- Helps you retain information better (well, hello A plus)
- Provides you with enough energy to remain alert and full for long periods of time
- Lower risk of disease
- You get tons of more restful sleep (If this doesn’t have you sold, I don’t know what will)
- Your body stays fit and you look stunning. Fit into your favorite clothes and enjoy that party.
Now that you know the importance of healthy eating habits, it’s about time you give it a shot.
7 Legitimate Healthy Eating Habits For College Students – A Guide
We promise, it won’t take too long. In case you begin snacking on your leftover Doritos while you read.
Replace Your Unhealthy Snacks
Uh-oh, snack attack. On a normal basis, you’d rather pick up a pack of crisps or eat some leftover chocolate. Even get more from that vending machine.
Stop right there and hands behind your back. You’re under arrest for being unhealthy.
Whenever you feel a pang of hunger, make sure you have healthier alternatives at hand. Examples include :
- Dry fruit
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Granola bars
- String cheese
- Raw vegetables
- Rice cakes
Looking at that list, I don’t think I’d notice a change from high-calorie snacks, would you?
Create An Eating Schedule
That just sounds like excessive work and you’re too busy for that.
But wait, there’s a catch.
It’s all done for you, and it’s on your phone too. What?
Technology has advanced to the point where multiple apps exist to help you with your diet. It can track your calorie, tell what to eat and when to eat it, and make this entire process a whole lot easier for you.
A survey shows 26% of people aged 18-29 are currently benefiting from various apps already. So what’s stopping you? There are free apps specifically for college students to get you started
Drink Plenty Of Water
No amount of regular chiding is going to persuade you with this one. So here are some facts and figures to motivate you to incorporate this into your lifestyle.
A study showed that nearly 77% of Americans do not consume an adequate amount of water. And then we wonder why we’re repeatedly sick.
The importance of water cannot be emphasized enough. From digestion to skin benefits to weight loss and increase in energy, water solves everything.
Remember this, water is now your new best friend. Unlike the rest, it will always remain loyal.
A Healthy Breakfast
I know, I know. You may not even have time for a meal. Working up an appetite right when you wake up may prove to be difficult. But here’s a fact that will certainly regain it.
Studies show that people who don’t have breakfast have a whopping 50% more risk of Type of 2 diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases.
Don’t have time? Grab some fruit and a granola bar. Any of your healthier snacks will work as a healthy breakfast. All you need to do is ensure you don’t skip it.
Calcium Rich Food
This one may be entirely new for you. Contrary to popular belief, calcium has other functions apart from strengthening your bones. Although, that alone is enough for me to incorporate it into my diet.
Calcium has tons of benefits that you can take advantage of. In simple terms, your muscles, nerves, and blood require calcium to function. It’s also relatively common and is found in a lot of our daily essential meals.
Don’t freak out. Nobody’s demanding you eat less than you normally do. You’re just required to eat little at more frequent intervals instead of bulking it all down at once.
Chew more. Drink more. (Water only, kids) Wait a while. Restart. This will help you stay full for a longer period of time, maintaining mental and physical stamina.
Research has actually encouraged this technique, ensuring this will significantly aid in weight loss.
Decrease Your Sugar Intake
Global sugar consumption has increased from 154.1 metric tons in 2009 to 177.8 in 2021. Similarly, Worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975.
See a correlation? I certainly do.
If you want to avoid obesity, acne, risk of CHD, depression, and diabetes, you’re going to have to limit all your soft drinks and routine trips to Starbucks.
You are important. Your health is important. And to fulfill said criteria, you need to ensure that you along with balancing college life and its trials, you also adapt to healthy eating habits.
Healthy eating for college students may sound daunting, but it is doable.
Simple, minimalistic changes like lots of water, snack alternatives and some fruits and veggies in routinely meals is enough to keep you going.
That easy, isn’t it? Who ever said you need to spend all that extra money on grocery just because it has a label that says organic on it?
Good food, good mood.