When I first moved to the University of Arizona, I knew NOTHING about healthy eating. Like, ZERO things. I had probably never cooked a day in my life (although the dorm kitchen was pretty much useless anyways) and I had to rely on the cafeteria for food. One of my readers has asked me to blog about tips for healthy eating for college students in this same situation. So, HERE WE GO: (some of these are a repeat from my E-book, but here are a few more)
TIPS for Healthy Eating for College Students
CHOOSE WATER. I have said this like a hundred times before, but stay AWAY (FAR AWAY) from choosing soda. I highly recommend drinking water BEFORE and DURING every meal. Sometimes your body tells you you’re hungry, but you’re really just dehydrated. Load up on water and make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses a day. Add lemon if you want a little flavor!
BIG SALADS. Order a big salad with grilled or baked lean protein and avocado on top. Add tons of fresh ground black pepper. If you’re still hungry, get a healthy side! (I’m really into sweet potato right now) Lastly, be careful about the dressing you choose. You would be SHOCKED if you saw how unhealthy some salads are JUST because of their dressing. Look for ones that say “low-fat” or “light”, and ask for the dressing on the side and when you pour it onto your salad, use HALF.
LETTUCE-WRAPPED or OPEN FACE. Order the burger and ask for it lettuce-wrapped and topped with tons of fresh veggies (onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, etc.) OR order a sandwich and ask for it in a bowl, “open-faced”, or at least with just one slice of bread instead of two. This will help to cut some of the carbs and extra calories. Also, condiments ON THE SIDE.
HEALTHY SIDE DISHES. I know this is so hard, but when you choose a side dish always choose something healthy like fruit or vegetables. Walk past the French fries and try to get your mind off of the fact that your mouth is probably severely watering (we all know that feeling) and go straight to the “fruit and veggies” section. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize they taste good, AND you’re actually full after your meal! Your cravings for something fried and salty will go away, I promise.
BAKED, GRILLED, or BROILED. These are the “key terms” you need to recognize! Stay away from “fried”. If you aren’t sure how something is cooked, just ask!
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. THIS is exactly what my book is all about… DON’T WORRY if you eat something unhealthy, this will just cause unnecessary stress and pressure. Try to eat healthy a MAJORITY of the time, don’t worry about the late nights that you go to Taco Bell at 2 AM or when you’re running down the stairs of your dorm to meet a dominoes pizza delivery person in the middle of the night, just don't make this an EVERYDAY thing. And HAVE FUN! After all, you’re in college: you’re supposed to be having the time of your life and experiencing all of the new (& sometimes uncomfortable) moments that the world has to offer you! One more time for good measure: EVERYTHING in moderation.
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More great tips like these ones in my E-book!