Many students are so pressed for time, they hardly ever eat properly. To go through with their days, these students grab fast food on the go, eat unhealthy snacks, or skip meals altogether. What they don’t realize is that nutrition is much more important than the rest of the things they are dealing with. Not only does it affect the health in many ways, but it can seriously impact the success of their studies, too. That being said, I’m presenting you with some great tips on how to eat healthy at university.
1. Learn How to Cook Some Basic Meals
When I first started at university, one of my biggest concerns was that I’d have to feed myself every day. Soon after, I realized that this isn’t hard at all. If you thought that cooking takes hours, think again. There are plenty of amazing meals for students that can be prepared within a very short timeframe, with very little effort, and no cooking skills whatsoever. By spending a short time on preparing a healthy meal for yourself, you’ll be able to eat healthy and save some money in the process. Imagine how much you could save by not eating that fast food on a daily basis!
2. Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is a highly important meal. It’s what gets you started, provides you with the needed nutrients, and gives you energy to go through the day. If you want to feel energized and fresh at school or while you do your coursework, you need to eat healthy at university. The breakfast is your starting point.
Unless you eat breakfast, you’ll feel tired throughout the day and your energy levels will be significantly lower. Surely, if you need someone to write your essay, you can always order it online. However, with a little bit of a brain food boost in the morning, you can cross an item or two extra off your to-do list.
3. Tweak Your Fast Food Orders
It’s hard to give up on fast food and some students are simply not fans of using the kitchen. If you insist on surviving on fast food in college, at least choose your foods wisely. When you order pizza, order it with half the cheese. Get some green salad or baked potato as a side dish. Go for the reduced calorie dressing and forget about fried chicken, french fries, and other high fat offerings.
4. Have Some Healthy Snacks Handy
All those late night studying and hours crammed in a chair during classes can make you tempted to use the vending machine. But, snacking on candy and chips is not good for your health and won’t really help you be more productive. Instead, have some healthy snacks on hand at all times. There are certain foods that are great for your focus and productivity, which is why they are called brain foods. These include dried fruits, pretzels, rice cakes, raw vegetables, fruits, etc.
5. Consume Foods Rich in Calcium
As a young person, you should try to build up stores of calcium in your body. This prevents many health issues such as osteoporosis, and has great benefits to your health. If you like milk, consume it as often as you can. Replace your coffee intake with some fresh milk rich in calcium. Alternatives include low-fat yogurt, green leafy vegetables, and low-fat cheese.
6. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is one of your worst enemies. Yes, it provides a number of nutrients and calories, but very few of them, really. It contributes greatly to tooth decay and in most cases, it comes in big quantities in sugary beverages, snacks, etc.
7. Don’t Starve Yourself to Lose Weight
Young people tend to be very judgemental of their own appearance. In order to have a better figure, they starve themselves. When you do this, you’re only harming your body. There are many ways to eat healthy for students without having to suffer throughout the day. The best way to lose weight is through proper nutrition and regular exercise.
8. Limit your Intake of Alcohol and Coffee
Alcohol is frequent at parties, especially among college and university students. It’s natural to want to consume a couple of drinks during parties, but don’t go overboard with it. Alcohol has no nutritional value and plenty of calories.
The same applies to coffee. Coffee has certain healthy benefits, but not if the amount you consume on a daily basis exceeds one or two cups of coffee. If you want an energy booster, try a healthier alternative such as green tea, or take a jog around the block.
9. Make a Habit of Eating Salads
Salads are an excellent addition to your meal, or they can make you feel full on their own. You can combine all kinds of fruits and vegetables to make tasty salads, or simply visit the salad bar at the dining hall of your university. This will give you access to highly beneficial foods, which is an excellent switch from all that junk food you’ve been consuming.
10. Drink Plenty of Water
The body needs to remain hydrated, so drink plenty of water every day. Try to consume at least seven or eight glasses of water per day. It’s smart to carry a bottle of water to class and have it handy when you study.
Your nutrition is more than just a thing to keep you alive. It provides nourishment for your body and keeps you active and energized. Follow the tips above to create healthier eating habits, but don’t forget to savour your meals, too.
Connie Elser is a nutrition specialist. She creates healthy meal plans for people who want to change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Elser also creates diets for those who want to lose weight in a healthy and controlled way.