How often do you feel unbalanced, annoyed, and pressured? How many times have you looked at one of your college buddies thinking that he/she might be a witch because it’s totally impossible to look that good and get A-grades living a hectic student life? If you wonder about the answer, it’s quite simple - your friend knows a thing about nutrition in college.
According to the Journal of American College Health, nutrition is the foundation of every other aspect of our lives, be it education, relationships, work, or daily mood. Healthy eating for college students is twice as essential to keep up with the flow and feel present. Just imagine: instilling a breakfast habit can increase your GPA by 10%. Sounds worthy enough to dive a bit deeper into nutrition education, doesn’t it?
Are College Life and Nutrition Compatible?
What do you know about nutrition? You’ll probably imagine the famous food pyramid or the plate divided into sections according to food types you should consume. And these are the basics the human body needs to operate well. But once you’re all alone in a dorm room or on-campus feeling hungry after a tiring test, would you remember the pyramid or any words concerning healthy eating in college? Highly unlikely.
We all know that college life may be overwhelming. But it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail its challenges and let eating chaos run your life. Here’s a list of the most common “buts” standing in the way of college students’ proper nutrition and how to deal with them.
Lack of Time
Entering a new stage of life, full of assignments, new friends, long nights, tests, and partying, the last thing you have time for is thinking about how to eat healthy at college. Shopping for food, creating easy nutritious recipes, and cooking are definitely out of the priority list of any freshman. But ignoring the problem is not the solution you want. If you feel that you’re going through a turbulent time of adaptation, try some non-cooking nutrition tips like replacing sugary drinks with tea, water, or smoothies, appeasing hunger with veggies or fruits, or doing some easy, non-time consuming cooking in advance for a week or so.
The contrast between being used to the home fully-stocked fridge and going grocery shopping yourself is a tough one. Prices too high, basket too empty - is it even possible to eat healthy in college? Well, it’s just a matter of a wise approach. Making the right choice for nutrition on a college campus, Googling low budget nutritious meal plans, and spending money only after thinking carefully - is the way affordable to any low budget student.
It sometimes seems that dorms constructed without a kitchen on every floor are deliberately pushing students away from college nutrition. However, the absence of a proper kitchen is solvable - you can use a microwave instead. The number of in-a-cup recipes is enormous and they take less than 5 mins to be cooked. The kitchen appliances market also offers such cooking wonders as crockpots and hot plates which make meals no worse than a regular oven or cooker. Of course, purchasing any of these items may seem pricy, but if compared with the money you’ll spend on eating out or impulsive buying of fast food, the figures will speak in favor of a kitchen appliance.
No Cooking Expertise
Before you can cook your very first tasty dish, you probably think that only a select few, like your parents, grannies, or some girly girls are keen on cooking and know how to do it deliciously. In fact, cooking is simple and almost intuitive, especially with all the food blogs and nutrition websites for college students where you can take inspiration. It’s only about a couple of your favorite fresh ingredients and a pinch of creativity (and maybe asking for mom’s advice) that separate you from cooking.
College is all about the freedom of making choices. It’s up to you whether to study or to party, to avoid or to drink alcohol, to keep to a healthy diet for college students, or to go for fast food meals. In most cases it’s not only black and white - you can find the right balance and enjoy both with no harm. But finding a balance means being able not no give in to campus food courts most of the time, eat well before parties, and cut down on pizza delivery as a dinner substitute. It’s essential to work out solid, healthy eating habits that will allow you to wind out without ruining your life balance.
Nutrition Tips & Tricks For Students
College students’ eating habits statistics show alarming results: in the age of popularisation of a healthy lifestyle, student obesity continues to spread faster than ever before. The reason for that seems to lie in the long-lasting aftereffect of junk food popularity and unawareness of useful, easily-implemented nutrition tips for college students that can change the statistics for the better.
Do the Menu Planning
You may find it surprising but planning your meals ahead will not only save your time during the week but also decrease the amount of money you spend on unnecessary foods at the grocery.
Open Up the Salad Family
Salad is not something consisting of tomato and cucumber, sprinkled with olive oil. The salad family is much more extended, including meat, seafood, and dairy ingredients.
Desserts Can Be Different
Yes, a sugar-free yogurt with pieces of fresh fruit, granola, and honey is also a dessert. Chocolate is not the only ingredient that contains sugar, so why not try healthier options?
Take a Different Look at the Dining Hall
Consider the dining hall as a quest room where you have to avoid what college students eat as a rule and find something healthy and nutritious.
Extra Calories Are Not In Foods Only
College students’ nutrition statistics revealed that students are fond of soft drinks that contain loads of sugar. However, people still tend to think that calories exist only in meals, not in drinks.
Nutrition Help On-Campus
While on campus, It’s not necessary to spend extra money to hire a personal nutritionist to find out something about college students’ nutrition. Plenty of other free-of-charge health resources are just next to you.
Every college or university cares about its students’ wellbeing. At a fitness center, you’re offered to join any individual or group section, choose any kind of sport you’ve always wanted to try, and let off the steam in a peaceful and productive way.
If you have any concerns about your body or seek a professionally compiled eating plan to lose or gain weight, a nutrition spot is just around the corner. Whatever it is connected with individual food consumption, this place will set you on the right path.
Health hub is somewhat similar to a nutrition center, but it can offer a more therapy-driven solution. There’re specialists who will guide you through a maze of nutrition education. Sometimes health centers integrate nutrition spots and you can get 2 out of 1.
When starting a journey to nutrition for college students, friends may become a valuable resource of motivation and support you’ll certainly require at the beginning. The process will even accelerate if you start it with a friend. Healthy competition is always welcome.
Being at home usually puts students at ease. But while on campus, a new schedule and an active pace of life are conducive to developing new healthy habits and modifying your lifestyle for the better. So entering the new college surroundings, take a chance to make a change.
Nutrition Resources to Benefit From
Once you take a step towards a healthier life, you should know that you’re not alone on this way. Enjoy an array of resources to help you incorporate nutrition into your daily routine.
Eating Well. If you struggle with creating healthy recipes and weekly menus, the website will help you out.
Lose It. Dreaming about weight loss but doubting where to start? Start with Lose It and see the results with your own eyes.
FitnessBlender. Going to the gym is not your story? Turn a dorm room into a workout space and enjoy the diversity of exercises.
Fitocracy. Indulging in sport may be tiring. To avoid this, make your workout routine fun and compete with yourself every day.
ChooseMyPlate.gov Plenty of life-changing eating hacks, media resources, and your personal food supervisor.
Fooducate. If you end up lost in the grocery, not knowing what to put into the basket, Fooducate will reveal the content of any item using its barcode.
My Fitness Pal. Need a buddy to count calories and plan your menu? This app will help you achieve your fitness goal.
No More Ramen. The name speaks for itself - forget about ramen and go for other healthy budget substitutes and easy recipes.
SparkPeople. A source of inspiration for your workouts, cooking techniques, and healthy lifestyle tips created by dedicated people from around the world.
Headspace. The decision to follow nutrition rules and lead a healthier lifestyle should come from the inside. Headspace will help you clean the mess in your mind and build the basis for becoming a better version of yourself.
It takes one click to make a first step towards your healthy life style!
The Bottom Line
Your student years is the period of personal formation, conducive to healthy habits establishment that will make your life balanced and harmonious. Nutrition, wise sleeping, and drinking habits are the core principles of being fit and enjoying every day of your life. A healthy way of life is not a task that you have to complete and get an A+ grade, but rather a journey, a source of your daily portion of inspiration and energy.