Eating healthy is probably one of the biggest challenges you’ll face throughout college (besides coursework, of course). Temptation lies around every corner, and the dining hall itself is a haven for junk food – free and unlimited junk food at that. However! Don’t let that discourage you from making the best of what you’re given. Adjust your diet to be as healthy as possible with these 8 easy tips:
- BLACK COFFEE – For all of the coffee addicts out there: hear me now. Switching to straight up coffee/tea will cut out some MAJOR calories from your diet. Don’t think of it as a ‘goodbye’, it’s a ‘see you later’ to cream and sugar… you’ll see them again soon (in many forms)!
- MEATLESS MONDAYS – Force yourself to think outside of the box when preparing and/or choosing your Monday meals by eliminating any meat. Sometimes we don’t try healthier options simply because they don’t come to mind. (If you are vegetarian, try going vegan on Mondays. And if you’re a vegan… bless your heart, you’ve got this figured out.)
- SMALLER PLATES – This is entirely a psychological trick. According to science, seeing the same amount of food that fills a small plate on a large plate gives us the perception that we are eating too little and leaves us wanting more. Whereas, if we were served the food on the small plate initially, we would be satisfied with the amount we had eaten.
- SMARTER SNACKS – Start recognizing where you can make healthy substitutions in your snacks and meals. Try replacing the crackers of your crackers and cheese with apples. Replace the butter on your toast or mayo on your sandwich with avocado. Trade your morning fruit juice with the actual fruit. You get the gist!
- VEGGIE UP – Introduce more vegetables into your diet. Try creating meals that are at least half veggies and make the attempt to eat ALL of them before the rest of your meal. Commence childhood déjà vu.
- DRINK ALL THE WATER – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink at least one glass of water before every meal to prevent overeating. Be sure to always carry a water bottle with you and challenge yourself to drink the appropriate amount of water daily. Research says men should have about 13 cups (total beverages) a day and women should have about 9.
- NO SECOND DINNER – It’s tempting. Oh so tempting. At ALL costs avoid late-night snacking. Contrary to popular belief, the timing really isn’t the issue it’s that you have likely already hit your healthy caloric intake for the day. A solution to this could be as simple as going to bed earlier. It isn’t typical for our bodies to be awake and go more than 6 hours between meals – so if you had dinner at 5PM and it’s now 1AM, of course you’re going to be hungry! If you have hit that point (and there’s no stopping you), try your best to use the tips from #4 and snack smarter!
- BORED? WORKOUT – Have nothing to do? Instead of going for ice cream with your roommates, take a jog to the gym. Snacking out of boredom is an unfortunate habit that many people are guilty of. Keep yourself moving – by putting exercise ahead of between-meals eating, you are successfully killing two birds with one stone. You’ll be burning off calories and gaining more energy all while avoiding unnecessary fats and sugars.
Did any of these tips work for you? Do you have more to add? Leave a comment below or tweet us @BNcollege.