College can be hard, arduous, and unbelievably busy due to juggling courses, extracurricular activities, and finding time to have to yourself all in the same week. But as each of us learns to manage our time during college, it is important that we also remember to eat well. To help you get jump-started, here are 5 incredibly easy ways to eat well during college and beyond!
1. Go vegetarian one night a week
Not only have studies shown that not consuming meat will save energy, but it will also encourage people to choose a healthier option. Rather than choosing a corn fed burger in the dining hall, one night a week, pick the meatless option. Many schools will offer an option for students who do not eat meat, and it’s good for you as well as the environment to take it! Of course, you may love hamburgers and steak, so it’s not necessary to choose the meatless option every night of the week if you’d like to continue eating meat.
2. Drink lots of water
According to Mindbodygreen.com, drinking more water will increase your energy levels and you will be able to focus more on all of that homework you have! It promotes weight loss, which can help you with the freshman fifteen you might be facing, helps improve skin complexion, and flush out any bad toxins within your body. College campuses are also littered with people who carry different germs from all over the country and world and water can help improve your immune system. Each person should drink approximately 64 ounces of water, or eight cups, daily. Have one with breakfast, take a water bottle to class, and drink some before bed! Whatever you can to get your water!
3. Ditch or reduce your soda intake
While many people enjoy the taste of a cool glass of Coke, a single twelve ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar, and all 140 calories in it comes from sugar. It is recommended that a woman should only take in about 25 grams of sugar daily. By drinking one can of Coke, a woman is drinking 156% of her suggested daily value of sugar. There’s no room left for any sugar today, nor for 44% of tomorrow’s sugar. An option could be to switch to diet sodas if you have absolutely got to have it, but according to Health.com, artificial sugars will confuse your body because they are much sweeter than natural sugars, and will dull your taste for natural sugars. These artificial sugars will also trigger insulin and send your body into fat storage, causing you to gain weight rather than lose it.
4. Eat breakfast
As teenagers, many of us skip breakfast because we need to be at school so early in the morning, and we don’t ditch the habit once we get to college! Well, breakfast is called the most important meal of the day for a reason. It increases concentration while you’re in class and provides you with necessary energy. It also helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Even if your breakfast is only a Clif Bar or a small container of yogurt, it’s important to make an honest attempt to eat breakfast daily.
5. Keep a food diary
It is important to know what you are eating — not so you can stay thin, but so you know which nutrients you are eating/what you ate. If you need to compensate and eat more during one part of the week, you will know it by looking in the food diary. Keeping a food diary has helped me look at how little I was eating and make an honest effort to eat more and eat better.
Today, people are under the impression that pretty girls don’t eat to stay pretty and smart girls don’t eat because they don’t have time. Both of those statements are wrong. Women should eat because they need the nutrients for healthy skin and hair, to maintain vision, and to maintain focus. After all, it’s hard to focus on Organic Chemistry on an empty stomach!