Making the Grade with Healthy Eating
College is one of the most difficult times of life to practice healthy eating. Because of your busy schedule, the amounts of stress, and pressure from friends to party, you may find that healthy eating is impossible. However, with a few tips you can make the impossible seem much more manageable. Healthy eating is possible in college as long as you are willing to work at it.
Make smart decisions when you are eating at your college’s cafeteria. Most students are provided with a variety of option every day, and although the dessert bar may be very tempting, try to limit the number of times you visit it every week. If your school has a buffet style cafeteria with many choices, try to choose one food from each of the food groups. Avoid anything that is processed, covered in cheese or dressing, and greasy.
Scheduling times to eat is also important. When you register for classes, look at the day with meals in mind. You should have enough time in the morning to get ready for the day and grab a quick meal, either in your dorm room or at the cafeteria. Around the middle of the day, make sure that you save time for lunch, and have a timeslot for dinner before 7 PM to avoid eating late at night. You should also plan times to stop for nutritious snacks, like fruit. If your professor does not mind, you can also take these snack foods with you to class. This is a good question to ask during the first day of classes.
The weekends can be very challenging for college students because of the pressure to go to parties, where the main food is usually pizza and the main beverage is usually beer. Order pizza and other foods can take an otherwise healthy diet and throw it down the tubes. If you plan to go out for the night and won’t be sure if there will be healthy food choices available, grab a light meal before you leave and avoid greasy calories. Having pizza and other such “college” foods, like wings or tacos, can be fine once in awhile, but if it becomes a weekly event, you’re looking at trouble
Of course, alcohol is also a great way to ruin a diet. Beer and mixed drinks have a lot of empty calories, and so skipping them altogether is a great idea. If you must drink, choose diet sodas for mixing your drinks, ask for red wine if it is available, or drink light beer. Again, these treat are fine once in awhile, because drinking alcohol every week will only make you pack on the pounds.