eat healthy in college

8 Tips Guaranteed To Help You Eat Healthy In College Without Going Crazy

Are you trying to learn how to eat healthy in college? Here are 8 tips that will help make it easier so you don’t feel like you’re losing your mind.

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If you have been in college for any amount of time, you have probably realized that your eating habits in college are much different than when you lived at home. With freedom to make your own choices it is super easy to settle into a routine of skipping breakfast, eating pizza for dinner 4 nights in a row, and being overwhelmed by the dining hall.

Learning how to eat healthy in college might seem like a task you’ll never master. My freshman year, most of my visits to the dining hall consisted of multiple trips to the ice cream bar and very few vegetables on my plate.

Have no fear, eating healthy in college isn’t as complicated as it seems. To help you get started, here are 8 tips for navigating meal plans, cooking in dorms, and helping you avoid feeling like garbage every time you eat.

8 Tips Guaranteed To Help You Eat Healthy In College Without Going Crazy

1. Stock your dorm with appliances

The best option for healthy eating in college is to have the necessary appliances. The ones I always recommend to for the dorm room chef are a mini fridge, microwave, and mini blender.

Having a mini fridge allows you to store fresh items to always have on hand which makes eating healthy in college much easier. Bonus points if you have a freezer section to keep frozen fruit for smoothies!

Having a microwave is a great option to reheat leftovers or even make a healthy breakfast like oatmeal.

I used my mini blender almost every day freshman year to make breakfast smoothies. This is perfect if you tend to skip meals and know you won’t wake up earlier enough to make it to the dining hall before classes.

2. Don’t skip meals

I know you’re probably tired of hearing that you need to eat breakfast, but you do!! I never used to be a breakfast girlie but now I can’t go without it. Even if you’re rushing to class, it’s important to have at least something in the morning. This will give you much more energy throughout the day.

In addition to eating breakfast, you shouldn’t be skipping lunch or dinner either. No matter how stressed or busy you get, you should always make time to eat.

An easy way to make sure you’re eating on a schedule is to plan it into your day. Create your class schedule with a gap for lunch so you always have time. Make plans with friends to go to the dining hall together for dinner.

3. Learn how to navigate the dining hall

The dining hall can be super intimidating when you start living on campus. Especially if you are trying to learn how to eat healthy in college. Take some time to learn the layout of your dining hall and what options they provide.

I will be the first to admit that it’s easy to give into the temptations of the dining hall. I’m not kidding when I say I had fresh baked cookies and ice cream every single day of my freshman year. While treats are not a bad thing, having it every day can make healthy eating super hard.

While learning how to navigate the dinging hall, it’s important to pay attention to how things are cooked. Grilled is going to be healthier than fried foods 10/10 times. Learning where the healthier options are located throughout your dining hall will help you make better choices.

4. Keep healthy snacks on hand

Whether you live in a dorm or college apartment, having healthy snacks on hand is always a good idea. Having these snacks will help you avoid impulse purchase when you’re hungry and allow you to make the healthier option.

Things like dried fruit, protein bars, and trail mix all make great healthy snack options. I also love apples and peanut butter (both items you can keep in your dorm).

5. Drink water throughout the day

Keep a water bottle on you throughout the day and actually drink it. Invest in a good reusable water bottle and keep it filled. This is crazy to me because I always thought people drank water. It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned people go all day without a single sip of water.

Water is one of the easiest ways to be healthier in college. You can still enjoy your morning late or an afternoon soda, but be sure that you drink more water than any other beverage.

6. Avoid late night snacks

Snacking late at night, especially right before bed, makes it more difficult for your body to digest. Obviously, if you are actually hungry, eat something that will satisfy you. However, this is usually a sign you aren’t eating enough throughout the day and you may need to refer back to tip number 2.

Often times late night snacking is also a product of stress or boredom. Try not to create the habit of emotional eating. This will make eating healthy in college much harder!

7. Balance your meals well

Learning how to create a balanced meal was the most life changing tip I learned while trying to eat healthy in college. Instead of limiting yourself to only healthy items like salad, learn how to build your plate to make a full meal.

Each meal should have protein, healthy carbs, and vegetables. As a rule of thumb, try to make half your plate vegetables, a quarter of your plate protein, and a quarter of your plate carbs and healthy fats.

An example of this would be a dinner that included chicken (protein), sweet potato (healthy carb), and mixed steamed veggies or a salad.

Eating a balanced meal will provide you with more energy and keep you satisfied longer.

8. Use moderation to eat healthy in college

Finally, the most important tip for how to eat healthy in college is to remember to use moderation. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you never eat ice cream or pizza or fried chicken. It just means you don’t choose those things for every meal. An easy way to practice moderation is to make 80% of your choices the healthy option and allow 20% of your choices to be indulgence.

Eating healthy is not about eliminating certain foods or labeling food as good or bad. Instead, it is about choosing the things that make you feel your best. As you practice healthy eating, you will begin to understand what that looks like for you.

This post was all about how to eat healthy in college without losing your mind.

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