Eating right is hard.
College is hard.
Affording stuff is hard.
LIFE is hard.
But when it comes down to it, making healthy choices in school is easier than you think. Simple changes you make today will benefit you not only right now, but also in the days to come. You'll find that when you make healthier choices you'll have more energy, you'll be in good spirits, and you'll truly enjoy what you eat.
I made a list of 7 simple tricks I use for staying and eating healthy during my college days.
(...and they actually work too!)
1."WATER you drinkin?" - There truly is nothing better than water when it comes to staying healthy. Carrying your own water bottle around school is such a helpful way to keep you full and hydrated for long treks across campus or just when you are in need of a better mood. I LOVE the water bottles by Contigo. Mine goes everywhere with me! And correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure Contigo means "go with you" in Spanish....Well played, Contigo.
3. Peace out soda. - Your best bet is to avoid sugary sodas at all cost. If you really think about it, aside from eating excess sugars, when you drink soda every day, you're practically drinking the sugar too. Every now and then, I will splurge with a Diet drink, but be careful of the artificial sweeteners too! They can be just as harmful. And as always; all things in moderation. :)
4. Being smart when eating out.- This is the moment where the little devil and angel appear on my left and right shoulder, tugging me in either direction as I try to decide whether I want a salad or double cheeseburger with fries. And most (keyword... most) of the time, my conscience does the right thing. I am the first to admit that eating out with friends is one of my greatest feats I have yet to completely conquer. There is no right or wrong way to choose meals when eating out; you know if you need/want that extra 500 calories or not. Unless I have declared it as official "cheat meal", I always look to see if restaurants have the healthy alternative side of the menu. Cracker Barrel, Chilis, and Logan's Roadhouse are great about having healthy options and low calorie menus; aka LIFE SAVERS.
5. Natural Peanut Butter is life. -..... No seriously. It's the clean eater's dream. Many times when you go hard on the veggies and meats, your sweet tooth can feel terribly neglected and unloved. Natural peanut butter is my favorite way to satisfy the sweet cravings, without sabotaging a healthy lifestyle. So why Natural? The beauty of going natural is eliminating those sneaky hydrogenated oils (trans fats) that are no bueno.
6. Say yes to breakfast. - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as we've all heard many times. But did you know completely skipping it can hardcore wreck your metabolism? The goal here is to get your metabolism chugging along within the first hour of waking up. My all time favorite breakfast; I LOVE Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with natural peanut butter. I'll add almonds, blueberries, and flax seed for bonus nutrients and helping make it super yummy.
7. Cheat meal - I'm saving the best for last, because if you focus on always trying to dot your i's and cross your t's when it comes to nutrition and staying healthy in your college years, it can get depressing, you'll feel deprived, and you'll forget why you're doing this. Having a cheat meal, whether it be a burger and fries or ice cream sundae is so crucial to maintaining your sanity and not punishing yourself. TRUST me. It does get hard feeling like you have to eat and wipe your tears with lettuce 24/7... so remember to relax, and reward yourself every now and then.
So whats the big deal about staying healthy in college?! The moral of the story here is not just about avoiding unwanted weight gain, but really trying to remember the importance of eating right and how it can contribute to not only your success in class and overall mood but help you form a better and healthier lifestyle. Many years down the road, you will gladly thank yourself for the changes you made today!