I received this hysterical text from Andrew last night:
For anyone to say that my blog even comes close to Facebook in the minds of college students is one heck of a compliment. As a former college student and previous Facebook addict, I felt very humbled and had to give these girls a shout out!
Andrew also told me that one of his friends had topic request that they would like to see covered on the blog: How to eat healthy in college.
Consider it done!
Healthy Eating in College
My interest in health and fitness began in college. I ate foods that I thought were healthy during my time at the University of Central Florida. My freshman year I had a meal plan, but after that my meals consisted of frozen entrees like Lean Cuisines and Lean Pockets.
These small meals wouldn’t fill me up and within a couple of hours I’d find myself snacking away on honey roasted peanuts, cereal or popcorn.
I once ate an entire box of Froot Loops in one day. (You should know that copious amounts of Froot Loops affect the colors of your bowels. My mom may or may not have received a panicked call from me due to this little discovery. Sorry for the grossness. Welcome to Peanut Butter Fingers! )
I now realize that if I had fueled my body with voluminous and nutritious foods like fruits and veggies and whole grains, I would have felt a lot more satisfied and not felt the need to snack my way through studying.
Of course I am by no means an expert, but knowing what I know now, here are my tips for healthy eating in college:
- Invest in a mini fridge. Keep it stocked with healthy snacks you can reach for when hunger strikes. Apples, oranges, peanut butter, lean deli meats and string cheese are all wonderful options.
- Take a lap around the dining hall before filling your plate. If you have a meal plan, make sure to take a lap around the dining hall to assess your options before piling a bunch of food on your plate. This way you’ll fill up your plate with the nutritious foods you want the most and not that hard roll or dry slab of meat that looked only somewhat appealing.
- Make fruits and veggies 50 percent. When plating your lunch or dinner at a dining hall, allow fruits and vegetables to take up 50 percent of the space on your plate. Fill the other 50 percent evenly between whole grains and lean protein.
- Beware of the salad bar. Salad bars are wonderful for those hoping to take in a nutritious meal… That is until you pile on gobs of dressing. Enjoy the salad bar but select lighter dressing like olive oil and vinegar or a balsamic vinaigrette rather than dressings full of saturated fat.
- Drinks add up. Shots. Lemon drops. Margaritas. They add up. Of course alcohol enjoyed in moderation can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but many college students hit the bars night in and night out, downing drink after drink and then wonder why the pounds start to pack on when they eat healthy otherwise. Hmmm…
- Make like-minded friends. Working out and eating healthy is much more fun when your friends are on board as well. Suggest trying out a new local healthy restaurant with your friends and share your latest healthy snack discoveries with each other.
I also want to add that to me, having a good time and livin’ it up with friends is a huge part of living a balanced and healthy life during college.
Though I’ve always had an interest in healthy living, that didn’t stop me from making a couple of 2 a.m. trips to Taco Bell with friends at the end of a long night.
I had one heck of a good time downing my fair share of adult beverages… Once I turned 21, of course.
Eat healthy and get movin’… but take time to have fun, too!
If you are in college:
- What is your biggest challenge with living a healthy lifestyle?
If your college years are behind you:
- Were you healthy in college?
- What are your healthy living tips for college students?