17 Healthy Eating Hacks That Every Student Should Know
Ah, university. For most of us it’s probably one of the best times of your life, filled with new friends, new experiences, tons of fun, late nights in the club, late nights in the library, deadlines, stress and a little, let’s say, overindulgence. It’s a busy time and it’s easy to neglect your health while you’re trying to have a go at everything that’s going on. Bad eating, drinking and living habits can quickly develop so it’s vitally important to be aware of how to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle in college. Check out 17 of our handy hints and tips to healthy eating and living if you’re a student!
#1 Eat a good breakfast
Start as you mean to go on and remember that breakfast is the most important meal of all. So whether you’re hungover or just being plain lazy, there’s no excuses! Try these incredible overnight oats recipes.
#2 Try Adding Good Foods Not Only Cutting Out Bad Stuff
Keep a positive attitude and you’ll be much better placed to succeed. Instead of thinking about what you shouldn’t eat, focus on what you should be eating and how you can introduce that to your diet. When you’re starting out, just adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and good fats is a big success. In time you’ll find that you’ll have weaned yourself off the bad food!
#3 If You Must Eat Junk, Choose Wisely
Fast food is obviously convenient and there will be times when it’s your only real option. Just make sure that you make healthy choices like going for smaller portions and healthier variants, and limiting high-fat offerings like chips & wedges, fried chicken, and sauces!
#4 Stock Healthy Snacks
Keeping healthy snacks on hand like fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, rice cakes, or whole wheat crackers, means that you can satisfy your hunger cravings without putting rubbish into your body!
Photo: It’s Cookin Cheap
#5 Invest In ALL The Tupperware
Fill your fridge with them. When you cook, always make a big batch and save the rest for lunches and snacks during the week. This will save you money and mean that healthy dishes that you spent all evening making last longer.
Photo: Live Fit And Love Food
#6 Pack A Lunch
Again, this saves you money and because you control the portion size and ingredients, it’s much better for your health. Even if you just manage to pack a simple salad and some fruit, it’s still better (and much cheaper!) than the campus canteen.
Photo: Hows To Do
#7 Emergency Granola Bar
Keep a healthy granola bar in your backpack for when the hunger pangs hit. Not all granola bars are created equal when it comes to goodness so go for ones with whole ingredients, about 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and no added sugar. Better still, have a go at making your own.
Photo: Dinner With Julie
#8 Fill Half of Your Plate With Salad or Veggies First
Help control your portion sizes and guarantee you get in all your greens by making sure half your plate is made up of veggies and salad before you serve up the other stuff. If you’re in the uni canteen, make a beeline for the salad bar first!
#9 Sneak Protein Into Every Meal
Protein has all sorts of health benefits and keeps you fuller for longer so whenever you can get some into your diet. Eggs will be your best friend in this endeavour. They’re super cheap, easy to cook and can be eaten on their own, in sandwiches and salads or at dinner.
Photo: Nutritionist In The Kitch
#10 PB Quick Protein
When all else fails: Peanut butter + spoon. Just make sure it’s the healthy, natural kind.
Photo: Desserts With Benefits
#11 Frozen Fruits And Veggies
Worry no more about fresh foods going off when you don’t get around to eating them in time. Frozen fruit and veg are an easy solution to reduce waste and ensure you always have access to your five-a-day. Heat up frozen vegetables and add them to pasta, pizza, potatoes, etc. Add frozen fruit to your oatmeal, on top of your ice cream or frozen yogurt, or make a quick smoothie using both fruits and vegetables!
Photo: Reader’s Digest
#12 Eat Less Sugar
Sugary foods are a source of calories in your diet but very little else, and they’re terrible for your teeth. As a student, sweets are particularly detrimental to your concentration and sleeping habits, and always leave you just craving more. Eat them sparingly.
#13 Eat Before Events To Avoid Overindulgence
College is rammed full of events & parties that you’ll want to get involved with. One of the main ways these things will lure you in is with the promise of free pizza and sweets. While this might be extremely tempting, oh-so-kind and thoughtful, it’s not great for your health to rely on this junk food. Try to have a meal before you head to anything, so that you can enjoy a reasonable portion instead of gorging on the bad stuff.
#14 Don’t Drink Your Calories Part I
Late nights studying in the library and hungover mornings in the lecture theatre trying to stay awake are often only achieved by most students using the help of sugary fizzy drinks. Try to steer clear of this bad habit and you’ll reap all the rewards.
#15 Don’t Drink Your Calories Part II
It’s college. Drinking and socialising are a central part of the experience. But remember, alcohol is full of calories. So keep everything in moderation and make smart drinking choices when you are out (and especially when you’re out out)!
#16 Think, Water!
Your body needs at least eight glasses a day, and, if you exercise (or you’ve been drinking alcohol), you may need more. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along to lectures and keep it handy during late night study sessions.
Photo: Hub Articles
#17 Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Slip
Be realistic and set yourself realistic health goals. You want to experience college life to the fullest, so have fun, enjoy yourself and don’t freak out if you don’t stick to all of your healthy living health plans!