Healthy Eating Tips for Busy College Students

Alt-tag: A girl eating according to healthy eating tips for busy college students

College represents a part of life that is all about learning how to balance – your grades, friends, hobbies, and, most importantly, health. And since juggling these aspects independently for the first time isn’t always a walk in the park, some things are bound to go off track. Most commonly, healthy eating habits are one of those things for college students. After all, who has the time to cook nutritious meals in between lectures, study sessions, and the excitement of no parents holding you back? Although it seems tedious and borderline impossible, maintaining a wholesome dietis anything but! Take a look at these healthy eating tips for busy college students to find out how.

Always make time for a good breakfast

Picture the following scenario – your alarm is screaming at you for the fifteenth time, you wake up and realize you have overslept. You’re brushing your teeth while putting on your shoes, frantically cramming books into your bag. It’s safe to say you have no time to make some avocado toast and drink a cup of tea! So, what do you do? Either eat nothing or grab a greasy… something while running to class.

If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone. Many college kids struggle to find time in the morning for a healthy breakfast. Still, since this is, no matter how cheesy it sounds, the most important meal of the day, you might want to implement a few changes into your routine.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to wake up at 5 AM and become the next Gordon Ramsey. Whether it’s a couple of pieces of fruit and a few nuts, oatmeal that you prepped the night before, or a nutritious breakfast burrito you can eat on your way to school, you will be doing yourself a favor by feeding your body something healthy first thing in the morning!

Stock up on healthy snacks

If all you have on hand are candy bars and bags of chips, it’s safe to say you won’t be thinking about health when hunger starts kicking in. To make your life easier, make sure to stock up on healthy snacks. Mixed nuts, fruits and veggies, Greek yogurt, dark chocolate, peanut butter, etc., are all excellent, satisfying, and delicious options that don’t come with a spoonful of regret!

Don’t torture yourself with healthy food you don’t like

Even though we are all aware of the importance of a good diet and exercise for our well-being, it can be hard to stay motivated if you keep torturing yourself with foods you don’t enjoy. Yes, steamed broccoli is healthy, but what good is it if you frown at the sole thought of eating it? It’s essential to find nutritious options that you actually like. This will help you nourish your body and mind without sacrificing the fun and excitement that come with delicious meals!

Open your mind (and palate) to new flavors

Eating the same things over and over again can be as demotivating as forcing yourself to eat the things you don’t like. So, no matter how picky you might be, try to open up your mind to new foods. This is especially important if you want to study in the United States as an international student, for example. You will surely miss home and the comfort food you are used to, but immersing yourself in the local cuisine will undoubtedly help you weather those storms. And who knows what new favorites you might discover along the way!

Be selective when fast food is the only option

College life comes with many obstacles. Often, these obstacles include a lack of time, money, and energy. And when the time comes for lunch or dinner, and these three invite themselves over, fast food is the only logical option. Still, you don’t have to settle for a hotdog or a slice of pizza – no matter how tempting they might be. Nowadays, there is an abundance of healthy fast food alternatives. If you must eat on the go, try not to opt for the unhealthiest option there is.

Pay attention to food labels

Food can be confusing, so, when in doubt – always read the label. And not just the number of calories! Every prepackaged product has a list of ingredients and essential nutrients. By learning about them, you can make your life and diet significantly more manageable. Try to avoid overly processed food with too much sugar and salt, and focus on healthy fats, proteins, and other important elements.

Focus on balancing your meals

Balancing your meals is one of the best healthy eating tips for busy college students. Each day, you should strive to consume proteins, healthy fats, and fibers. This will ensure an optimal intake of nutrients and help ward off the monotony! If you need a bit of help, here is what you should focus on:

  • Proteins: chicken, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese;
  • Healthy fats: avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil;
  • Fibers: fruits, vegetables, whole grains.

Try to stick to a schedule

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all thrive off of healthy routines. So, besides thinking about what you eat, you also need to pay attention to the timing and frequency of your meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a must, and one to two snacks in between are highly recommendable! Additionally, try not to put off your first meal too much, and make sure not to eat a couple of hours before bed. By devising an eating schedule according to your academic duties and personal life, you will ensure optimal performance, health, and satisfaction in the long run.

Less coffee, more water

We all know how hard it is to power through the day without a couple of cups of coffee, but if you find yourself sacrificing your water intake for that sweet cup of Joe, it might be time to reassess your habits. After all, not even the best healthy eating tips for busy college students will help you if you don’t hydrate your body enough.

 

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