Staying healthy and eating right to avoid putting on excess weight is important at all stages of life. But during your freshman year at college, it’s easy to pack on the notorious “freshman 15” amidst all the studying, late nights, stress, and emotions from missing family or just being overwhelmed. Here are some tips for staying healthy as a college kid and keeping a good balance between meals and snacks for maintaining your weight!
1. Don’t Skip Meals
It’s so tempting to skip a meal when you have finals to study for or you’re cramming for your presentation tomorrow. But it’s not okay to just “eat later”. When you don’t eat on time, you risk binge eating later! You also present yourself with temptations to snack on something sugary and high in calories to keep your blood sugar up, which results in weight gain and low nutrition.
2. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
Make some time each week to put together little snack bags filled with healthy things to munch on between meals. Fresh fruits and veggies washed, cut, and portioned out ahead of time make great on-the-go snacks to easily fit in your backpack! You can also grab nuts, raisins, granola bars, whole-wheat crackers, and fruit leathers.
3. Don’t Drink Your Calories
One of the top ways you can stay healthy as a college kid and avoid the freshman 15 is by opting to skip drinks loaded in calories! Coffees, sodas, teas, energy drinks, alcohol, and juices are mostly sugary and full of calories that give our bodies no nutrition. Stick to water as your main hydration source, and maybe add some milk or an occasional juice or tea. If you must have coffee, try to limit the amount of creamers and sugars you put in it!
4. Try to Stay Active
Often, when you are pulling early mornings and late nights, exercise can seem like a waste of energy! I promise you it won’t be! Even just a 20 minute brisk walk, or a light jog around a couple of blocks is just what the doctor ordered to get your blood pumping, improve circulation after so much sitting, burn calories, and even give you more energy!
5. Fuel up in the a.M
I have been guilty of not eating breakfast in the past due to lack of time, or nerves, but I quickly got out of the habit when I realized how bad it was for my health! The term “brain-food” is actually real. When you eat a nutritious breakfast to start your day, you can think and focus much better than if you skip breakfast! Try to eat something, even if it’s small, like a banana and a piece of toast.
6. Balance Your Social Life
You’ve heard the term “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, right? Don’t get so wrapped up in your studies that you forget to take a breather! The opposite also applies. Too much partying and not enough studying will take a toll on your grades. Your mental and emotional health affects your physical health. If both are balanced, you won’t overeat due to emotions.
7. Fill Your Plate with Proteins and Healthy Fats
My final tip for staying healthy as a college kid is to really pay attention to what is on your plate. You need to eat foods that help you feel full for longer periods of time so you can avoid mindless noshing and snacking around. Foods with fiber, protein, and good-for-you fats will accomplish this task!
College life can be stressful on it’s own, so why add one more thing to worry about with your health and weight? This list of tips for staying healthy as a college kid will give you a good jumpstart to staying on track. A healthy diet will keep you in ship-shape for getting good grades and staying on top of your class too! Thanks for reading today, have a fantastic week!