Making the transition to college is hard enough—juggling work, school and a social life, let alone learning how to eat healthy in college and take care of yourself. It’s often considered one of the most crucial transitions in a young adult’s life. You may also experience a transition in your everyday diet, specifically if you move away from home and once relied on home-cooked meals. Studies suggest that unhealthy eating habits have a significant influence on weight in young adults, which can negatively affect health (x).
7 Easy Ways to Eat Healthy in College
Eating and preparing healthy meals as a college student can be a tedious task, especially with limited resources. However, it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. To help you navigate your new journey a little better, here are a few tips.
Tip #1 – Plan Your Meals
Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of your health and cause you to skip meals or forget to eat. Maintaining a healthy diet may help reduce the risk for illnesses, support your day to day energy levels and dictate your performance in your classes. Your schedule for classes, homework and extracurricular responsibilities should also dedicate time to meals and healthy eating. Try to set aside time for breakfast, lunch and dinner and take breaks for small healthy snacks during the day. Skipping meals in college is often way too common. But try meal planning, preparing grocery lists and cooking in advance for the week so that your meals are one less thing you have to worry about.
Tip #2 – Save, Save, Save
This next tip is probably one of the most important—save your food and save your money. Saving food for later instead of overeating at one meal keeps you from wasting food and it could help prevent unhealthy weight gain. If you’re able to cook, try to make enough food to have leftovers for the next day. Meal prepping can also save you time and money and provides meals all week. Buy reusable containers to take your food with you as you run around campus to avoid temptation to buy food. If you’re visiting the student union or the cafeteria on campus, ask for to-go boxes to take whatever you don’t finish with you.
Tip #3 – Practice Mindful Eating
It’s also important not to overeat. Being mindful and recognizing when you’re hungry and when you’re full could be a determining factor in your overall health and maintaining a healthy weight. Be mindful during your meals. Really take the time to be aware of what you’re eating and how much. Even if you have a million different tasks and activities to complete, it’s important to take breaks and this includes eating. Try not to eat while you’re studying or doing homework. It’ll give your brain a break and allow you to focus on your food and your health.
Tip #4 – Pack in Your Protein
You should also be sure to make sure your healthy meals have enough protein from healthy sources. Getting enough protein improves satiety, which makes you feel full. Studies state that satiety and energy expenditure are important in protein-enhanced weight loss and weight management (x). You can find sources of protein in animal and plant products like meat, milk and dairy products, eggs and fish. These foods also contain amino acids, which the body needs to produce more proteins and stay healthy.
Tip #5 – Stock up Your Dorm Room
Make sure your fridge or snack storage in your dorm or apartment is stocked with healthy options when you’re looking for a snack. Keep things like fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds or dried fruit. Studies suggest that almonds contain nutrients like vitamin E, a substantial amount of protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, which may make them good for the heart (x). They’re also a great snack to have throughout the day and at night before bed and you may only need a few to feel full.
Tip #6 – Don’t Forget to Add Color
When you look in your refrigerator or down at your plate, ideally you should see an array of colors, a variation of fruits and vegetables. Different fruits and vegetables can help address specific parts of your overall health, so try to incorporate them into every meal. Or reach for a piece of fruit or vegetable to snack on between meals.
Tip #7 – Try Dietary Supplements
In addition to other healthy foods, there are also dietary supplements for college students to take that may add a little extra health boost.
You can use dietary supplements for energy and focus so you can power through lectures and study sessions. The body needs these vitamins naturally to support your overall cognitive development and taking them as supplements may mimic these actions and help support your attention span in class (x). They can also help supply the nutrients you may be lacking in your everyday diet, especially if—like a lot of college students—your options are limited. Here are a few natural vitamins and their potential benefits:
- B vitamins—including vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin)—may help supply energy in the body.
- Vitamin D may also help with immunity to prevent illness, support overall mood and supply energy.
- Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids may help manage stress and mental health.
Make sure to consult a doctor before taking dietary supplements to make sure they are right for you. All dietary supplements may have different side effects depending on the person taking them. Individual needs may vary, so it’s important to consult a physician to make sure you’re taking the right one for you.
Where to Buy Dietary Supplements for College Students
Are you interested in trying any of these supplements? You can purchase these natural vitamins at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. Visit BulkSupplements.com to place an order today!
- Vitamin D3 powder & softgels
- Vitamin B6 powder
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) powder
- Vitamin B12 powder
- Omega 3-6-9 softgels
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) powder
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) powder
- Niacin (vitamin B3) powder
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) powder
Eating healthy in college can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Practicing activities like meal planning and preparing meals and grocery lists in advance can help you save time and money. Mindful eating can help you focus on your meals and snacks, as well as your overall health and well-being.
Try to create a balanced diet that is high in protein and full of colorful fruits and vegetables for energy and focus. College students also have the option to take supplements to fulfill any nutrient needs they may not be getting from their diets. If you do decide to add supplements to your diet, make sure to consult a doctor first to confirm safety and potentially avoid side effects. With some mindful planning, staying healthy in college is easier than you think!
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.