As we start the new school year, some students are away from their parents’ home cooked meals or old gym partners. Sometimes that loses their motivation on keeping the weight off. Or some live in dorms, roommates, or alone. Excuses will channel through saying it’s hard to find time to make meals or eating healthy is too expensive.
When you’re in college it’s easy to opt for a fast, cheap, greasy meal rather than something healthy. Many college students want to look good, but are eating the worse things for your body. There are many cheap, healthier options and alternatives, but you have to inform yourself.
Whether you complain you have no time, or you’re a broke college student, here are five tips you can use to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college.
Make Time and Plan Ahead
This is mainly for the people who make excuses that they don’t have time for anything. That’s impossible. If you have time to drive to a fast food restaurant, then you can take an hour or two out of your day to make a whole weeks worth of meals.
It can include anything from thinking of what to eat for your week, or what to buy at the grocery store ahead of time. Just plan it out when you have free time.
Here’s how you start:
- Make a list on what you like to eat, buy things in bulk, and shop once.
- Set aside a day in advance to prepare such as pre-chopping vegetables, pre marinate your meat, or you can buy the ones that’s already made for you.
Have a Healthy Balanced Diet
We all know many college students are broke and have a specific budget to spend. If you’re having lunch on campus you can use your Flex Bucks on healthier options.
You can stop by the Happy Tomato located in the Student Union where you can build your own salads, wraps, and potatoes. Or go to the Provisions on Demand (P.O.D) for a refreshing fruit smoothie and sandwich.
You have to be smart on what to order. Pick out the healthy foods that you like. In the end, you’re the one who is going to eat it so do something that works for you.
I’m not saying delete McDonald’s out of your life, but instead of the Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke, choose a grilled sandwich like the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich with the Baked Apple Pie and water. You can order something healthy, and treat yourself with a sweet snack for later on in moderation.
My favorite thing to do is to pre-pack my meals before the day so I know I’m snacking on my healthy foods instead of going straight to the vending machine for snacks. Try keeping a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, protein, and your whole grains every day in your diet. Buying groceries might be expensive up front, but it saves you so much money in the long run.
Exercising is one of the “hardest” things that people can’t get themselves into. Find a friend that can be your gym buddy because it will motivate you more to go. Besides, you will feel more comfortable in the beginning with a partner.
It doesn’t matter if you have no idea what to do, you just have to get up and do it. Exercising might not be for you, but there could be a fitness class that seem interesting to you.
Some examples could be going to Dance Fit at the MTSU Rec Center on campus, running on the track, taking a beginner’s weight training class, or just being on the machines in the cardio room. Whatever interests you, take action.
Drink LOTS of Water
College students go straight to the caffeinated drinks and skip the water. Water is your best friend for a healthy diet because not only do you feel good drinking it, but it replenishes your whole body. Drinking a lot of water throughout your day stops you from overeating and other more health benefits.
You can buy a reusable water bottle to fill it up when you see the filtered water fountains on campus. It saves so much money and you’ll feel a difference in your everyday life. Always keep water with you and stay hydrated.
As we know, consistency is key. If you keep up with these main five tips and any other tips that you know, you’ll see progress. You don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite desserts or food, or working out every single day. Just incorporate these tips in your daily life and do what makes you happy. Say goodbye to Freshman 15 and hello to a healthier lifestyle!