Healthy Eating Habits

Payton Whittaker

I’m not going to sugar coat it: eating healthy is hard. Right now, it is 4:00 p.m. and all I’ve eaten today is a banana, coffee and a root beer. This is not something that I should be proud of, but as a college student, where time is precious and money is limited, sometimes the easiest thing to eat is an entire box of Cheez-its and forget that it ever happened. I’m guilty of this myself. Although I have my moments when I am rolling in Little Debbies, I do have some tips that, hopefully, will help other college students eat better.

Eat throughout the day

Eat your standard three meals a day, but you’ll also need to snack throughout the day to help your metabolism work faster. And by snack, I mean stuff like baby carrots with ranch or greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter. Both options are good for the metabolism. I do not like fruit, (I know, I’m a disgrace), so when I’m at Smoothie King, I ask them to make my smoothie “skinny.” This will reduce the amount of calories in the drink and still have it tasting great. also has a great calorie calculator that will let you know a healthy amount of calories to consume per day to maintain your weight or to lose some.

Grocery shopping

Make a list. Stick. To. It. When I go shopping, I allow myself three unhealthy snacks to keep the cravings at bay and leave myself with a little reward. Here are a few of my favorite healthy snacks: apples, peanut butter, baby carrots, ranch, greek yogurt, nutri grain bars and Special K cereal. Making a list will keep you from buying unnecessary items. Bring a friend along to keep you accountable. I know how hard it is to forget the list when nobody is watching. When you’re out shopping, think of all the meals you eat in a day and shop in order so you don’t forget anything or get too much. This will also help you meal prep for the upcoming week. For lunch, sandwiches on wheat bread is a good option. Dinner can be tricky because many students don’t have the means or don’t know how to cook. Pre-made grilled or baked (Not. Fried.) chicken, a choice of vegetable and rice is easy to make and is enough food to last several days.

Breakfast is a must

College students tend to wake up minutes before their first class of the day starts in order to get as much sleep as possible, but waking up a few minutes earlier to eat breakfast will really wake you up and keep you going throughout the day. A good substitute for breakfast in case you are running late are protein shakes (I like Boost by Nestle) and breakfast nutrition bars (I reccomend Boost, Clif or Quest bars). But breakfast should not be substituted everyday. The largest meal you eat should be the first meal of the day, that way you have the rest of the day to burn off all that you’ve eaten. Going off of that, if you want to eat anything that would be considered unhealthy, it’s better to eat it earlier in the day, but don’t take that to mean you should eat a piece of chocolate cake for dessert.

Distract yourself

Binge-eating is extremely easy to do. One night I ate half a can of salt and vinegar pringles, a cup of ramen noodles and a bag of croutons. I’m kind of impressed with myself to be honest. When you’re bored, eating is such an easy thing to do, and when you’re eating unhealthy snacks, your body is never satisfied, so it’ll take a lot longer for you to feel full. Go on walks, do homework, call people, anything to take your mind off of food.

My last piece of advice for students: just because you have the Wolf Bucks to buy ramen, sushi, Starbucks, F’real Shakes or a candy bar does not mean that you have to eat it.