We have all been there, days where 24 hours just does not seem to be enough. You have too much going on and cannot possibly begin to imagine having to come home after a long day and making something to eat.
Which is why we turn to fast food. It is called “fast” for a reason. It is easy, convenient and gets the job done. But I don’t have to be the first one to tell you the consequences of eating too much fast food.
Being a full-time student leaves little time to focus on eating well and eating healthy. You’ve got enough things to worry about and you don’t need another thing to add on to that list. Not to mention that staying healthy can sometimes prove to be very expensive, as organic food is generally priced a little higher than everything else. Being on a student budget sometimes does not permit one to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yet another reason to be sucked into the pleasures of fast food; it is relatively cheap and affordable.
For those of you who want to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being away at university, here a few tips and tricks for you to try.
When you are at the grocery store, try to pick up your recommended ‘five a day’ items. I always follow a simple list that helps me buy the things I need and not go overboard and to buy the healthier items: two proteins (one cooked, one raw), two vegetables, two fruits, herbs, eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, choice of cheese, choice of granola/cereal, smart snack. By following this list, it makes sure that you do not give in to the temptation of picking up that chocolate bar or frozen meal. Also, when you have healthier items in your refrigerator, you will be forced to eat healthy because you will not have all of the temptations in front of you. If you shop healthy, you will eat healthy.
It is always good to get in to the habit of healthy snacking. While studying or working, I always get hungry and this is usually the time when your willpower strays and you end up eating rubbish. Having healthy snacks such as nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) and carrot or celery sticks which you can dip with hummus or even yogurt. These snacks will keep you full, give you the energy to continue to work and will not expand that waste line.
Eating healthily can be a challenge, but if you start to develop some healthy habits, they will become second nature and it will not feel like such a chore anymore. I recommend starting with small and minor changes, rather than sending your body into complete shock. For example, if you are someone who usually skips breakfast because they would rather sleep in; start by eating something in the morning as eating breakfast sets your metabolism for the day and helps maintain your energy levels. Start by eating some fruits (bananas are an easy choice) and then incorporating that with a cup of yogurt and some granola.
Also remember to not stress yourself out over food and eating healthy, it is not a coincidence that “desserts” spelled backwards is “stressed”. Allow yourself to indulge once in a while as your body needs it. Nobody is perfect and you should not be expected to eat healthy all the time.
I hope these tips have been useful for you; now I am going to reward myself with the completion of this article by eating some ice cream!
Do you have any other healthy eating tips for students? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Moyan Brenn / Flickr