So you want to avoid the freshman (or sophomore, junior, or senior) 15…
I’m sorry to say there is no magic pill or special spell that will keep you healthy while you’re in college- its about common sense and doing what you feel is best for your own health and body. That being said, there are ways to navigate your health specifically in college that will certainly help the process of staying healthy.
I shared these tips in a video but you can think of this blog post as a “crash course” and resource epicenter for a healthy college career. Watch the video first and use this post as a landing pad after.
Disclaimer time: Let’s first get something straight- weight does NOT define you OR your health, but it can be a side effect if you are not taking care of your body the best you can. College is not the time to be obsessive over your weight (my weight still fluctuates five-ish pounds a month and that is very OK with me) but college should still be a time that you monitor and care for your general health. I am not a doctor but these are my tips to stay HEALTHY for your mind, body, and soul while attending college according to my own personal experiences.
Healthy dining hall breakfast ideas:
- Whole wheat toast (I usually brought my own Ezekiel bread in) with smashed avocado
- Whole wheat toast with almond butter and banana
- Omelette with vegetables and little-no cheese
- Unsweetened yogurt (ideally greek) with nuts/ fruit on top
- Oatmeal with healthy, superfood toppings
Healthy dining hall lunch/dinner ideas:
Fill up more than half your plate with fruit and vegetables. This can be:
- Salads with vegetables tossed in
- Try to avoid super greasy/ buttery/ processed cooked vegetables
Make sure you get protein to stay full throughout the day. This can be:
- Eggs (there are sometimes grill lines where you can get eggs made any way in front of you. Pro tip: ask for eggs straight out of the shell)
- Grilled chicken/ meat
- Chickpeas/ black beans
- Handful of nuts & seeds (but try to avoid super sugar-y trail mixes)
Add a starch:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown or white rice
- Rice cake
- Whole wheat bread
- Brown rice or chickpea pasta
If your sectioned off plate starts to get boring (or sounds dreadful in the first place), have fun with your dishes. Whether you are making wraps, stir fry, big salads, sandwiches…. there are a bunch of ways to keep your meals healthy and interesting. Pinterest always has some good ideas for dining hall meals…
I can’t deny my love for snacking… I’ve used Thrive Market at school since it has my favorite brands and is overall a good company, but here are some of my favorite snacks if you’re looking for some inspiration:
- Purely Elizabeth Granola
- Terra Chips Original
- Harvest Snacks Chickpea Snacks
- Calbee Snappea Crisps
- Organic Roasted Seaweed
- Rice Crackers
- Mary’s Gone Crackers Original
Workout classes are always fun but can get really expensive, especially if you’re on a college budget. Some other options are taking a workout class as a college credit or familiarizing yourself with the gyms on campus.
The habits you create can build a lifestyle that sustains a healthy body and mind. The easiest way to make lasting lifestyles is creating realistic schedules and routines. From the moment you wake up to the time you spend walking instead of lounging or driving, and the time you go to bed, you can make a lasting difference for your life.
Take time right now to write down the things you think you need to adjust in your life and make a plan of how you can implement those into your life every day.
& that’s that! Although these are mostly college-based, you can implement these tips into your life at any time or place. The time to start living a healthy lifestyle is now and nothing is stopping ya.