Writer Mary Watson from Academized Shares Healthy Eating Hacks for Students

 

 

 

Being a student can be tough. Between classes, studying, extracurriculars, and maybe even a part-time job, it's easy for healthy eating to fall by the wayside. Fast food and frozen meals become the norm when you're short on time and money. However, making an effort to eat nutritious foods can really pay off by giving you more energy, helping you stay focused, and avoiding the dreaded "freshman 15" weight gain. However, students may struggle to find time for meal planning and cooking. With Academized writing service, students can access expertly written essays on healthy eating habits while receiving assistance with their academic assignments, ensuring they can prioritize their health and academic success simultaneously. Reading an Academized review can provide insight into how the writing service can help. Here are some healthy eating hacks to make it easier for students to eat well.

Meal Prepping 101

One of the best ways to ensure you have healthy meals on hand is to meal prep. Set aside a few hours on the weekend to cook a week's worth of meals that you can reheat and eat throughout the week. This takes the guesswork and last-minute decision making out of mealtimes.

Some easy meal prep ideas include:

• Grilled or baked chicken breasts with roasted veggies

• Turkey chili or veggie chili

• Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and grilled chicken or veggies

• Quinoa or brown rice bowls with black beans, corn, avocado, etc.

• Overnight oats or yogurt parfaits for breakfast

Stock up on microwave-safe tupperware and portion the meals out so you just have to grab and reheat when you're hungry. Meal prepping saves time and money compared to eating out or ordering food.

Master the Art of Snacking 

With long days of classes and activities, keeping healthy snacks on hand is key to avoiding bouts of hunger that lead to poor food choices. Without snacks, you may find yourself overeating at mealtimes or hitting the vending machine for chips and candy bars.

Good snack options include:

• Fresh fruit like apples, bananas, grapes

• Nuts and seeds 

• Granola bars (look for ones high in protein and fiber)

• Yogurt

• Veggies and hummus

• Hard boiled eggs

Keep a stash of snacks in your backpack or car so you're never caught snack-less. This also comes in handy during long hours of studying when you need a pick-me-up.

Quick and Easy Breakfasts

Many students skip breakfast, thinking they don't have time. But eating a nutritious breakfast really does help jumpstart your metabolism and provide energy to power you through a busy morning. Skipping breakfast often leads to overeating later.

If you truly don't have time for a big breakfast, try grabbing:

  • A piece of fruit and a yogurt 
  • A hard boiled egg and a banana
  • A granola bar and some nuts
  • A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread

For days when you do have a little more time, whip up:

  • Oatmeal topped with fruit, nuts, and a drizzle of honey
  • A veggie omelet and whole wheat toast
  • Peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel with sliced banana
  • A smoothie made with frozen fruit, milk or yogurt, and spinach or peanut butter

The options are endless - just be sure to include a mix of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Use Your Dorm Kitchen

While dorm kitchens may be small and have limited equipment, they can still be useful for basic meal prep and cooking. Make the most of that microwave, mini fridge, and shared oven and stovetop. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your mini fridge stocked with fresh fruits, veggies, yogurt, eggs, and lean protein like chicken or turkey.  
  • Use the microwave to reheat prepped meals, cook oatmeal, scramble eggs, heat up frozen veggies, etc.
  • If you have access to an oven, bake chicken breasts, roast veggies, make baked potatoes, and bake healthy treats like energy bites.
  • Use the stovetop to cook ground turkey, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pasta and simple sauces.
  • For more complex meals, see if the dorm has a reservable kitchen with better appliances.

Even without a full kitchen in your room, you can get creative with cooking using just a microwave, small fridge, and the dorm's shared appliances. It's much cheaper and healthier than constant takeout or dining hall food.

Stay Hydrated

It's easy to get dehydrated when running around campus all day. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and overeating. Make an effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times and refill it whenever you can. If you get sick of plain water, jazz it up with:

  • Fresh lemon, lime, or orange slices
  • Frozen berries or other fruit 
  • Cucumber slices
  • A sprinkle of fresh mint or basil

Herbal teas, seltzer waters, and milk are also good options for mixing up your hydration routine. Just be wary of sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sweetened coffee drinks that are high in empty calories.

Have a Game Plan

If you know you have an extra long day of classes, study sessions, work, etc., plan your meals and snacks in advance. Being unprepared in these situations increases the odds of impulse-buying unhealthy convenient foods or skipping meals altogether.

Pack a lunch, snacks, and maybe even a simple dinner if you'll be out late. Think sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, nuts, hard boiled eggs, energy bars, and other portable foods that travel well. 

Having these foods on hand prevents you from getting overly hungry and makes it easier to stick to your healthy eating goals, even on your busiest days.

Stay Strong on a Student Budget

One of the biggest challenges students face with healthy eating is cost. It's no secret that nutritious, whole foods tend to cost more than unhealthy processed foods and fast food meals. But with some budgeting skills, you can absolutely eat well on a student's budget.

  • Take advantage of your school's dining plan, if you have one
  • Shop sales and use coupons for groceries 
  • Buy frozen fruits and veggies - they're just as nutritious and cheaper than fresh
  • Buy in bulk for items with a long shelf life like oats, rice, pasta, nut butters, etc.
  • Pack snacks and meals instead of purchasing them on campus
  • Make adjustments like buying chicken thighs instead of breasts, choosing eggs over meat for protein, etc.

It takes some effort, but prioritizing healthy eating is worth it, even on a tight budget. Your health, energy levels, and overall academic performance can really benefit.

The Bottom Line

Between classes, jobs, activities, and a social life, being a student is no easy feat. Making healthy eating a priority can help provide the energy and brainpower needed to succeed. 

With some planning, preparation, and smart shopping, nutritious eating is completely doable in college. Stock up on healthy snacks, prep meals in advance, stay hydrated, and get creative with whatever cooking abilities you have access to. You'll be amazed by how much better you feel when giving your body a varied diet of whole, unprocessed foods.

 

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