This is the third and final installment of how to eat healthier in college. While many of you, especially underclassemen, eat a significant amount of your meals in the cafeteria or snack bar area, you may eat just as much or more in our dorm rooms, apartments, and when we’re out to eat, etc. Eating habits can go downhill pretty quickly if the only options in your room are limited to beer and Ramen Noodles or you are constantly making runs to the Whopper Lair for munchies. Below are some final recommendations to eat healthier in and out of your room.
In The Dorm:
It is a fact that people are most often going to eat what is convenient for them so what you stock up on in your room is what you will eat. If you pack your closet full of Snickers bars and Slim Jims, when you get hungry you are going to gorge on them. If you want to eat healthy in your dorm room or apartment you really need to stock up on only healthy food so when you get hungry, you don’t have unhealthy options to chose from. Stock up on low fat milk, OJ, healthy cereal, oatmeal, fruits, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and healthy chips/crackers, and protein powder. If you have access to a kitchen then your options are even greater with healthy options like stir fry, grilled chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. If you are going to go out and buy junk food, only buy a single serving and don’t stock your room full of it. Having healthy food on hand in the room may not stop you from ordering out or going out to eat but it will definitely help, especially when neither of these are options.
On the Road:
If you’re on vacation, a long car ride, or just commuting to and from work, make sure you have some healthy snacks and drinks in your car. Keep some water bottles on hand with you and some non-perishable foods like granola bars or protein bars so you’ll be less likely to be famished behind the wheel and less likely to stop by fast food restaurants or convenience stores. If you do stop at these locations at least make smart decisions on what to buy.
Out to Eat:
There are definitely restaurants that you are better off going to than others but it is often just as important what you order and not just where you order it. You can go to McDonalds of all places and get a salad and a McGrill Chicken Sandwich with a diet soda and you’ll come out of the meal pretty well off. You can also go to a much better restaurant and end up ordering a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a few beers and walk out with an extra 1,500 calories under your belt. No matter where you go out to eat, make sure you try to pick healthier choices such as grilled chicken, salads, salad wraps, salmon, turkey, whole grain choices, stir fry, sushi, or light soups. Stick to water, diet soda, or coffee, or tea for drinks instead of regular sodas, pints, or mixed drinks that will tack on another 300 or so calories. Trips to Taco Bell at 1 am after a night of partying is also probably not a good idea either.
Keep a few of these suggestions in mind and you will be feeling leaner and healthier no matter where you are eating. Remember, you are what you eat!