How To Eat Healthy in College

How To Eat Healthy in College

A Guide To Healthy Eating in College

College can be a rough place to start your fitness journey. Project submissions, deadlines, and exams can take a toll on you – both physically and mentally. Add parties and pulling all-nighters to the mix and it’s nothing short of a disaster.

As any college student would tell you, eating healthy is one of the biggest challenges they face. Super-tight budgets, lack of cooking tools, and ridiculously busy schedules are some of the roadblocks colleges throw that non-students don’t have to face.

A Blueprint For Success

It’s very easy to be swayed by the food options present in your college meal plan. First and foremost, you need to make a diet blueprint to make sure you don’t fall for the unhealthy food served in the dining halls. Consider these changes for your diet plan –

Whole Foods – Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes should make up the major chunk of your diet. Make reading labels before buying something a habit and only purchase nutrient-dense food.

Cut the Processed Food – Anything that comes in a packet or has refined sugars is a big no. The next time you see fried food or a soda, turn around and walk away as fast as you can.

Don’t Compromise on Protein – Protein is a macronutrient and a building block of your muscle tissues. Incorporate high-quality protein sources like fish, chicken, eggs, seitan, etc. in your diet.

Pull the Plug on Alcohol – Alcohol is one of the quickest ways of throwing your fitness progress in the gutter. We recommend quitting alcohol completely and not just cutting back on it or limiting it to parties.

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Making the Most of the College Meal Plan

There is a probability that you signed-up for the expensive college meal plan before a gym membership. Even though being on a meal plan means you’re forced to eat at a certain place, you still have an abundance of choices when you enter the dining hall.

Grilled chicken, cooked vegetables, salad bar, hard-boiled eggs, omelets, veggie-heavy stir-fry are some great healthy eating options that are available in most of the college meal menus.

Some dishes contain healthy components but are surrounded by junk that you don’t want. A few examples include grilled chicken sandwiches, spaghetti meatballs, and stir fry. If you can’t escape these foods ask the employee serving the food for a partial item.

You’re on Your Own

If you live in a dorm but don’t have a meal plan or a kitchen to cook in, you should stop eating out for every meal. Just because you don’t have a kitchen in your room doesn’t mean you don’t have a kitchen accessible to you.

Many colleges have community kitchens – either one for every hall or one for the building to share. If you don’t have access to a community kitchen, then you should ask for help from your friends living in apartments.

You’re A Kitchen Noob

Scrapping a college meal plan and getting an independent dorm room is of no use if you don’t know how to cook. Learning to cook healthy food isn’t as hard as some people think it is.

Learning to cook takes a little time and experimentation. Remember – you’re not expected to compete in the next season of Masterchef Australia. You just need to find a few healthy dishes you can prepare for yourself easily.

Are you in college? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Vidur Saini
Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.