Woman with Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Difficult choice. Overweight Concept

Whether you are approaching freshman year, excited for the college experience, doing what you want, eating what you want, or a returning college student, we are all faced with the same challenge of staying on track.

Even though we may not realize it, eating smart is essential to a healthy college lifestyle. We are so excited to no longer be told what to eat and binge on whatever we are craving day and night, that we begin thinking with our stomachs rather than our brains. Having a healthy lifestyle is vital in our college years and here are some tips to get you thinking back on your habits:

  • Resist Not-So-Good Dining Hall Options: The university dining hall: where the endless food stations and options are endless to the point where it can be overwhelming. Smelling those freshly fried french fries coming out of the fryer are so tempting but in the back of your head you’re thinking you should head toward the salad bar, meat or even stir fry station. Listen to that tiny voice inside your head. While you’re at it, on your way out, grab a banana for some snacking instead of heading to the oh so tempting ice cream bar. You’ll still get your money’s worth but in a healthier way!
  • Shop Smart: For those of you that have an apartment with a kitchen or even stuffing away snacks in your dorm room, it is important to take a peek at the labels on the food you’re buying. Of course we are all allowed to binge on late night snacks, but there are healthy alternatives. You don’t have to buy the chips packed with preservatives or the super-sized Hershey Bar to eat away on a crammed study night. There is always an alternative when it comes to food and it’s worth the extra work to find the healthier options!
  • Think Before you Bite: As much as we want to do and eat whatever we want when on our own in college, we also have to remember the consequences of our eating habits. Having those preservative-packed late night snacks slow us down the next morning or later that day. Foods that are high in nutrients and protein give us  the energy to pay attention in class, study and participate in our activities. Food impacts our lives more than we may think about. Eating just a tiny bit healthier will make you feel better mentally and physically to live to your fullest potential!