I think we all can agree on one thing: staying even semi-healthy in college feels nearly impossible. When your school's cafeteria is full of fried foods and comfort foods, who wants to opt for a salad? Especially when all the lettuce and vegetables looks like it's been sitting out for days.
The summer before moving to college I made the mistake of doing a food cleanse and getting really really healthy. So when I moved to college and started eating (not even going to lie about it) really badly, I knew what could've been instead.
(Cliche alert!) Over the course of one semester, I came to really value how I felt when I was fueling myself with good food. My mood improved, my brain functioned better (as did my body), and food became less of a focus and more of a necessity. (Don't lie, as Americans, we are all guilty of giving food way more attention than it deserves…)
So, here are a few simple ways I've stayed healthy in college. (Or health-ier... after all, how healthy can a college student be?)
Stock your dorm fridge with GOOD STUFF!
This one's pretty simple, but when I started keeping healthier things in my room I started eating better (duh!). When I would go back to my dorm between classes to eat lunch or decide to stay in for the night, I wouldn't have any choice but to eat well.
(Plus, sometimes it's just nice to have a healthy meal full of anything that isn't greasy, mediocre caf food...)
Carry a few healthy snacks in your backpack when you go to class
I caught myself eating a full meal when I was only a little hungry more than a few time simply because of what was available to me. This stopped almost immediately when I started carrying things like almonds, a protein bar, or an orange in my backpack everywhere I went. Super easy!
Take a water bottle with you....EVERYWHERE!
If you go on any kind of diet or talk to any kind of health nut, they will tell you that when you think you're hungry, you're most likely just thirsty. So, keep a full water bottle with you when you go to class or to study and, instead of grabbing something to snack on while you work, drink a full glass instead.
Keep a few indulgent snacks in your dorm, BUT keep them tucked away
Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Sometimes you just need some chocolate or some Oreos (or 5). Keep these things in your dorm if you want, but keep them tucked away somewhere you won't see them every time you go to eat.
Cut OUT soda and cut DOWN on coffee...
Or at least choose one or the other! Even cutting back on these two drinks will help.
A lot of these aren't fun but made me feel so much better in the long run.
And don't beat yourself up about it! A few slip-ups and days you don't do very well will absolutely not kill you or set you back. Ultimately, this list just boils down to being mindful of what you fuel your body with!