A good balance of healthy food and regular workouts can be difficult to accomplish without proper motivation, inspiration, or knowledge of how to do it. This difficulty can be heightened as a college student because people’s focus largely changes to include only the workload of being in college, leaving little room for fun, and even less for worrying about being healthy.
In college, most students are making decisions on what to eat, when, and from where for the first time. This, combined with the young age of many college students doesn’t help in making people conscious about the effects of eating unhealthily, makes it abundantly easy to grab a salty snack from the cafeteria, eat from a fast food restaurant, or worse, skip a meal altogether. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to avoid complicated diets, keep eating meat, still have delicious dessert and still be a healthy you.
The most obvious yet highly effective way to help your body is to drink water. According to Kathleen M. Zelman in a WebMD article, the human body is made up of about 60% water and it largely works in important functions such as digestion, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and the maintenance of body temperature.
Fatim Kamara, a biology major, said, “Some healthy habits I have are definitely drinking a lot of water, another one would be that when I go out to eat, I get salads and instead of drowning it in heavy dressing, I use a light vinaigrette or lemon juice and olive oil.” Simply making the decision to not eat meat drowned in grease or served with unhealthy sides can make a huge difference in the long run.
Incorporating greens into meals can do a number of wonderful things. Firstly, greens are incredibly helpful in having a healthy system and body, both outside and inside. It also makes it significantly easier for people to keep eating greens—once someone starts doing something, it’s easier to opt for doing it again. In addition, it helps make a meal seem much bigger, along with filling you up without the consequences of filling up on a lot of unhealthy food.
Cathara Spencer, a psychology major, said, “If I think about my diet, I think more so on what I don’t need to eat rather than what I do need to eat.” It is important
to keep in mind the foods one should not be eating, because being healthy relies heavily on someone’s diet. If the distinctions between healthy and unhealthy foods is not explicit in one’s mind, it is easy to forget there is a distinction at all, especially when someone has a lot on their mind.
Spencer also said, “I believe my fast food intake could be reduced easily. If I were to just prepare my lunch before school, I wouldn’t have to just grab something from the cafeteria or a fast food place, I could also bring healthy snacks for throughout the day.” Constantly having at arm’s reach a healthy snacks and meals is essential in order to stay aware of what foods are good for you and making it abundantly harder to stray from eating well.
Joshua Bellamy, a psychology major, told the Collegian he eats fast food about once a week and incorporates greens every night for dinner. He also said, “I think the options around school are not so healthy, so it forces students to eat what’s there. I also believe timing is an issue too, sometimes you may only have enough time for a skittles or hot Cheetos.”
Acknowledging that one cannot always rely on eating healthy outside of the home is essential because even if someone is motivated to eat healthy, thinking that it can happen at school or at restaurants is not so realistic.
Elizabeth Kiefer, in Teen Vogue, recommends stocking up on healthy staples because it is unrealistic to expect a regular college student to have the time to cook up a healthy meal every day for most meals. Having healthy foods with long shelf life such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, rice cakes, multi-grain crackers or cereal, and always having at least a few fruits and veggies promotes a healthy lifestyle simply because they are healthier alternatives to regular snacks or sides for meals.