It’s definitely not a simple task to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college. Your wallet is empty, and everyone around you is swallowing beer like it’s their first gulp of water after a long workout. Being healthy though doesn’t have to be buying the most expensive foods in the store or completing cutting beer out (OK maybe you should but that’s unlikely). For me, it’s more of a personal decision to treat your body good.
For a while food and I were not on the same page. I felt a ton of guilt any time I indulged in some dessert or “too many” carbs. For a good while I tortured myself by using a calorie counting app. As I’ve gained more knowledge i’ve realized calorie intake is not a bad thing at all, it’s about what types of foods you decide to get those from. Food shouldn’t be something you’re afraid of having!
People aren’t kidding when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating food soon after you wake up will kick-start your metabolism for the day. If you skip breakfast chances are you’ll feel hungry much later than those who don’t. You might be thinking that’s a good thing, I’m not hungry! But really it’s just your metabolism working extremely slow which is gonna hurt you in the long run after you eat that late lunch. I try to keep my breakfast the healthiest meal of the day. For me, if I start my day with a healthy breakfast I make much better food decision throughout the rest of my meals in the day. If I start breakfast off with something unhealthy, I feel like I already messed up the day from a food perspective and it’s all downhill from there. My go-to breakfast is avocado toast with a fried egg on top. It fills me up with a protein, a carb, and a heathy fat. You’ll basically never see my morning without an egg in it (or two). Something I try to stay away from in the morning is sugar (cereal or a smoothie), because I feel like if that’s the first thing I start with in the morning I keep craving it throughout the day. Everyone’s body and brain works differently, this is just what works best for me! Lunch is sometimes the hardest for me, since i’m usually not home with my healthy groceries, and have to decide on what to buy out. I do try to plan ahead and pack my lunch in advance, but there are days when I leave the house empty-handed and have to look elsewhere. If I have time to plan I throw together a salad with again most likely an egg, chicken, avocado, and some dressing. Store-bought dressing is normally filled with tons of sugar, so I often make some of my own with just olive oil and balsamic. Snacks that fill me up really good are hard-boiled eggs (I love eggs), an apple with peanut butter, etc. If I DO have the pleasure of being home for lunch I love to throw together a huge smoothie bowl with granola, chia seeds, coconut chips, and peanut butter on top. This is a huge smoothie bowl so it would definitely be a meal for me.
I think the key to eating healthy isn’t about starving yourself of the junk foods you love, but instead slowing substituting your regular food with healthier options. It’s definitely a lifestyle change, but your body will respond so positively to this switch.