These are my five tips! I definitely have more tips up my sleeve, but that shall be another post when I think of more! BTW, I want people know that in the past two months I have gained weight in college and it's super easy to! Why? Because during the first few weeks of college you will be eating all the time because you're in college away from your parents and you can eat whatever the hell you want. Your body then adjusts to eating all that food and when you try to stop it all of a sudden, you feel hungry all the time. Basically, the first week of college I had a huge breakfast, huge lunch, and huge dinner, followed by snacks in between. At home my diet was a small breakfast, huge lunch, and small dinner, with maybe one snack. Maybe. So, it's definitely takes time getting used to, but give it shot!
1.) Skip the fries, burgers, and entrees! Instead of eating a burger with fries or oily pasta that the dining halls normally serve, go to the salad bar. I know the salad bar -- it's boring. You might say the lettuce is gross or the veggies they serve are limited, but let me just say my college's dining service is by Sodexo and if you don't know, Sodexo isn't that healthy, but I make it work! That means you can too. So this brings me to my next tip :)
2.) Learn how to make a delicious salad! During my first few weeks of college, I hated the salad bar because I only put spinach, iceberg lettuce, some tofu, cucumbers, and dressing. NOW I know how to make a gorgeous salad and it tastes amazing. So, here are my suggestions:
- put a mix of ALL veggies into your salad. Not just the ones you like. Seriously, if you put them all together and you take a bite of it with something you like, you don’t even notice it. Now, I put carrots, green peppers, celery, and more! Also, to make it not taste as bland you can put a tiny bit of coleslaw or potato salad, but not too much.
- For protein, I always add tofu, chickpeas and beans! If you aren't vegetarian and you want some grilled chicken or turkey, go to the deli line and just ask for some! They're normally more than willing to give you some.
- Don’t get the fatty dressing! Use the olive oil blend or red wine vinaigrette! Or if you totally want to go crazy you can skip the dressing all together :)
3.) For breakfast, skip the bagels! I’m pretty sure a lot of colleges have bagel shops around and it makes it convenient for students to stop by before class to get breakfast. But on top of the convenience, it’s inexpensive! Bagels are about $2 or less if you get butter or cream cheese, but there’s a downside -- bagels are super high in sugar and they don’t give you any nutritional value at all. They’re full of refined carbs and sugar and if you get butter or cream cheese you’re adding unnecessary saturated fat into your system. For breakfast, CHOOSE fruit! You can eat a bunch of fruit too because they aren’t as caloric as a bagel. I normally opt for a a few bananas or an apple, but definitely switch up! If you must eat a bagel try eating half of it, opt for a whole grain bagel, with a tiny bit of natural peanut butter!
4.) Try cooking your meals once a week! I know it’s tough and you’re on a budget but I have an amazing tip for you! Okay, so pasta is pretty easy to make right? Well, you can make it in your dorm with a mini rice cooker! A rice cooker can boil anything you need! I’ve even boiled steel cut oatmeal for breakfast and it’s delish :) So, go to you trader joes can some whole wheat pasta with fresh tomato sauce and BUNCH of veggies! Don’t forget to eat only once serving of the pasta though! If you aren’t sure 1 serving of grains is equivalent to a ½ cup of pasta.
5.) If you really want to go at it and become super healthy in college try the weekday vegetarian lifestyle. Eat a huge salad or veggie sandwich, veggie wrap. You should watch Graham Hill’s Ted Talk on why he’s a weekday vegetarian. I’m in the midst of trying to become vegetarian entirely, so I’ll do a blog post on how I feel about eating meat a little later.