Eating healthy can be a challenge in college, regardless if you’re living in a dorm or not. To stay away from the dreaded freshman fifteen, here are the best ways you can eat healthy while living in a dorm.
Showering, sleeping, studying, and eating: everything is a bit more challenging when you’re living in a college dorm. Healthy eating, in particular, is a feat in and of itself. Apart from the fact that, your cooking options are limited in a dorm, being a college student means you’re busy with classes, studying, socializing, which leaves little time for preparing healthy, home-cooked meals.
Nevertheless, eating healthy despite your living situation is not impossible and is always encouraged, especially if you are also going to an anorexia treatment center. Here are the best strategies you can use to stick to your healthy eating habits while living in a dorm:
1. Choose health over convenience
It’s definitely easier to just grab a pack of chips or microwave instant macaroni instead of preparing something healthier. However, the convenience that heavily processed foods provide comes at the cost of your health.
Instant food, junk food, and fast food contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and fat, thus making them calorie-dense without any significant nutritional value. These foods can make you feel sated, but the energy that they provide is usually short-lived, which will encourage you to eat more. So to avoid gaining weight and filling your body with empty calories, choose healthier even if they are less convenient to prepare.
2. Stock up on healthy snacks
Instead of chips, ice cream, chocolate, and instant ramen, stock your food storage with healthier snacks for those late-night study sessions and unexpected hunger pangs. Choose snacks like nuts, dried fruit, light popcorn, seeds, kale chips, yogurt, and other foods that are minimally processed and have little to no preservatives. Better yet, have a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables that don’t wilt too easily.
3. Eat breakfast in the morning
Make it a point to always eat breakfast in the morning, even if it’s just a bowl of multi-grain cereal or a jar of overnight oats. Breakfast gives you the energy that your body needs to focus on your classes, and at the same time, it helps curb the tendency to overeat come lunch and dinner time.
If you are always running late in the morning, buy simple breakfasts that you can take on the go, such as fresh fruits, yogurt, multi-grain crackers, and instant oatmeal.
4. Learn how to read nutritional labels
Nutritional labels let you know the nutrient content in a food item, including calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, sodium, and more. They are placed on food packaging to help consumers choose foods that are right for their diet, and are also useful to avoid overeating. When shopping, always check the label of the foods you’re putting in your cart.
5. Pick healthy options in the dining hall
Tear your eyes away from the pizza, burgers, and fries. Instead, load up your plate with healthier alternatives that are least likely to come from a box, such as hearty soups, fresh bread, salads, stir-fried veggies, and wraps.
Cooking in a dorm is limited, which directly affects your food choices. But does this mean you have to resolve to a diet of instant ramen and soda? Definitely not. To maintain healthy eating habits in a college dorm, use these strategies and make it a habit to be mindful of what you eat.