The urge to dine out with friends and order take out on a daily basis is prevalent amongst college youngsters. For the first time in your life you are able to eat what you want, when you want it; and as much of it as you like! A lot of students revel in this freedom during their time at college and unfortunately find the weight that they gain and the way they feel reflects this. When your mother told you to eat your vegetables – she knew what she was talking about.
Eating healthy isn’t just a gateway to a better wellbeing for you, but also an opportunity for you to save money. Take out and restaurant food is very expensive on the student budget, especially if purchased routinely. There’s nothing wrong with the odd night out but it shouldn’t be developed into a habit.
The best way to get the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy is to eat fresh. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, meals prepared from fresh ingredients. This admittedly takes more time and effort to prepare but will benefit you in the long run. You can pick up large supplies of these foods from your local food stores and store them in your fridge.
When you’re choosing what you want for lunch the next day, try to prepare the meal in bulk as well; if not cooked and used up quickly your fresh ingredients are at risk of turning bad.
Following on from above, once you’ve prepared your meal you can separate it into separate portions, of a reasonable size. The size should reflect how much you require to remain sustained. Usually taking into account your size is a reasonable indication, and the proportionate balance of the food groups contained within your dishes.
If you’re a fan of fast food, you may have some recyclable food containers lying about. These are great for storing pre-cooked portions. Divide your meal between these and keep them refrigerated. This way when you’re feeling peckish you can take out a container and eat the (healthy) meal that you have already prepared. These can be carried about so there’s no reason why you can’t tuck in at the college dining hall.
Stick to your diet
Having these meals prepared already you are more likely to maintain your healthy food intake. We’re creatures of habit and convenience, so having a meal conveniently packed for us and already as an ideal portion is great for us. Not to mention this also saves you a lot of money over time as you’re less likely to stray to fast food outlets at lunch times…
Foods that are good
Vegetables and fruit are great, and can really add to dishes if prepared correctly with the right blend of flavours. If you’re ensure of how to make these food types exciting then try looking out for a student cook book. You’ll want to include some protein and carbohydrates as well. Although you do require fat as part of a healthy diet, these should be kept to a minimum and you should research the different variations of fats (some are good and some are bad!).
Share tips with friends
It’s always a good idea to swap ideas and recipes with your peers. On top of this you can arrange to buy ingredients with your flatmates and share the task of cooking. This makes it much less arduous and more of a social activity. If you choose to do this you’ll also find it easier when lunch time rolls around because you’ll all be tucking into the same dish which means you’ll be less likely to choose another option in favour.
Remember you don’t always have to eat the same thing, and there’s nothing wrong in indulging in fast food every once in a while. Nonetheless if you want to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle during your time at college try to follow some of the above tips and cook up some recipes that work for you!