Healthy eating habits for busy students

Photo by Carolyn Brown ’16 | Eating healthy when you’re a college student can be tough, but Alice Mungyu ’19 is here to help.

 

Alice Mungyu ‘19
Features Editor

Making healthy choices does not mean you need to start dieting. Instead, make your well being a priority and listen to your body. Many ‘diet trends’ such as the tea detox, raw food diet or juicing claim that they can help you lose weight without sacrificing certain foods or going hungry. However, without proper supervision of a nutritionist, one might end up adopting unhealthy eating habits and health issues. To guide you through, here are some tips to look out for when adapting a healthier lifestyle.

Tip #1: Balance is Key

The key to eating healthy is having a balanced diet. Of course you already know, but have you been incorporating nutritious food choices and giving up processed food such as popcorn, chips and chocolate? Probably not. That is why making changes slowly and making a plan helps to sustain long-term goals. Give your body time to adjust to the new changes and instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, think about what you should eat. Using your fist as a size guide for protein, whole grains and fruit can also help portion out your food intake.

Tip #2: Drink plenty of water

Water plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function we have, so its importance cannot be stressed enough. Drinking plenty of water has many benefits including increased energy, improved skin complexion and a stronger immune system. In addition, studies have shown that drinking water does raise your metabolism, improving your fat burning rate. According to a study published in the journal “Obesity,” Dr. Amanda Daley and her team recruited 84 adults with obesity for a 12-week experiment. They were assigned to one of two groups: group one was given the task to drink 500 ml—about 16 oz—of water half an hour before their meals, while the other group was told to “imagine their stomachs were full before meals.” Monitoring everyone’s weight from the start, middle and end of the experiment, the group that loaded up on water lost around three more pounds than the group that didn’t maximize their water intake. “Water might be so effective because ‘it fills you up’ and helps increase satiety,” Dr. Daley says. This is helpful as it can help prevent overeating.

If you’re interested in losing weight, gaining weight, or changing your body composition, be sure to check in with a doctor and nutritionist before so that they can help you set reasonable goals and offer guidance along the way.

Tip #3: Being Mindful

It’s always easier said than done. There are many challenges you may encounter when practicing healthy habits such as stress or cravings. States of boredom, anxiety or desire often produce a harmful relationship with food. However, practicing mindful eating may work to keep one in tune with the body’s internal cues. Soon enough, you can transition away from the cravings by looking for healthier food alternatives.

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