Students are notorious for poor eating habits, and it’s no surprise. You’re short on money and on time; what else can you do but eat instant meals all the time? Well, in fact, there are plenty of things you can do.
Whether you are a EssayPro, a bartender, or simply trying to complete your assignments, you might feel like you don’t have the time or the energy to manage your diet. In this article, we will tell you a bit about how to make your diet healthier and how to stick to those habits. If a cup of instant noodles has become your normal meal, you’ll find this article useful.
But I Don’t Have the Time!
Sure, many students struggle with time management, and that’s okay. Take some time every weekend to plan your meals. Look at your schedule and see when you have time to cook and prepare food. Consider preparing meals in advance. For instance, make a batch of soup or a tray of baked goods that you can freeze and eat later in the week.
The recipes you use don’t have to be complicated, either. If you’ve barely ever cooked before and started making a croquembouche for a weeknight dessert, you are most likely to get discouraged and lose motivation. Look up student-friendly recipes instead. You can experiment with spices and herbs to add more complicated flavors to simple meals.
Make a Plan
The first step to change is identifying the areas where you can improve. Assess your food choices, look at your usual diet, and take it step by step.
Consider what meals and snacks you typically eat and try to identify any areas where you can make healthier choices. For example, you might aim to eat more fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains instead of refined grains, or opt for lean protein sources like chicken or tofu instead of red meat.
This doesn’t mean that you should immediately throw away everything you have in your fridge or pantry. No need to be wasteful. However, you can incorporate those foods lying around into healthier meals.
Never shop without a list, and never shop hungry. It’s best to plan your grocery shopping ahead so that when you’re at the store, you don’t get distracted by the smell of pastry and exotic-looking fruits. This is when the previous tip comes in handy. If you have a meal plan and know what you’ll be cooking for the week, you are less likely to buy some cool-looking vegetables you will never end up using.
When shopping for groceries, opt for foods that are rich in nutrients. Try to avoid added sugars and saturated fats. Look for recipes that feature more vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Buy fruits for snacks instead of candy. Processed or pre-packaged foods are more likely to be higher in saturated fats, sugars, and salt.
That is not to say you can’t have fun, though. An occasional candy bar won’t kill you, and neither will a bag of chips. But make sure that at least some of your snacks are healthier. More on that in a bit.
Keep Healthy Foods on Hand
Stacking your pantry with healthier snacks and meals readily available will leave you no options other than eating better. You won’t reach for instant noodles when you’re late or just lazy if you simply don’t have any. Various healthy options are available, such as nuts and seeds, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grain crackers and bread, and low-fat dairy products.
You can’t go on nuts only, though. It can be helpful to look up healthy snack recipes in advance so that when you get hungry for something quick and sweet, you know what to do. Plain yogurt with some nuts and fruits can make a great dessert option and is much healthier than a bag of chips.
If you’re always short on time, you might be tempted to just throw all the food inside and swallow without chewing like a dog. But if you take your time to actually taste the food, you might find more interest in it and motivation to up your cooking skill.
Pay attention to the food you’re eating. Take time to savor each bite, and try to avoid distractions like watching TV or using your phone while you do. This can help you enjoy your food more and make it easier to stop eating when you’re full.
Maintaining proper water balance is vital for good health. Research varies on this topic, but the consensus is about eight cups of water per day. However, if you don’t feel thirsty, don’t push yourself.
The human body is made up of about 60% water, and we need to replenish the fluids we lose through daily activities like breathing, sweating, and eliminating waste. Water is essential for many functions in the body, including:
- Regulating body temperature;
- Lubricating joints;
- Transporting nutrients;
- Maintaining healthy skin;
- Supporting digestion.
Drinking enough water can also help you feel more energy throughout the day, think more clearly, and support healthy immune function.
The hardest part about eating healthy is making it a habit. You can’t be perfect all the time, and that’s totally okay. The hardest part about eating healthy is making it a habit. You can’t be perfect all the time, and that’s totally okay. So, before you make any decision:
- Try to give yourself enough time to think.
- Don’t just go and reach for a bag of chips in your pantry.
- Try to think about what your body actually craves at that moment and what you can do to satisfy it.
Aim to make healthy choices most of the time, but don’t beat yourself up if you indulge in a less healthy option every now and then. The important thing is to establish healthy eating habits that you can stick to in the long term.
Eating healthier as a busy student is possible with a bit of planning and effort. By making a plan, shopping smart, keeping healthy foods on hand, eating mindfully, staying hydrated, and being consistent, students can establish healthy eating habits that they can stick with in the long term.
While it may take some effort to change old habits, the benefits of eating a healthier diet are worth it. With the right approach, students can improve their energy levels, concentration, and overall health, even with a busy schedule.