Five easy ways to eat healthy on campus

Picture of Vegetables and Fruits arranged neatly

In college, you’re on your own for the first time, able to make your own choices about what you eat, while surrounded by snacks and sweets. You’re also in a rush from school, which makes it hard to control what you eat, especially when there isn’t a kitchen nearby. It can be a challenge to stay healthy. Fortunately, guides on how to eat healthy in college are common, with sites like Cooking Light, Her Campus, Lifehacker and Teen Vogue all giving different manage what goes into your stomach. In fact, there’s enough of a need for nutrition that you can actually turn it into a career.

Nutrition and Food Service Management is an award-winning diploma program at Centennial College that prepares you to get a career out of making sure people eat right and stay healthy. Meanwhile, our Food Service Worker program’s students study how to become a part of a health care team that ensures the nutritional needs of patients and customers. Their role is to apply the principles of nutrition to food production in health care food service environments. But for now, here are some easy ways to manage your own nutrition before you manage other people’s.

Don’t deny yourself food

It’s not about eating less. It’s about eating healthy things. It’s better to eat two or three square meals a day, particularly at breakfast, because it puts your body in “burning food” mode instead of “hoard everything because we’re starving” mode. So don’t ignore your hunger if you have it. It’ll only make you feel worse, and it’s a sign that you didn’t eat properly during the day. And don’t skip meals, like breakfast or lunch. Getting a big breakfast is important, even if it’s an “unhealthy” one because it’ll set the tone for the day. Meanwhile, having something good but not too filling at noon will help stop a 3 PM crash. Also, an odd bit of psychology from Lifehacker: Eating with a big plate will make you feel more satisfied. It recommends putting the veggies on the plate first, then protein, then carbs.

Instead, eat the right things

Everyone knows that veggies and fruits are great, as they’re usually the healthier choice. When it comes to getting your veggies and fruits, if you can eat them raw, it’ll be healthier for you, because the cooking process can take vitamins and antioxidants out of the food. Meanwhile, protein makes you full, which solves the problem of getting hungry, so be sure to eat some protein, and don’t just eat veggies. Good protein, aside from meat and fish, can come in the form of eggs, beans, or nuts, among other things. Also, according to Her Campus, going fat-free isn’t always the best option, simply because fat keeps you full for longer. Obviously, you don't want a lot of it, but without it, you’ll just eat more in the long run.

Always remember to drink water!

Aside from keeping you hydrated, drinking water with your meal will make you feel full. Sometimes you’ll feel hungry when you’re actually dehydrated. Be sure to make it water, though, as almost any other kind of drink is not as good for you, and doesn’t hydrate you as much.

Fill your living space and bag with healthy snacks

Teen Vogue recommended always taking the fruit from the cafeteria, even if you don’t think you need it right now. Healthy snacks can also last for a long time, too, as apples, oranges and citrus fruits can stay out in the open for two weeks. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit and multi grain crackers, however, last even longer than that, and are a healthy way to get rid of your hunger. Throwing some into your backpack and saving them for emergencies will keep you eating good food. Other healthy snacks you can keep in your living space and in your backpack include oatmeal, canned veggies or fish, and hot sauces and spices to make things taste better.

Schedule your cheating sometimes

Scheduling your unhealthy splurges is a good way to keep healthy during the week since you know you’ll be getting that ice cream, cake, or whatever else you want eventually.

By Anthony Geremia

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