Nutrition and Health Advice for New College Students in 2020
June 2, 2020
Both within and outside the walls of the classroom, college life is full of activities. One of the fundamental requirements to help you cope with university life is adopting healthy eating habits. They will help you survive the long study days without getting exhausted while you strive to obtain academic excellence.
However, making sure to eat healthy in college can be a bit challenging. You are ridiculously busy, probably on a tight budget, and unlikely to have access to a fully equipped kitchen. But that shouldn’t give up on it because it is important you stay healthy to be the best you can be. When not properly addressed, this can sometimes have a toll on the health of new college students.
In this post, we have put together some nutrition and health tips to help you cope as a new college student.
1. Never skip breakfast
This is the first tip and one you should never forget. As a new student, you will be having lots of studying to do to get along with your chosen course or field as quickly as you can. You will be needing lots of energy to perform throughout the day, and your breakfast is the meal that provides you with that.
Ideally, you should take some fruits, a plate of oatmeal, a sandwich, or eggs even if you don’t have that much time to prepare an elaborate dish. You can also take some cereal with some fruits like banana or apple just to make sure you eat something before setting out for the day.
2. Plan ahead
When it comes to eating healthy while on campus, planning ahead is very important. The reason for this is simple. When you are already very hungry, you will be forced to go for the easiest and best available option to satisfy your hunger. Most times, these options are usually the least ideal for your health.
So plan your meals ahead. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole month can be planned in advance. You can buy your ingredients and store them on the shelves for easy accessibility. You will only need to buy fresh ingredients once in a while. Doing this will not only help preserve your health but will also be helping you save a lot of money.
3. Don’t let budget stand in your way
One of the reasons most college students tend to jeopardize their health when it comes to eating right is because of tight budgets. That should not be an excuse for you. You can always eat healthy even with a very limited budget. If you are the type that has the time to cook from scratch, then lookout for the best deals in the market and make sure to visit several stores for the best price according to your budget.
But if you are both short on time and budget, you are going to have to commit somewhere. One perfect way to save money without compromising your health on campus is to try to be a vegetarian. This will help you save so much that you will be surprised.
4. Keep things simple
It is understandable that most students don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. But the truth is that you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to prepare a healthy meal. You can have simple meals such as brown pasta or fried vegetable rice with tomato sauce and salad. These types of meals can’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes to prepare, from start to finish.
Foods like chickpeas and beans require a longer time, but you don’t have to wait to see them boil. You can put them on fire while you go spend the time on your studies. You can also consider using clay pots as they tend to make cooking almost effortlessly.
5. Identify healthy options for eating out
As a student living in the dorm, you may not escape eating out – even if it’s once in a while. When this happens, you should look for healthy and cheap places to have some good foods. Some restaurants are very cheap and some even offer discounts to students. So look around and ask people where you can enjoy a good, tasty, and healthy meal any time you decide to eat out.
6. Cut down on alcohol
As much as you can, reduce or avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol will not only weigh down your budget but will also have its toll on your health. Eating junk foods on campus is not the only thing that steals away new students’ money on campus, drunkenness also does.
Alcohol will make you dehydrated and loaded with empty calories. That will not help your health in any way, so cut down on its consumption.
7. Personal hygiene is important
Keeping regular hygiene can save you from several health complications. So ensure you keep your personal space regularly clean. Little things like cleaning the surfaces you use, doorknobs, mouse, and keyboards can go a long way.
Make sure your room is well ventilated and there is proper air circulation, especially during winter when air circulation is usually poor.
8. Exercise and keep fit
As much as your foods are important for you to stay healthy on campus, so also is regular exercise. Deep breathing, movement, muscular exertion, sweating and all of the other wonderful things that come with exercise have their unique ways of contributing to your health while you study at the university. Regular exercise also has a way of strengthening your immunity and increase focus and concentration.
9. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
As you commit to eating healthy and staying active on campus, remember to let your body also have enough rest. Having enough sleep after the busy works throughout the day is very important. Make sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep every night. This can help fortify your health. From helping to prevent blood pressure, keeping mental clarity, reducing stress, and boosting immunity, adequate sleep can help promote healthy living for new students on campus.
10. Always listen to your body
Out of all the tips and advice for staying healthy as a new student in college, it is important you always pay close attention to your body. Listen to your body and try to understand what it says per time. Know when things don’t feel right, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. If you are feeling some pain in your low back or neck, you may want to stay away from rigorous exercise and stick to light ones.
Going to college is one of the major decisions in life and so comes with lots of requirements. You’ve packed everything you need to be successful on campus and have your dorm all set up. Now the next major priority is good health. Whether you stay in the dorm or off campus, when you adopt good habits, you set yourself up for the best while at the university.