Many students have a hectic schedule and often lack time to sit down to have a proper meal. As a student myself, I often rush through meals, eat processed food to save time or even forget about eating. These poor eating habits lead to feeling tired, increase stress and weaken the immune system. Through my own experiences, I learned how to incorporate healthy eating habits with a restless agenda. Here are some tips that you can do to start eating well with a busy life.
Put a reminder in your planner or calendar. If you are the type of person that likes to plan out everything on your agenda, don’t forget to insert time slots to remind yourself to eat a snack or a meal. This note will help you to remember to eat something even if you are busy running around or working on homework. Having a snack break will also help you to take a break and let your brain relax for a moment after long hours of hard work.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. People often forget to drink water when they are busy. However, the body needs water to carry out appropriate functions, especially our brain function. When dehydrated, your cognitive function will decline and your brain will not be working efficiently. Carry a reusable water bottle with you all the time and refill it at the water stations around campus. Different applications on the market can remind you to drink water throughout the day.
Choose the better protein or granola bars. Try not to replace a meal with these bars. The nutrients in the bar are not enough to make your body function well. These bars are more like snacks that offer a quick source of energy when the body is low in energy. When buying energy bars, check the ingredient list to ensure you know familiar with what goes into the bars. My general rule is, if the name sounds too strange, I will not buy it. With some planning, you can make homemade bars to adjust to your own needs and flavors.
Pack your own snacks. You can pack fruits, vegetables or nuts to eat during the day. Some snack ideas are apple slices with almond butter, pretzels with hummus or trail mix. You know what goes into your snack when you make or pack it yourself. It will also help you save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Most importantly, snacking throughout the day can also prevent overeating or eating less nutrient dense meals later.
Make healthier choices in restaurants. Many people choose to eat out when they feel like they do not have enough time to cook. Identifying and ordering a more nutritious option in a restaurant is easier than you think. Try to choose dishes that contain mostly vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Consider adding various side dishes to create a balanced meal. Additionally, pay attention to the portion size offered. Restaurants often serve portions that are too much for one person to finish, so you should not feel obligated to finish everything on the plate. To avoid overeating, consider splitting a meal with a friend, ask for a smaller portion or put half of the plate in a to-go box for another time.
This blog post was written by Nutrition Outreach Worker, Lucy Yu