Do you hear the siren call of fast food summoning you during a night of drinking? How about that bag of chips with your name on it? Or an Iced Capp before you start studying?
We could come up with hundreds of excuses that make eating poorly and living unhealthily seem like the right choice. But that doesn’t mean it is. It’s entirely possible to live as a healthier student with these tips!
1. Quality Sleep
Young adults should be getting between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. A quality night’s sleep can be good for your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re getting a poor sleep each night, your energy level and ability to concentrate will reduce. This can lead to higher degrees of anxiety and irritability. On top of that, sleep deprivation can increase your appetite, which often leads to weight gain. So, make sure you’re giving your body the proper sleep it needs to function. If you’re looking for a little guidance, check out A Student’s Guide For Better Sleep.
2. Moderation Is Key
Everything is fine in moderation. Carbs can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, so don’t stray away from bread and pasta. Completely avoiding carbs can have a negative effect on your metabolism. You want to include LOTS of nutrient-rich foods that hold fiber such as lentils, broccoli, beans, and whole grains. Grilled is healthier than fried or breaded, so keep that in mind!
It’s easy to find yourself sitting practically everywhere when you’re in university. The library, class, and even the bus require you to sit. So, compensate for your lack of activity by going to the gym. Try out a combat class with a friend and establish a regular fitness routine that gets you exercising. If you’re having difficulty blocking off time to work out, then try walking to class or taking the stairs. Give your muscles a stretch between classes or every hour that you’re stiffly sitting at the library.
4. Manage Your Beverage Intake
Dear friends, I’m talking about alcohol, soda, and caffeine. Alcohol is FILLED with empty calories and no nutritional value whatsoever. Soda, along with sweetened fruit juices, contains ample amounts of sugar that slow down your digestion. If you’re fixated on the carbonation, switch out soda for flavoured sparkling water. That’s how I kicked my habit. Lastly, there’s caffeine, which leads to dehydration. If you require that morning coffee to function every day, drink two glasses of water to compensate.
Above all else, drink LOTS of water. Your body needs it. Hydration is essential for your general health and energy levels. So, try to drink a glass of water before each meal, even every hour if you can! Water can help flush your system, improve your skin, and control your appetite so you can continue living as a healthier student.
6. Knowing When to Eat
It’s always good to know what you should be eating, but you should also pay attention to when you find yourself eating. Midnight snacking should be heavily avoided as studies found that late-night eating can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Doubly important, remember to eat breakfast in the morning. Breakfast starts your metabolism, which provides a boost of energy for the day. Similarly, keep healthy snacks with you such as apples, pretzels, and almonds to tide you over until your next meal.
Don’t fall for the trap of grasping at flimsly excuses to be unhealthy. There are lots of easy ways to live as a healthier student at university!
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.