We are not going to lie ! College is a time of changes with new home, friends, life, class and struggle to adapt with the college food. The bitter truth is; average college student is stressed and deprived of time with consecutive classes, assignment, social life, studying and part time jobs. Now who has time to stay fit and healthy ?
It’s specially not reasonable to eat healthy when its cheap to eat junk food and one can order one from nearby crocodile food store ( just a fancy name i came up with ). While your room mates may be your fist friends in college they are equally fist enemies of healthy lifestyle; since its hard to resist and no to junk food even when you wanted under peer pressure.
Then how to stay fit and healthy in college ? That is what we are here for to plan a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for you on budget; even including the regular food you get in college mess. The truth is college generally have more than one dinning area with different variety of foods per day.
But yet we go for the salty, spicier and easy to consume foods out of temptation which soon become part of habit; until some personal health issue starts to hold and stop you from following your regular routine. Chances are you have been to that phase and wants to change for good. So let get deep into its cause and possible affordable solutions.
Table of Contents
- Common Health Mistakes People Do In College
- 7 Easy Fix To Stay Fit And Healthy On A Budget
- To Stay Fit And Healthy – What Did I Miss ?
Common Health Mistakes People Do In College
Being fresh in college means you are more likely to eat low fiber high calorie food such as; ready made snacks, soda, fried items, fast food, heavy junk food and other sugary snacks. Don’t get me wrong but if you don’t change there is a high possibility of “Freshman 15”; a term used to describe a sudden spike in body weight by the end of first year.
Your parent’s probably may have give some hint or sense of; what is healthy lifestyle and what’s not; but who cares? In fact it really doesn’t matter whether you wanna to stay fit and healthy or not; as you are bound to commit many mistakes that won’t let that happen. Here is some of the common mistakes we all do that stops us; following a healthy lifestyle.
1 ) The Habit To Skip Breakfast
Yep; i have been through it so i know it won’t take long to develop this bad habit to simply skip the breakfast in a row day after another. I know you have slept three or four hours before, aren’t feeling hungry and have other priorities for that time; but missing on your breakfast is like missing on your most important meal.
Being the first meal of the day after a long hour of sleep it helps break the fast for the hours you don’t eat during sleep. It basically provide the much needed energy to maintain same level of attention and alertness throught the day. Not just it plays role in maintaining same level of energy but also affects our mood.
Yep ! Its that much important yet its one of the first thing we are willing to sacrifice when running low on time. Studies have show that breakfast skippers have poor cognitive function, concentration, higher hair-fall, more fatigue, have higher risk of migraine and unhealthy weight to strength ratio.
2 ) The Constant Hunger For Food
If you stay on campus you might have paid a flat fee or charge for the college cafeteria or dinning hall. With latest trends in change in the type of food served in these halls; it isn’t boring anymore with lot’s of flavors, variety and options even fast food. Its less likely you go for more healthier over the more tasteful ones.
Thus you eat food with less nutrients and fibber leading you feel hungry throught the day; forcing you to consume more over small consecutive beaks.
You won’t believe but most of the freshers by the end of a year suffer from this concern of habit of over eating. What happens is when you don’t eat healthy food that makes you feel fuller; you are likely to feel hungry quite sooner. So you feel desire to eat more but since you already spend time or money on meal time; you keep on filling the gap with chips, soda and other quick to consume foods.
What happens over time is the formation of this habit to continuesly eat or drink one or another beverage. Thus you may lack in essential nutrients such as protein and vitamins; you are running too high on carbs, sugar and fat. This then trigger your brain to signal the need to eat more to fill the gap for necessary nutrients; thus following a constant hunger loop.
3 ) The Party Culture
Take any typical college campus whether just boys, girls or both if you give them any chance to relax; they will enjoy themselves with a good time partying. And why not? College are full of stresses with assignments to do, exams to pass, mortgages to pay and the struggle to remain afloat financially.
Whether you like or not college is the time of extremes whether positively or negatively. One can get to know many good fiends, develop leadership skill, learn to socialize, diversify and get a degree that can get you a decent job. On another hand you can be bullied, physically or mentally harassed, sexual misadventures, found a new habit of drug and substance abuse etc.
I don’t remember when was the first time i attend a campus party; full of fun, food, alcohol and yes drugs if you wanna to. Honestly back then i was naive and younger ( still young but a little more ) and can’t find the right balance between studies and fun. I goo back and forth with the partying culture and so does my grades.
In fact this is the case with many during their college days; maybe yours too ! Add to the fact that weekends party is the road to chronic addiction. You never know how and when it get to your nerves and you start to pay more attention to the next coming party; then your lessons in class.
4 ) Relying Heavily On Alcohol
Connected with the problem of imbalance between class and parties booze and books goes hand in hand in college. In fact there is no secret of drugs and alcohols in collage parties that last long nights. Drinking has been integrated so well with the college culture that it hard to predict; when it moves from being a part of social activity to all out alcohol dependency.
Some of quickly identifying symptoms of one such dependency is new found habit for craving drinks throught the day. Furthermore you can’t enjoy social activity without drinking; thinking of drinks all the time, having withdrawal symptoms such as hand shakiness, anxiety and aggression when you can’t get drinks for a day.
Believe it or not nothing is more disturbing and uneasy then unable to remember what you did last night throught the party. These feeling of blackout’s is caused due to having a large amount of drink in very short time span. Its quite dangerous ! Anything can happen in that time span with the most usual thing of loosing your personal belonging.
If anything you can do to make things better is to accept your condition and bring in slow but steady change. I know its hard so won’t tell you to stop drinking all of a sudden. Instead what i suggest is to make a solid plan one for yourself to change for good but simple enough you won’t feel too hard to stick.
5 ) You Do Not Get Enough Sleep
We have all heard of or gone through late night sleeps so late that its almost the next morning. While its definitely not a smart move to do; but you won’t sleep when you need not to sleep.
Denying yourself the luxury to sleep at will or to force yourself sleep on time mostly won’t gonna change anything. But analyzing how you end up sleeping too late each night might bring some change.
Whether you exercise or not go gym to stay fit and healthy but lacking on your sleep can really set things upside down. Though there may be reasons to skip sleep whether be catching a late night flight, last nigh studies before exam or handful of parties. Just do not make it a habit.
Sleep deprivation is more serious issue than you think with major short and long term effects. While in short term it can lead to fatigue, day sleepiness, headaches and reduced brain function. In long term it can cause severe problem of obesity, poor memory, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other mental issues.
7 Easy Fix To Stay Fit And Healthy On A Budget
I have seen people drove from being their worst to their best within my few years of college days. So yes if you take some small but vital steps its not tough to live a healthy and cheerful lifestyle. Make use of the available resources such as in college gym, sports and dinning space; listening to your body.
To get the best out of your efforts here is my seven easy fix to stay fit and healthy:
1 ) Keep A Check On Your Caffeine Intake
Everything that we love to consume whether be coffee, energy drinks, ice cream, soft drinks or chocolates contains high dose of caffeine. While caffeine is used by millions each day to get rid of sleep, reduce fatigue, improving concentration and wakefulness; too much of it can cause restlessness, insomnia and anxiety.
An young adult should not drink more than 180 mg of caffeine just a two cup of coffee can have. Now you might be realizing how you have been consuming many folds more all those years. While consuming caffeine can be a quick fix to tiredness; specially when you have to prepare for upcoming exam it will always backfire in long run.
Instead, try to take breaks in between your study time, listen to sound of nature, refresh yourself and get adequate sleep. Loosing sleep whether be from caffeine, stress or to much work leads to sleep depreciation. In fact many students suffer from this issue tanks to caffeine and late night party.
Whether you get your caffeine from any of its source keep a tab on your intake, be mature buyer analyzing caffeine content and gradually cutting on your daily caffeine need.
2 ) Learn To Cope-up With The Pressure
Almost half of the cola or beer you drink and the food you ate during the college time is under peer pressure. If it wasn’t be your friend or roommate asking to join or give company you might not have indulge in many such activity.
Going out with friends and listening to their demands to adjust your call is hard and frustrating. I know the feeling when you have to order a good meal; just because it won’t look nice to ask just a handful salads while your friends enjoy a great meal. No matter how less you want it or feel fuller; you have to ask for it and then finish the god damn thing.
There’s not much options even with self control when you share room with roommates with unhealthy lifestyle. Believe me there is no way one can say no when your other roommate; had ordered a late night pizza ! Don’t deny yourself this delicious food but not indulge too much either; have a small size and say “Thanks but i am feeling fuller”.
Make time for your meals breaking your food into small parts with each at least four hours after another. Choose appropriate porting while eating; many a time we eat more just because we take large portion at a time. Use your spoon or hand ( if needed ) to eat in small portion so you feel mentally that you have eaten enough.
3 ) Use Your Smart Phone
I know you have been using your smart phone for quite some time but not smartly. There is more to a smart phone other than games, social media and the basic function to dial and receive phone calls. There are some really good nutritional and health apps out there both on iPhone and android.
Even many cell phone manufacturer such as samsung add its phone with basic preinstalled health apps. These apps can count your calories, monitor your light exercise such as walking and running, provide advice and tips. Evermore many also came with diet list to follow and healthy food recipe.
Although there not much study on effectiveness of these apps in general but they seems quite promising. They usually have very high ratings with many reviews such as ” it really make a difference or it helps me allot”.
There are plenty of apps to choose of which Fooducate, life-sum, Calorie Counter and Diet Coach are popular ones. The best point of these apps is you don’t need to believe in my words; just install and check for yourself. ( Available on Both iOS and Android )
4 ) Put Limit On Your Stress
College is a hectic place to be in with loads of assignments, lectures, exam pressure, social activity and the pressure to explore yourself physically and sexually. While college is a go to place to meet new people and mingle but still there is pressure whether to explore or not your sexuality.
I have seen many who try to associate with all; class, part time job, sports and other social and club activities. Give a break you can’t do all that much at a time. Now that is a reason most get run down trying so hard and feel stressed. You can’t be good at everything; you can be good at most of them but not all.
Give your eyes and brain some rest otherwise soon you will feel crushed and exhausted; leading to higher risk of drugs and substance abuse. If you want to get out of daily stress and stay fit and healthy; the fist thing you should do is to make realistic routine based on your work hours.
Take advantage of your on campus yoga, spiritual and meditation program to cut back on your working hours; relaxing and enjoying a peace time. Spend time working on your hobbies and ask for help if needed. Get yourself some time and the time will give back your lost energy. So get along with time management skills to avoid getting stressed leading to lack of sleep and other dug abuse.
5 ) Start Taking Part In Sports And Workout
Fitting sports and workout activity in an already congested time line is hard and some times foolish even to ask. I know how difficult it is to take out time for sports and gym; sacrificing things we love and desire. Yet everyone seems to ask to arrange those time to exercise, take part in sports and workout in gym. But Why ?
This is all because its what that can keep you stay fit and healthy on a budget in campus. Most colleges provide gym facilities to its students for free; so take advantage of it. Don’t let it bored you by its nature of same exhaustion day after another; instead make it a fun experience asking friends to join and accompany.
If you are not a person of type who likes going gym; there is nothing to worry. There are plenty of method to burn up calories and strengthen body; while doing day to day work. Get a bike ( Check current price on Amazon ) and try biking instead of taking bus, metro or driving to your class. It not only cheap but also helps you exercise and burn calories in between you reach your class.
If your class aren’t far enough you may also walk the path one on one stretching your legs. Take advantage of sports facilities to make new friends and enjoy a quality time; while you literally play to do the workouts that you may feel boring doing at gym.
6 ) Experiment With Foods At The Dinning Hall
These days college dining offers a variety of foods to choose from from unhealthy fast food to boring yet healthy food. Many provide such an diverse variety that you can pic a new thing each day for a month. Don’t be a picky eater returning for the same food day after day; instead be adventurous and try new things.
Changing your diet day after another helps you maintain a balance between nutritional intake; thus playing a major role in your process to stay fit and healthy. So take advantage of all the options available to you at not extra cost. Take more fruits and vegetables adding on to your salad intake.
This way overtime you will love to eat at least many a food that you initially hate or avoid. I have done it; yes before college i hardly eat any vegetable but now its the reverse. The transition was hard at the start but then it become like a piece of a cake.
Don’t skip your meals and limit on junk food; i said limit because its not a harm to treat yourself now and then on special occasions with food you like. Be creative mixing in between the protein source like lean meat, beans and tofu with regular carbs and bit of vegetables and fruits.
7 ) Invest In Your Health
Have you heard the infamous ” The best time you spend is the One you invest in Health” ? Just like food is the fuel that helps your brain to think. Health is that system that keeps the brain and connected organs in shape. If you can’t stay fit and healthy you might face trouble managing your activities.
Furthermore you may be incapable to attend class or remain distracted due to many other reasons. If you don’t pay attention and invest time and money to fix issues; you are almost doomed with a 15 pounds increase in your body weight.
Now with all that reading and tips from me you might start to change; but unless you are serious and committed everything is a true waste. The best way to stay committed to your fitness goals is to let others know; and use the peer pressure for your benefit. If you invest some money in exercise kit ( Check Price On Amazon ); it makes you bound to your commitments as no one want’s to let their financial investment go waste.
In a recent study conducted at state universities; students which opt for any form of physical exercise tends to be more focused on nutritional value of their food. One similar study also shows that the students who had gained more than 10 pounds at the end of first semester; get to a slim trim body within a year following healthy lifestyle and food.
So yes its possible; if others can do it why can’t you ! I know its hard because unlike others it took me more than a year to get in shape; but slow yet consistently i meet my goals just to set another one.
To Stay Fit And Healthy – What Did I Miss ?
It is all that we need to stay fit and healthy; or am i missing something ? Yes its enough to stay fit and healthy but still i miss on things which are not necessary but yet important. Having a right food is equally important as getting an A in exam; so just like you remember and understand equations and theories; why can’t you understand nutritional value in foods.
Educate yourself; learn to scan more than one article in quick time to get smart at choosing food. But since you have made so far reading from up-top till now; its my duty to make you understand what does nutritional awareness means. Its the knowledge of choosing baked potato or grilled food rather than french fries and fried food.
It whats which teach you how wholes grains are better than refined ones and raw fruit is better than fruit juice even one with 100% fruit content label. It’s self learning to include dairy products and healthy fat such as olive oil, nuts and other seeds in at least two meals in a day.
If you learn the habit of keeping stock’s of healthy food such as crackers ( Yes it contain whole grain ), Fresh fruit, nuts, pudding and hummus. Thank god i miss this up to let you give a small blurb and discover the science behind on your own.
General Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and does not intended to replace an informed medical opinion. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet, sleep habits, dietary supplements, or a new exercise routine.