Tips for Eating Healthy On Campus

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Eating healthy on campus can be tough; especially if this is your first time away from home or you’ve become accustomed to eating the same things year after year. Below you will find some tips and tricks for planning ahead and trying to eat better while here.

  1. Eat a good breakfast – Studies show that skipping breakfast detracts from scholastic achievement. If you are short on time, grab yogurt, a bagel, a piece of fruit, and some juice to give you the energy you need for the day ahead.
  2. Look at the menu – Plan out what and where you are going to eat before you come in to the Commons. If you are going to have a heavier meal that day, plan it on a day where you can have a better balance throughout the rest of the day. For example if you have a burger or pizza for lunch, have fish and vegetables for dinner.
  3. Balance your plate – One quarter of your plate should contain a healthy protein source; choose fish, poultry, beans, and nuts, try to limit red meats and cheeses. One quarter of your plate should be a healthy carbohydrate source; whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, try to limit refined grains like white rice, white bread, and white potatoes such as French fries. One half of your plate should contain vegetables and fruits; eat a wide variety and all colors, potatoes and fries don’t count.
  4. Use smaller plates – Use the various sized plates and bowls available to you to best control portion sizes.
  5. Don’t hesitate to mix and match across food stations – Grab grilled chicken from the hot station, veggies from the stir-fry station, hummus from the deli bar, and a tortilla to create your own wrap. Be creative.
  6. Be mindful of your side items – When eating at the Cavern choose healthier side options such as fruit, yogurt, or a side salad.
  7. Limit your sugar intake – Sugar provides calories to your diet but few other nutrients. Specialty coffees, teas, sodas, and juices contain high quantities of sugar, try to avoid drinking excess calories.
  8. If you want to lose weight or change your eating habits, do it wisely – Diets that offer a quick fix or severely limit your calorie intake usually backfire and can be harmful to you and to your metabolism. Everyone’s body is different, if you are trying to change your eating habits look for a plan that is customized to you.
  9. Drink lots of water – Your body needs at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Eight ounces is equal to one cup. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle to class and keep it handy during late night study sessions.

In an effort to help you make the best nutritional choices, while on and off campus, free health and nutrition coaching is available to you. Kate Smith, our health and nutrition coach, will help you develop obtainable goals, teach you nutritional skills to sustain these goals, and provide support and encouragement. Email Kate, at kkirkpatrick@roanoke.edu, to schedule an appointment.

About Kate Smith