By Megan Wimberley
It’s the New Year, and we have yet to reach the one-month point. We’ve only been in classes for a few weeks, yet many of us are already falling behind on our New Year’s resolutions.
If you are like many Americans, your resolution probably included getting in shape, or simply being healthier. For students living in the dorms this can be a very difficult task.
There’s no doubt it is easy to get into the habit of eating unhealthy foods. Every meeting you go to provides a healthy meal of cookies and soda so why not pig out? After all, the only other thing you had to eat was when you devoured that triple meat cheeseburger in a five-minute break between classes.
High calorie, fatty foods tend to be easier and cheaper than their healthy counterparts, and beggars can’t be choosers after all. Free cafeteria food is free, whether it’s grilled salmon or nachos. However, there are ways to be healthier, even while maintaining a strict diet of cafeteria food.
First of all, pay attention to the different options while eating in the cafeteria. Skip your Wednesday date with the chicken fried steak and meet that lovely lady serving grilled chicken instead.
The daily soup can also be a lifesaver on those days when all the chicken is gone, the salad has been eaten, and you can’t tell if that fruit is a pear or a giant raisin.
When fruits and vegetables are available — and recognizable — grab a napkin and dig in. Research continues to show the positive effects of eating those greens, reds, yellows, and purples for that matter. The more colors the better. This is because different colored fruits and vegetables have different vitamins. Besides, eating a salad can help curb your appetite so you don’t want to devour a plate full of french fries and pizza.
When eating sandwiches, choose wheat bread and mustard instead of white bread and mayonnaise.
Another thing that many people don’t even think about is what they are drinking. Water and fruit juice should be your main source of liquid. Soda actually dehydrates you and boasts about 130 calories over water’s zero calories.
If you’re not completely broke and at the mercy of the cafeteria, keep healthy snacks in your room. Whole-grain cereal, granola bars, fresh and canned fruit, soup, wheat bread and peanut butter can help tremendously.
If you happen to be one of those really blessed people who own a mini fridge, buy food to make sandwiches and salads. The best thing to do is to get creative. One of my favorite snacks is apples and peanut butter.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but rather something to help you get the ball rolling. Discover healthy treats that you enjoy, and find what works for you.
Most importantly, you must make it a lifestyle change, not a diet. Usually the faster you lose the weight the less likely you are to keep it off. So don’t starve yourself — just make healthier choices.
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