Ever heard of the freshman 15? When you consider the foods that make up a college students daily diet, the freshman 15 is quite plausible. In my opinion, with the foods that my peers and I eat often I wouldn’t be surprised if it was called the Freshman 30. Now, I am surely no freshman, but I have certainly experienced weight gain in college.
I think the main reason for this is time. Students don’t have time to shop for groceries. (Not to mention the money it takes to buy groceries.) Students don’t have time to come up with creative recipes that are full of nutrients. And students definitely don’t have time to actually cook! Most students will go to school all day, and probably spend most of their day at a job. The last thing they want to do when they get home is cook or go grocery shopping!
Most students are in the fun time of their life’s that dating and a social life takes priority over almost everything, even school work. Students are also, for the first time, living on their own. Mom and Dad aren’t around to make sure that you’re eating your vegetables.
Even students like me, with families and jobs, can find it hard to eat healthy. There’s just not enough time in the day and when you need to keep going, it’s easy to just grab a bag of chips or make a trip to McDonalds.
Whatever the reason is for poor nutrition in college students, nutrition affects your performance.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “You are what you eat”, and it is so true. If you put a poor grade gasoline in your car and never change the oil, the car will not perform to its full capacity and will eventually break down. Think of your body as a car. Take care of it and it will take care of you. You might even find that you have more energy to do all the things that you need to. And you might even find that you get better grades.
Eat This Not That
First of all remember to eat breakfast. Your brain is tired in the morning and needs fuel to get going, feed it! If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to sit down and eat cereal or make a big breakfast, think simply and buy a box of granola bars, or some yogurt. Throw a few fruits in a smoothie and drink it on your way out.
Second, snacks. It is so easy to grab a candy bar from the vending machine at school or a soda when you’re starving and in class. Instead, try taking healthy snacks with you. Seeds and nuts are a great alternative and full of natural energy and vitamins to keep you going.
When you get home from school and are tired and worn out, instead of making a box of Mac and cheese, try tossing a salad. It really doesn’t take long, just an extra effort at the grocery store. Use all sorts of greens and vegetables to get all the nutrients that you need namely spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes. Top with a dressing and you’ve got dinner in minutes.
Eating healthy does require some extra attention and effort on your part but it is worth it! You will find that you feel better, have more energy and do better in school and work. You can get creative and find ways to save time. No matter what you do, do it for yourself, you’re worth it!