Ice cream, pizza, fries. It seems like college dining halls are just full of constant “comfort food” temptation. It is so easy to fall into unhealthy eating patterns especially if you don’t have a kitchen (I know I did my freshman year!) but here are a few tips I have learned along the way and strive to follow!
- Avoid drinks other than water. Endless supplies of soda can be really tempting (especially when you need some caffeine for late night study sessions) but soda and juices are filled with so much sugar that will just lead you to crash later on.
- Use alternative salad dressings. Rather than pouring high calorie dressings on your salad, use lemon and pepper or balsamic vinegar.
- Don’t completely cut anything out. So many times freshman year I would say “No dessert this week!” only to reach Thursday night and binge on cookies and ice cream. Rather than completely cutting anything out of your diet, just try to practice moderation.
- Eat protein! Many colleges have grills where you can ask for burgers or grilled chicken to be made. Adding grilled chicken to a salad will leave you feeling much more full and you can avoid other carb and starch options like mac & cheese or mashed potatoes. If you are vegetarian, make sure you are getting protein other ways.
- Keep healthy snacks in your room! I cannot stress this one enough. If healthy snacks are on hand (rather than loads of junk food), you will get a lot more energy! Some of my favorites are low-fat cheese sticks, nuts, sunflower seeds and rice crackers.
- Take advantage of the fruit in the dining hall. I would always try to have a banana with me that I grabbed from the dining hall so if I was hungry I would be less likely to grab a cup of cereal or chips to munch on (just don’t forget that it is in your bag for a week or you will start to wonder what that weird smell is….that happened to me and I had to wash my backpack haha!).
- Eat balanced meals. Try to eat fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein with every meal!
Comment below with any tips that you may have for eating healthy while living in the dorms!
PS: Here is a little graphic I made with the key points from this post, if you found them helpful, feel free to print this or share it with your friends!