How to form healthy habits in college dorm life

Kendra Wicks

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>"Keep healthy options on hand. To lower the cost, stock up on long-lasting foods such as nuts, rice cakes and dried fruits."</p>” id=”0d504667-dabc-4845-843c-91ed1bc27a9a” style-type=”quote” title=”Kendra Pull Quote” type=”relcontent”}}

The cafeteria is full of “mystery meat” and other questionable foods, the dorms are small and you’re on a budget: how do you manage to still eat as healthy as possible in dorms?

The easiest thing to store and prepare in a dorm room is snacks. Snacking plays a large role in your overall diet. These foods are often hunted down to satisfy immediate cravings. When we’re in that desperate state, we’ll take almost anything and absent-mindedly munch on it without realizing how much we’re consuming.

Keep healthy options on hand. To lower the cost, stock up on long-lasting foods such as nuts, rice cakes and dried fruits. Protein bars and cereal can also be good options as long as you check the sugar and fat content. Apples and many vegetables have long shelf lives, lasting two weeks or more.

When choosing what to eat from a cafeteria, focus on creating a complete plate. Include meat (or some other type of protein), vegetables or fruits and a few carbohydrates from things such as pasta or bread. All of these contain different nutrients that will help fuel your body.

It’s challenging to prepare a full meal in a dorm room, but wraps and sandwiches are a good option if you have a mini fridge. Canned soups are another great choice. You can pour the soup into a bowl and heat it in the microwave for a fast and delicious meal.

If you want to order out on a regular basis, try to choose restaurants that offer a healthier menu, but don’t deprive yourself of good-tasting foods. Don’t hesitate to go out and eat burgers with your friends sometimes. If you’re eating something with less nutritional value, it could help to order a lighter portion or split it with a friend. Those strategies may decrease the cost as well.

When it comes to sweets, the best way to enjoy them regularly is to choose healthier options. You can find all kinds of cookies and ice cream with low sugars and fats at most grocery stores. Eating smaller, bite-sized chocolates and candies is another effective way to keep your sugar intake down. Sweet fruits or chocolate cereal can serve as great replacements for traditional desserts, but be sure to indulge your sweet tooth occasionally. Try not to cut things from your diet completely, but instead enjoy them in moderation.       

The key to eating healthy is always to have a plan. Have healthy snacks on hand and know what you want to eat for each meal, but don’t be afraid to have some cheat meals. These practices will help you develop a positive relationship with healthy foods.