In the land of dining halls, all nighters, and free pizza, it can seem almost impossible to eat healthy while in college.
1. Eating healthfully does not have to mean dieting.
2. Focus on adding whole nutritious foods instead of restricting the "bad" ones.
3. And choose healthy foods that you actually love to eat. (They exist.)
4. Don't let your class schedule dictate your meals.
5. Stock your dorm with all of the snacks that aren't junk food.
6. Always keep an emergency granola bar in your backpack for when you're hangry.
7. Sneak protein into every meal or snack to stay fuller longer.
8. Beans and rice are a perfectly acceptable, cheap, and nutritious meal.
9. Fill half your plate with your favorite salad or veggies first.
10. Build tasty and nutritious salads you actually look forward to eating.
11. Use your fist as a portion-size guide for protein, whole grains, fruits, and fats.
"Aim for roughly a palm of protein, a big handful of veggies, a fist of whole grains," says Andrews.
Here's a great resource with more helpful photos.
12. Don't hang around the dining hall too long after you're done eating.
13. ...And leave with all the pieces of fruit and vegetables you can fit in your backpack.
14. If your dining hall doesn't have good healthy options, or you have a food allergy, make a special request.
15. Try not to drink your calories.
16. Bring your favorite reusable water bottle with you everywhere.
17. When you're buying your go-to packaged or frozen foods, opt for the healthier or less processed version.
18. Always have a jar of natural peanut butter around for quick protein.
19. Pick a cereal with whole grains and less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
20. Or try overnight oats packed with fruit in your mini-fridge.
21. If you worry about buying produce that will go bad, keep bags of frozen fruits and veggies instead.
22. And try to add those veggies to basically everything.
23. Make lightning fast stir-fries and rice bowls in the microwave.
24. Upgrade your beloved packages of ramen with spices, fresh veggies, and protein.
25. Invest in so much tupperware.
26. Buy nutritious, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa in bulk so you can cook as much or as little you need.
27. Try to pack a lunch as often as you can.
28. Cook one giant meal on Sundays, like a casserole or lentil soup, and freeze separate portions for a week's worth of dinner.
29. Or boil a dozen eggs.
30. Pre-portion big bags of snacks into individual baggies.
31. Brew your own coffee or tea and take it in a to-go mug.
"Every morning, I would brew myself hot or iced black or green tea and have it in a large tumbler to keep me energized during a whole day of classes. It was a better option than getting sugary drinks at Starbucks. Plus, I saved a lot of money!"
— Patricia Isabel, Facebook