The Ultimate Guide to a Balanced Diet for College Students

The Ultimate Guide to a Balanced Diet for College Students

Eating a healthy balanced diet in college can sometimes seem like a constant uphill battle, but there is still a way to eat a healthy and balanced diet living in a dorm or an apartment. It is difficult to have a nutritious diet when the meal options are only in dining halls or other campus dining locations. Many of the meals have a lot of fried foods, pizza, or pasta with few healthy options other than a salad bar. This blog is designed to help you build a healthy balanced diet while living in college. I will warn you; this blog requires you to try new foods, routines, and foods that are not available in the dining hall. 

  1. Start your day with breakfast
    • You have heard that you should eat breakfast every morning since you were a child, but when college comes along there are other things that are prioritized like getting extra sleep. Grabbing a healthy protein granola bar, a protein shake, fruit, toast, Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, or eggs on your way to class will start your day off with high energy. 
  2. Allow yourself to snack
    • Nutritionists say that frequently snacking on healthy foods can help manage your appetite and by eating every 2 to 4 hours will help prevent overeating at mealtimes. Having healthy, energy boosting snacks on hand in your dorm, backpack or gym bag will help you avoid eating unhealthy snacks. Try having a handful of mixed nuts, string cheese, yogurt, or fruit. 
  3. Have an eating routine
    • Go to the dining halls or campus dining only two or three times a day for a full meal, and not a snack. Try to eat around the same times every day and when you get slightly hungry, go to the dining hall right away and don’t wait till you’re starving which will cause you to overeat.
  4. Try the salad bar
    • Salad can get boring to some of us but try to at least eat some fruits or vegetables that are fresh at every meal. When visiting the salad bar try to keep out the more fattening toppings like croutons, bacon bits, or cheese. Try using beans, chickpeas, dried fruit, nuts or seeds instead. Avoid the creamy dressings like ranch and opt for vinaigrette dressings that are lower in fat. 
  5. Avoid drinking your calories
    • Avoid any extra calories and sugar in soda, juice, fruit punch, lemonade, sweet tea, high-fat coffee drinks, or asking for a milk alternative instead of cream in your coffee. 

Try some of these tactics to help change to a more balanced healthy diet. Remember it may take a while to completely change your routine and habits, so be patient with yourself and take slow stops to achieve a healthy diet in college. 

Strive for progress, not perfection

Kayla Withrow