America is a nation of large portions. We salute motto’s like “go big or go home,” “if you’re going to do it, do it right” and “you only live once.” With notions like these, it’s hard to determine where the “off” switch is. No matter how many keggers or rounds of beer pong you’re up for, keeping your diet in check during your time on campus shouldn’t be an uphill battle.
The trick is to give yourself a few cheat days each month, 1-2 per week. Cause let’s face it – sometimes you’re just going to opt for a 2am spree to the local pizza joint or jack n’ the box. Whatever your poison may be, following up your salty, greasy or sugary fixes with regular exercise should help keep your gut in check. As an additional aid, below are four tips to help you maintain a cleaner diet.
#1: Stay Hydrated.
It may sound cliche, but it’s the oldest trick in the book. On average, about 37% of people confuse signs of thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated (especially during the warmer months) will kick any of those confusions to the curb and keep your insides clear of toxins. Keep a 16-20oz water bottle with you while you hop from class to class and try to drink around 5 bottles throughout the day.
#2: Swap Sweets For Fruit.
You already know it’s the healthier option. So, why fight it? The most common misconception people have when factoring in dietary needs is craving sugar. Why, you may ask? In most scenarios, people don’t realize their body is lacking in something else. Fiber, calcium, protein or simple every day needs like vitamin C or potassium are generally the reasons for the cravings. Keep some fruit close by so that you can snack on it throughout the day. If you don’t have access to a dorm fridge, buy dried fruits and veggies instead.
#3: Grilled Option Is The Winner.
Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, protein is often the most consumed item throughout the day (excluding carbs). Eggs, bacon, hamburgers, steak – the list goes on and on. When you’re dining out or eating at the campus hall, opt for grilled protein items versus fried. Grease is the enemy and often leaves you feeling sluggish the following day or two after it has been consumed. So when in doubt, choose the grilled option!
#4: Reduce, Don’t Cut.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of most people’s diets. We tend to base our meals around what carb can be included as the main filler. A lot of diets recommend cutting them out all together but like everything else, once you become aware of what you “can’t have” something, your brain automatically wants you to have it. A great rule of thumb to follow is; give in to what your body wants you to eat, just reduce the average portion you shell out for yourself by half. This way, you’re satisfying your carb fix but making a conscious choice to eat it responsibly.
If you have any additional healthy eating tips feel free to share them with us. As a Dorm Room Movers author, good luck with maintaining a healthy eating life style.