How to Eat Well at College
So you find yourself surrounded by booze, dorm food and lack of kitchen… what to do? Not to fear… plenty of others have been in your shoes and achieved their goal physiques. It’s all about planning ahead and getting creative. =)
Remember, “abs are made in the kitchen”. It is important to eat frequent, small meals to keep your blood sugar stable. Aim to eat every 2-3 hours (5-7 small meals a day). Each meal should include protein.. also make sure to eat fibrous veggies and healthy fats (check out my grocery list and meal plan for an example of this). If you have classes back to back, invest in a small cooler so you can take your food along with you. “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” No excuses!
There are many ways to buy healthy food without paying a pretty penny. You can buy in bulk at places like Costco, you can clip coupons, you can keep an eye out for sales/deals at local grocery stores, and you can try farmer’s markets!
The following items can be kept without refrigeration and only some require a microwave (which most dorms provide communally) -
Protein powder (Click here to buy online)
Canned tuna (look for low-sodium options)
(They even have canned chicken!)
Canned legumes (look for low-sodium options)
Canned vegetables like green beans, artichokes and asparagus (look for low-sodium, or rinse before eating)
Olive, flaxseed and safflower oil
Natural peanut or almond butter
Almonds and Walnuts
Water and Green tea Bags
Condiments like Tapatio & Tabasco
Spices like Mrs. Dash & Pepper
For those times that you MUST eat at the dorm cafeteria… try to follow these tips….
For breakfast, avoid the pancakes, pastries, sugary cereals and other junk. Go for the eggs and oatmeal (unsweetened.. or Splenda if you must!)
For lunch, have a whole wheat sandwich (skip the cheese, mayo, creamy dressings and ketchup). Try to have a lean protein source on it like boneless/skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey or grilled fish (avoid processed deli meats). Add as many veggies to it as you want!
For dinner, have a big salad! Fill your bowl/plate with lettuce, add some veggies like tomato, onion, bell pepper and whatever else looks good. Try to again, add some lean protein (same options as above). Skip the creamy dressings.. use straight vinegar and a little bit of olive oil, or vinaigrettes (in moderation).
For snacks, grab some unsalted almonds, nonfat cottage cheese, nonfat greek yogurt or low fat cheese stick. A lot of college cafeterias also offer veggie trays (skip the dip). Avoid snacking on chips, cookies, crackers, candy and other junk that is typically available. NO RAMEN!!!! I lived off that stuff (and my waistline was proof of that!)
Last but not least…. CUT THE ALCOHOL. If your priority is getting healthy and fit, it won’t be that hard.