If you’re reading this, you probably have faced the hard reality that staying healthy in college isn’t easy. You are trying to juggle school, work, and relationships – whether romantic, familial, or platonic – so worrying about your health and fitness feels like the last priority on a long list of to-dos.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
I am here to help, but before we get into my personal tips and tricks on how to stay healthy, or even lose weight in college, I want you take a moment to pause and take a deep breath. In and out. I want you to know that you and your body are good enough where they are right now. You should be proud of yourself for even reading this blog post because that means you’re trying and trying is good. Now that we are feeling good about ourselves, let’s get into my tried-and-true tips on how to stay healthy and lose weight whiles in college.
IT’S ALL ABOUT GROCERIES
You eat what you buy, so buy healthy foods! It’s as simple as that! If your grocery list consists of nothing but Cheez-Its and Mac & Cheese, then that’s what your diet consists of as well. I am not implying you don’t buy yourself the occasional box of Mac & Cheese. Kraft is too yummy to resist. However, you must also buy yourself the necessary proteins, fruits, and veggies. I have found green smoothies to be a simple way to get my fruits and veggies in first thing in the morning. Throw in some spinach, blueberries, and strawberries into a blender and you’ve got yourself a great start to the day. Make sure to get some protein in too by eating eggs alongside your smoothie for breakfast, or perhaps some chicken apple sausage for dinner (a personal favorite).
You do not need to have a strict diet to be healthy. Just listen to your body, take care of it, give it some broccoli on occasion, and everyone will feel happy. Keep the healthy food at the forefront of your mind while at the grocery store, and then of course add a box of Oreos or a chocolate bar to the cart. What you resist, persists, so while at the grocery store, don’t tell yourself you CAN’T have candy, but rather tell yourself you GET to buy fruit because you know it will make you feel good. Ultimately, just be kind to yourself.
MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE
I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, I should just make time for exercise. No duh Sherlock! Don’t you think I’ve tried?”. Okay, okay I know… but let me clarify what I mean. When I say exercise, I don’t mean getting max gains at the gym for 2 hours every day. It definitely can mean that if that’s what you’re into, but it could also mean going for a 15-minute walk. Just try and move your body in an intentional way at least 3-4 times a week. I know it is a lot easier said than done, and most days you’re just trying to find time to even eat food, but something I remind myself is there is always time. There is always enough time in a day it is just about prioritizing. Maybe tomorrow you prioritize a little better and instead of scrolling on Instagram for 30 minutes (sorry to call you out like that), you go for a quick jog or walk. If you feel like you don’t have time, just make it.
EAT BREAKFAST, DRINK WATER
We’ve been told to eat a well-balanced breakfast and drink enough water for our whole entire lives, and usually if you are told repeatedly to do something, that probably means it’s good for you. So here I am, reminding you one more time to eat breakfast and drink water. If you start your day on a healthy, satisfied foot, it sets the precedent for a good day. Set your alarm just 20 minutes earlier so you can have the green smoothie and eggs we talked about. Eating breakfast in the morning will help curb a large appetite for the rest of the day. As far as water goes, you know you should be drinking more. Invest in a good water bottle and bring it with you everywhere you go. It might feel like a hassle, but your body will thank you for it.
7:30 CUT OFF TIME
I am sure you have heard of intermittent fasting, and if not, I would advise doing some research! I am not encouraging you to intermittent fast, even though it could potentially be very good for you, I am just encouraging you to have a food cut off time for the night. If you make it a goal every night to not eat after 7:30, you’ll feel so much better. By doing this you are giving your stomach a break from food and letting yourself digest properly. Nothing good comes from eating McDonalds at 12 a.m. Okay wait, that’s not true. Sometimes McDonalds at 12 a.m. is necessary. But for the most part, attempt to finish dinner around 7:30, and then give your stomach a break from food until your yummy breakfast in the morning.
BALANCE IN ALL THINGS
Ultimately, you have to find balance in all things. Don’t put too many restrictions on yourself or else you’ll never form long-lasting habits. Find what works for you. Find what makes you feel healthy. Invest in your health and encourage others to do the same. Love yourself enough to eat fruits and veggies and to exercise on a regular basis. You deserve it!
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