Maintaining a healthy diet at college or university doesn’t need to be as hard as everyone assumes it is. Starting uni in September 2015, I found it hard to adjust to making all of my own meals, and found that I was wasting a lot of money on food that I wouldn’t end up eating. I also got lazy with cooking as I felt that it took too long and I didn’t have enough hours in the day. However, with the following changes I’ve found it so much easier to eat healthily while being away from home.
Meal plans help a lot when it comes food shopping – you know exactly what items you need for your shopping list and it means that you don’t end up buying things that you think you’ll use but never get around to eating. By planning each meal out in advance, you avoid buying a variety of fruit and vegetables and having no idea what to do with them when you get home. You’ll also know roughly how long each meal will take to prepare and cook, so you can alter your plan depending on what you’re doing on that day. Eating in this way helps to save a lot of money – I can usually buy my weekly shopping for around £25 by using this method.
Buy a Student Cookbook
Many cookbooks can seem great but when you actually get around to making something, the recipes can be complex and time consuming. Student cookbooks are made for people who don’t have a lot of time but still want a nice home-made meal! Check out these links for some affordable ideas – The Hungry Student Cookbooks, Nosh for Students, The Ultimate Student Cookbook – and use any of the recipes to create your meal plan!
Swapping certain foods for healthier alternatives is extremely beneficial, and in the grand scheme of things, there’s not much of a difference in taste. For example, simple things like switching your usual white bread for a 50/50, or even brown bread, is a big step! As well as this, try using whole grain pasta instead of regular pasta – there’s absolutely no difference once you’ve added the sauce. Also, try using coconut oil to fry as a healthier alternative to other oils. This website has a great list of alternatives for you to look at!
Don’t be too Extreme
A lot of people decide one day that they are going to eat more healthily and immediately cut everything ‘bad’ out of their diet, but 9 times out of 10 this doesn’t work (unless you have remarkable self-control.) The key is to do this slowly, so maybe start by fading crisps out of your diet until you no longer feel like you need them, and then try getting rid of something else. But in all honesty, everything is okay in moderation, so don’t let a healthy diet stand in your way of having a treat every so often!