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5 Ways To Be Healthy In The Dining Hall

5 Things to Look For In the Dining Hall When You Are Trying To be Healthy:


  1. Never Forget Your Protein! What I’ve noticed, is that a lot of people load up on carbs and forget about their protein. Protein is the building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, and also aids in creating health enzymes and hormones. When looking for your protein always aim for “lean” proteins. By adding protein, you will also find that you will be fuller for longer. Lean proteins include:

    1. Skinless white chicken and turkey

    2. Lean ground beef (90% fat free or more)

    3. Beans and Lentils (be aware of portions because these are calorie dense foods which means they are calorie dense)

    4. Non-Fat dairy (my favorites include Fage 0% Greek Yogurt and Chobani fat free Greek yogurt)

    5. Fish and Shellfish (always try to incorporate wild salmon in your diet because of its Omega-3 fatty acids)

    6. Tofu (if you are a female, be careful of the amount of tofu you are eating because it can be detrimental to the female reproductive system)

    7. EGGS! (eggs are my all time favorite source of protein especially on a college budget because of all the health benefits in them)


2. Vegetables: veggies will be your best friend if you are trying to keep lean because they allow you to have larger portions that are less in calories. For example, I like to get a huge salad filled with tons of non-starchy veggies and protein to keep me fuller for longer. By having larger portions of lower caloric foods, you trick your brain by making it think you are fuller then you actually are. Always remember to find the “steamed” veggies and stay clear of vegetables sitting in oil and grease.

3. Let’s talk about fruit! Fruit is a healthy sweet treat, but only in moderation and when serving size is portioned. Sometimes people forget that fruit is all carbs and sugar, so keep your portion size small. The sugar in fruit is metabolized the same way as sugar in candy. Your body doesn’t know the difference between “healthy sugar” and not healthy sugar. Also, only eat fresh fruits and avoid canned fruits because usually they have additives such as sugar and preservatives. The best types of fruit to eat are berries because they are highest in fiber and are filled with antioxidants!

4. Desserts are always the most appealing part of the dining hall for me. I have a sweet tooth and know that I always need something sweet after I eat lunch and dinner. Instead of having the chocolate chunk cookie from the dining hall, I keep healthy alternatives at home. Never deprive yourself of what you want, just find a healthier alternative. Some of my favorite treats that I always have at home are dark chocolate (specifically Lily’s Chocolate brand), HaloTop, and PB2 ( peanut butter alternative, then I add some dark chocolate chips to it and that’s my go-to dessert as of right now!)

5. WATER! Keeping hydrated is so important in college especially. I like to always have a water bottle and I try to fill it up several times a day. I always bring it to the dining halls with me and it makes me drink water instead of getting a fountain drink. I make a goal to drink 3 liters of water daily! If you have a water bottle on you, you won’t realize how easy it is to reach that goal.



My name is Elizabeth and I am a sophomore at Elon University. I am studying marketing and finance and hope to pursue a job in the corporate world after school. I enjoy anything to do with food, fitness, and overall wellness. I have an instagram account about food and fitness @taketheshots !
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