The coronavirus disease outbreak has upended students and families everywhere. As schools around the nation began to close, students found themselves juggling school work, jobs, and other responsibilities. Handling all these responsibilities can be challenging, thus figuring out what to eat should not be another daily challenge. At first students had to worry about the freshman-fifteen and now the covid-15 has snuck up right on them. In order to keep ourselves healthy and in shape, our eating habits must change! I’ve created the following tips based off my personal experience.
Build up a stock of healthy snacks
Students often have a habit of snacking heavily throughout the day. Rather than eating sweet and healthy snacks, you can opt for healthier options such as cheese, nuts, yogurt (unsweetened), dried fruit, etc. These options are more nutritious, filling, and help you begin to build up those healthy eating habits. You should be nibbling on these snacks throughout the day so that you do not overdo it with portion sizes. This’ll curb your hunger and keep your mind active.
Drinking enough water is an important healthy habit that will keep your energy up. Drinking water is healthy, inexpensive, and a great health booster. For the whole month of July and August, I kept a water bottle with me at all times. Eventually, I drank majority water. I stayed away from soda and only drank juice every other week. Doing so reduced my sugar cravings, headaches, etc. In addition drinking water before every meal helps with weight maintenance as water will fill you up and cause you to eat less. Beware of drinks that are advertised as being healthy like gatorade, fruit juices, and even energy drinks. These beverages have large amounts of sugars. If you have trouble drinking water everyday I suggest investing in a water bottle with a water tracker.
When studying, avoid large meals
I am guilty of this when it comes to studying. Whenever I was working I felt the urge to eat in large portions; however, doing so will break the healthy habits you’ve created. In order to break this habit I ended up keeping the excess food out of reach to discourage overeating. When eating or snacking in front of the computer or TV, put the amount that you plan to eat into a bowl or container instead of eating straight from the package. I learned that it’s very easy to overeat when your attention is focused on something else.
Fast food is not your friend
It’s easy to be tempted into eating your favorite meals from fast food restaurants. They make it hard to say no! During the coronavirus pandemic, fast food has become easier to access: improved take out processes, increase in food delivery services, etc. I’ll be honest, when I was first sent home back in March, I would doordash like crazy simply because it was convenient, however not only is that unhealthy, but it's financially draining. I’m not saying you have to give up on your favorite foods, however, it’s good to eat it less, like once a month. In order to keep myself accountable, I deleted doordash and ubereats off my phone.
Prioritize fresh produce
It is really beneficial to use fresh ingredients and those that have a shorter shelf life first. If fresh products, especially fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy products continue to be available, prioritize these over non-perishables.
Eating on a budget
It isn’t always cheap to eat healthy. Healthy items can definitely be expensive, which makes it harder to eat well. Don’t worry though because I have you covered! It’s best to plan your meals first and then make a grocery list of what you need. It’s important to look through your pantry and fridge to see what you already have. Now I know I’ve said not to eat in large portions, however, it’s good to cook large portions and use leftovers. It can save you both time and money. It is also good to buy whole foods. Some foods are way cheaper in less processed form. They are sold in large quantities and yield more servings. Lastly, stock up on sales. If you have favorite products that you use frequently, you should stock up on them when they're on sale.