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When I first started university, I thought I was prepared for it all. However I was not prepared for the Jammie steps and delicious cafeteria food, that’s for sure. As my money disappeared, the waistband of my jeans expanded. Now, in my third year, I have learned how to manage a healthy eating lifestyle, being active and still having time to sleep and watch series.

1. Drink plenty of fluids. It is essential to remain hydrated throughout the day to keep productivity at its highest. I recommend that you  keep a bottle of water with you, to drink throughout the day. This will also help with your cravings. Often when we think we are hungry, when we are just thirsty.

2. Start small when it comes to working out. If you have just started university, you might come home every night and feel as if you had hiked up Table Mountain and back, so that’s all the exercise you need. It has been scientifically proven that only after 30 minutes of exercising do we start to burn fat. So just walking around UCT isn’t enough guys- sorry. Find 5-minute exercises you can do in your dorm, or back yard, for those lucky ones who still live at home. Set out to exercise 3 times per week and once you have established this pattern, add another day or an extra 5 minutes to increase your workout intensity.

3. Prep, prep, prep. Not only will prepping your food the night or the week before help you when you are rushing out the door and forgetting food, but it will also save you money. When you prep your food, you are more aware of what you are putting into your body. This will assist you in making healthier decisions. Prepping will stop the impulsive buying of Panda Land’s wraps and the chicken chow Mein at the Chinese shop. This leads me to my next point…

4. Keep a limited amount of money on you to prevent overspending on food. This amount of money will only allow you to buy something you really need, like maybe a coffee from the cafeteria.

5.  Smoothies are life. Making smoothies can save you time and also allow you to get in all the fruits and vegetables you might have forgotten to include in your daily meals. Smoothies can have high sugar levels, so be sure to monitor what you put into your smoothie. Smoothies are an easy alternative when you are leaving home early and don’t have time to eat breakfast. It can be consumed at lunch and dinner as well, so it is very convenient.

6. Create a menu plan for each week. Sit down on a Friday or Saturday and decide what you want to eat for the upcoming week. This will help you visualise what you going to be eating and what you need to buy for the week to come. This will keep you in line with a budget and hopefully get you excited for the following week.


7. Friends that workout together, look good together. Get your friends involved in your healthy lifestyle. It makes it way more fun to have people to work out with than working out alone and it can also help you to be accountable for what you are eating, if you and your friends do it together. Go for group hikes or walks weekly, allowing you to spend time with your friends while doing something healthy.

I hope these healthy hacks get you up and moving!


I am a fourth year student, studying Film and Media Specializing in Screenwriting
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