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Eight Quick Tips to Jumpstart your Dining Hall Health

1.     AlwaysEat Breakfast
·      Eating breakfast has been connected to weight loss and maintenance.  In one study, three-fourths of individuals who had lost weight and maintained that weight lost reported eating breakfast daily.  Eating breakfast will help give your metabolism a kick start which will help you burn more calories throughout the day.  Also, eating breakfast will prevent you from overeating during the day since hunger often gets the best of breakfast-skippers, and they eat more at lunch and throughout the day.

2.     Focus on Fruits and Vegetables
·      Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Include at least one for each of your meals and snacks.

3.     Drink Milk or Water at meals
·      Drinking milk with meals is an easy way to get your calcium in. This will also prevent soda temptations. If you do not like drinking milk with meals another alternative is simply water. Save yourself the extra calories and chose milk or water over soda or juice.

4.     Follow hunger cues.
·      Learn to listen to your body. Make sure you are always hungry before you eat; otherwise, you may be storing that excess energy as fat! There is a big difference between appetite (physiological) and hunger (physiological).  Always ask yourself: am I hungry? Would a cold glass of water help? Or maybe a piece of fruit instead of a cheeseburger and onion rings?

5.     Avoid seconds and thirds
·      After eating your first plate of food, wait at least 15 min before you go back to get seconds. Give yourself time to feel full (sometimes it takes longer than fifteen minutes to feel full). If you are still hungry after dinner, skip dessert table and get a piece of fruit instead, or yogurt topped with fresh fruit.

6.     Look for Whole grains
·      Whole grainsare good they have extra fiber which makes you feel fuller than white refined grains do.  Try some oatmeal for breakfast, use brown rice with your stir-fry, make a sandwich loaded with veggies on whole-wheat bread, or choose whole wheat pasta for dinner.

7.     Schedule your meal times.
·      This will help you establish a pattern. If you follow a pattern, this will help you eat before you are over-hungry, which usually leads to eating more.  This also helps you to anticipate the need for snacks or quick meals if you will be on arun for most of the day or busy studying. Also this will help you plan what you are going to eat and make healthier choices.

8.     Remember 90-10
·      Follow the 90-10 rule: Eat healthy 90% of the time, eat what you want 10% of the time.


Claudia was born in Mexico and moved to Chicago at the age of 8. She is currently attending the University of Illinois at Chicago as a Marketing major. She is really excited to be a part of the HerCampus team and is ready to make HC grow at UIC. She can’t go a day without exercising and especially enjoys Zumba! She loves fashion and reads blogs every day, that’s where she gets her inspiration when she dresses, and hopes to one day have her own! Claudia is currently a representative for AKIRA Chicago, for discount codes contact her at ([email protected]). She strives to be a better person every day, and is really thankful for everything she has. One of Claudia’s favorite quotes is “Enjoy all that you have while you pursue everything that you want”.
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