While some dining halls are better than others.. I've been to enough to know they will always have something tempting you. And while it is okay sometimes (enjoy yourself!) I wouldn't recommend getting that cheese burger and french fries every day for lunch.
So, open your trusted Fooducate and MyFitnessPal apps and get to logging! If you didn't see my other College Month post, check it out- I will be referring you to these apps throughout the month! (Best Free Apps for Staying Fit & Healthy)
By the way, if it's too much to read (I don't know if anyone even reads this haha) look at the bold and underline for your quick tips ;)
Think fresh- As much as possible go for fresh fruits and vegetables. They usually have bananas, apples or oranges to take as a side. Or a salad bar (unless you heard to stay away). They also will have potato chips, doritos, and cookies to take as as side. Just be smart about the selections you are making! Even if you don't want the piece of fruit with lunch, just take it for later on in the day. It will be a much better snack than a candy bar. Bottom Line: Try to have fresh fruit or veggies with every meal or throughout the day.
Watch the carbs- While I am so not for carb cutting, simple carbs, is what you need to watch out for. What is a simple carb? Cookies, cakes, white bread, crackers.. you got it. I know it's not easy to get organic, 100% whole grain, minimally processed bread from the dining hall but if you must have bread, make sure it's wheat or whole grain. Otherwise get your healthy carbs from things like sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, and fruits/vegetables. Bottom Line: Most of the time just say no to the bread.
Buffet? Stay away- All you can eat= OVER eating.. for most people anyway. So if you CAN control yourself, then sure the buffet is fine if you make the right choices. The buffet probably is not going to offer too many healthy options, so use your best judgement and if you are going to eat at the buffet then think about what you are putting on your plate. If you want to indulge, that's okay, just don't do it every time your dining hall has all you can eat. Bottom Line: You most likely did not have a buffet to eat from every day before college so don't start now! Before even getting into a habit of eating at the buffet, limit yourself to once maybe twice (if your good) a week.
Skip dessert- They will always (at least the places I've been) have cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream. I know this all sounds yummy and IT IS HARD to not look at those desserts and want some so badly.. especially on your way back from the library after studying for hours... but that dessert is just empty calories! Like I said in the rest of the tips- ONCE IN A WHILE is fine. Bottom Line: That cupcake you're about to eat has no nutritional value.. think about that.
Water, water & more.... WATER- Surprise! Drink water! You'll have all sorts of options from lemonade to soda but they are also empty calories. Save those calories for if you do want a 'treat'. Drinking sugary drinks can add a few hundred calories/day which can add inches to your waistline. Bottom Line: Choose water over sugary drinks at the dining halls and also drink water throughout the day.
I hope these tips have you feeling confident you can make the right choices!! Knowing what foods to stay away from will be one less thing to worry about so you can focus on finding someone you know to sit with at the dining hall! I'll provide more tips on healthy eating throughout the next few weeks so check back for more!!
Also, stay tuned for the next post:
Dorm Room Workouts