Set the Tone for a Healthy Lifestyle During and After College
When it comes to health and fitness, many college students are too wrapped up in the demands of their academic pursuits to pay much attention. Even those that have been athletic in the past or are currently members of sports teams on campus might neglect their nutrition when they’re in a rush to get to class or they’re cramming for a test.
In case you hadn’t heard, unless you are practicing Intermittent Fasting, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The reason for this is that it sets the tone for your metabolism, your satiety, and your level of energy throughout the rest of the day.
What you eat (and how you go about eating it) could have a major impact on your overall health and vitality. Keep in mind on test day, that your brain operates on carbs. Having some fruit and oatmeal before a big exam is scientifically the best way to exam prep.
As you can see from the picture of the girl on the right, breakfast does a college body good.
Here are just a few breakfast dos and don’ts to observe in college if you want to optimize health and fitness during your time on campus. Practice these tips now, and you will be more likely to carry them through the rest of your life.
Eat on a schedule.
Changing your eating schedule can seriously mess with your metabolism (leading to the unfortunate freshman fifteen stereotype). So try to eat at least a little something within about half an hour of waking and make sure to get a full breakfast around the same time every day if at all possible.
Get some protein and carbs.
Food is the fuel that keeps your body running, and while quick-burning items like fruit will definitely give you a short-term boost, you also need the longer lasting, sustained energy that slow-burning protein and carbs can provide. So shoot for eggs and toast, a bagel and cottage cheese, or a similar combination in your morning meal.
Skip the coffee and sugar.
It can be tempting to pound an espresso, a Coke, or an energy drink in order to combat the effects of late nights spent studying, but this is actually a terrible idea. While a dose of caffeine once in a while won’t kill you, loading up on highly-caffeinated and/or sugary drinks before class will only give you a short burst of energy and leave you crashing all too soon.
In addition, these substances can become addictive in that you might feel addled or grouchy or even suffer from headaches when you don’t have them. So opt for the milder boost you’ll get from lower-caffeine drinks like green tea (also high in cleansing antioxidants) or natural sugars found in fresh fruit.
This is a major no-no. When you let yourself go hungry in the morning it slows your metabolism and can leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied all day (even if you load up later). And both of these conditions can lead to lethargy, unhealthy food choices and of course, weight gain. Don’t skip breakfast!
Eat what’s easy.
Okay, sometimes you have to run to class and the only thing you have time for is something quick. But if you can’t squeeze in some eggs and fruit from the cafeteria, do not compensate by making a beeline for the donuts or the vending machine. At least grab a low-sugar protein bar and a piece of fruit.
Anyone in an RN to MSN online program can tell you that an awareness of what you put in your mouth is important. And what you eat and how much can have a marked effect on your overall health and wellness, altering your physique along with your mental and emotional state. So don’t just grab whatever is up front in the cafeteria and shove it in your face. Take the time to create a balanced meal in the appropriate portion sizes and sit down to enjoy it.