Staying Healthy in College: 4 Ways to Satisfy Junk Food Cravings

If you’re a health-conscious person, staying healthy in college can be pretty difficult.

From grabbing a bag of potato chips in between classes to late night pizza delivery after a night out, it can be easy to go overboard on fat and calories without even realizing it.

To stay healthy and feeling good—and to avoid the dreaded freshman 15!—keep the following tips in mind when it comes to eating both in and out of the cafeteria.

Shop smarter

The easiest way to keep your junk food snacking in check is to keep your dorm or apartment stocked with healthier options. When you’re at the grocery store, grab the baked chips instead of the fried ones, choose the low-fat cheeses instead of the full-fat varieties and pick a carton of frozen yogurt over the triple chocolate marshmallow fudge ice cream.

Make sure to load up on fruits and veggies, too—if they’re perishable, you’ll feel more pressure to actually eat them. If you provide yourself with better-for-you snack options, you’ll be able to have the snacks you enjoy while still treating your body well.

Find healthier versions of your favorite junk foods

Craving fries? Try baked sweet potato fries instead. Dying for nachos? Melt some low-fat cheese on whole grain pita chips in dip them salsa. And if you’re choosing between two different indulgent snacks, choose the one that’s more colorful.

Loading up your plate with bright colors before brown ones is one of the best ways to eat nutritiously. Bright-colored fruits and veggies like spinach, kale, oranges, sweet potatoes cranberries and squash all provide lots of nutritional benefits that less-colorful foods don’t have.

Fill up on healthy snacks before you binge

A smart trick to keep from going overboard on the late-night munchies is to eat a few filling, healthy snacks before you head out.  Whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean proteins are all good snacks to munch on before loading up on party foods.

If you’re not starving before the wings or pizza arrive, you’ll be less likely to overeat or overindulge on these less-healthy options later on.  Have a slice of pizza, just not the whole pie!

Cook for Yourself

Instead of grabbing a burger for dinner in the dining hall or heating up instant macaroni and cheese in your microwave, challenge yourself and your friends to make your own burgers or mac and cheese.

Typically, whatever you cook for yourself will be much healthier than anything you could get in a restaurant, and you’ll be learning lifelong skills in the process. Turn your cooking nights into dinner parties with your friends if you need some extra motivation to get in the kitchen.

This recipe for curried yogurt dip is a great appetizer to have on hand for any time you need a creamy snack or an easy appetizer to bring to a party. Not only does it take almost no time at all to make, but it’s also much healthier than many of the other snacks you’re likely to encounter at a college get-together.

It’s made from a healthy yogurt base that’s much less fattening than sour cream, mayonnaise or cream cheese, and gets its flavor from spices and low-calorie sauces instead of loads of cheese or bacon.

Try it out for your next party and watch it disappear fast!

Curried Yogurt Dip

3/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp honey

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce

Blend all ingredients together. Chill and serve with baked sweet potato fries, fresh fruit or multigrain pita chips. For a thicker dip, drain the yogurt in a cheese cloth before you mix everything together.

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Meredith Kimelblatt

Meredith Kimelblatt

Meredith K. writes on behalf of Alexia Foods®. For more baked frozen appetizers perfect for dorm room snacking, visit: www.alexiafoods.com.
Meredith Kimelblatt

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