By Veronica U.-K.

I’m a college student i.e. my diet consist of Ramen, overpriced, fatty food from the dining hall, and large amounts of Chinese food ordered at 2am.

Let’s try this: I’m a college student i.e. I have no money, but I still eat healthy and the “freshman 15” is a myth.

Sound better? I thought so. After having survived my first year in college, I realized how easy it is to overindulge in high-cholestrol yummies. So I did what I did for my honors essays, and Googled the topic to get some background, before making this list.

I found that the main key to eating healthy is simply a commitment to it, of course, we all need a nudge in the right direction now and then right? So here are ten nudges for you:

1. Keep the mini fridge stocked with healthy food.

Seems pretty obvious, right? Well, the hard part is keeping it stocked. So sneak fruit from the dining hall. I mean you are paying for the food. Keep in mind that grocery shopping is an option. Apps such as Cellfire, Saving Star, and Coupons.com all offer coupons–because every little bit helps!

2. Be careful, when buying the cheap & “healthier” snacks.

Certain companies, like Nabisco, have created snacks with only 100 calories.They are much healthier than their hydrogenated oil-infused counterparts, and are clearly labeled making portioning out much easier. However, remain conscientious of the fact that this doesn’t mean you can eat three bags a day!

3. Make a list, before you go shopping.

This will not only help with knowing what to by, but also help you strategize in what you buy. Use apps like Grocery IQ to keep your budget and waistline in check.

4. Avoid “doing lunch.”

Chances are you have been invited to “do lunch” with a friend. Though this is always fun, put a limit on this. When we are with people we are comfortable with and as we get talking, well you know how it goes…one appetizer, then another drink, then dessert…It all adds up. Don’t even be in this situation too often. Your waistline and wallet will thank you.

5. Be a Designated Driver.

While in college, I found that as my friends were heating up mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, I always wanted something too. Don’t do it! It’s ok to be that one person not eating, just like it is ok to not be the one person drinking. Eat responsibly.

6. Eat throughout the day.

Instead of eating three large meals, eat about six small “meals” throughout the day. Whether it’s an apple during class or a baggie of grapes, while on the way to the library, In an interview with Daily Mail, nutrients stated, “Grazing was the way our body was designed to eat. Large meals burden the digestive system, often causing bloating and lowered energy while the body struggles to digest them.”

7. Drink a lot of water!

Do we even have to discuss this? Keep a bottle with you always, so you can easily refill it throughout the day.

Your body needs at least eight glasses a day, and, if you exercise vigorously, you may need more. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along to class and keep it handy during late night study sessions.

8. Make paninis with an iron.

Just butter the outsides of the sandwich, wrap it in foil, put it on a textbook and iron each side for 2-3  minutes. Not only will your sandwich go from boring to Pinteresty, but at least you’ll be getting you money’s worth of that iron!

9. Don’t Eat within 3 hours of sleepy time.

In an interview with Time, Tracy Lockwood, a registered dietitian at F-Factor Nutrition believes, “Eating too close to bedtime increases your blood sugar and insulin, which causes you to have a hard time falling asleep. Therefore, your last meal should be the lightest of the day and should be eaten at least three hours before you go to sleep.”

10. Prep your food ahead of time.

On Sundays, I normally head back to my room and make up snacks I find online that are super quick and convenient for on-the-go. That way you can’t have the argument of being too tired or not having time to eat healthy. Here are some ideas that are all super easy to prep and all fit in the fridge:

-bagging nuts and berries

-veggies and humus in a jar

-make some rice (good for wrapping in nori (seaweed), or with kale, tomatoes and a bit of a balsamic dressing.

-make some beans (perfect to go with the rice in a little burrito–all you need is a tortilla).

Happy Eating!

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