As college students return to school, it can be easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating. The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Anna Threadcraft, RDN, is available to provide quick and easy tips to help you prevent the pudge.

For a healthy college lifestyle, Threadcraft recommends these principles:

  • Limit, don’t eliminate: All foods fit in moderation (unless there is an allergy).
  • Beware of portion distortion: Serve your plate in amounts that allow you to feel satisfied – not stuffed – at the end of the meal.
  • Survey before you serve: For buffet-style meals, scan the options and select your favorites. It can be tempting to get a hefty serving of everything. Instead, select items in a moderate amount; you can return later if you’re still hungry.
  • Hydrate: Thirst is often confused with hunger. It’s easy to forget to hydrate throughout the day when you’re busy with school. Carry a water bottle to class, and aim for most fluids to come from water, with a serving or two of low-fat milk or dairy alternative. Drink sugary beverages or sweetened juices only on special occasions.