1. You need to eat regular meals, whether your schedule permits it or not. Packing a healthy lunch (or snack) in your backpack that includes protein will make it easier to resist junk food cravings.
For example:·Part-skim cheese strings·Baked tortilla chips and low-fat bean dip·Dried fruit and nut mix·Single serving of tuna (water-packed) with crackers
Remember to keep food safe (i.e. not at room temperature for more than two hours).
2. Don't skip breakfast. A high-fibre, low-fat breakfast that includes protein is a powerful way to start your day. Try a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter and an orange, or dried cereal mixed with fruit and yogurt.
3. Pick lower-fat options when you can, such as low-fat milk instead of whole milk or light salad dressing instead of full-fat dressing. A wrap may be healthier than a burger, and a salad is better for you than poutine. Check the nutrition profiles online if possible.
4. Never snack out of the box or bag. It's easy to lose track of how much you've eaten when you're studying or hanging out. Take out one serving and put the package away before you eat what's on your plate.
5. Drink water at meals instead of pop or beer and use water to quench your thirst between meals and flush out excess sodium.
6. Keep healthy snacks in your room. Consider renting or buying a small (eco-friendly) refrigerator for your room so you can store your own foods and depend less on dorm meals. Even if you don't have a fridge in your room, you can still keep pretzels, fruit (dried or fresh), healthy nuts, and energy bars on hand.
7. Avoid late-night eating. If you must snack while studying, choose healthy choices, such as fruit and veggie bars, fresh fruit, almonds, low-fat granola bars, whole-grain crackers and mini cans of tuna. If you have to have that pizza, choose vegetarian instead of loading up on toppings.
8. Find out if your dorm offers special vegetarian meals, which are usually more nutritious than regular fare.
9. Keep a food journal to keep track of what you eat and weigh yourself once a week.
10. Look at active transportation. Walk whenever and wherever you can. Walk to your classes and take the long way. Walk off campus too. Instead of driving or taking public transit, save some cash by walking or cycling and getting your exercise at the same time.
11. Increase your fibre intake. Choose whole grains and legumes to help control your appetite. Eat a fibre-rich cereal (look for at least seven grams of fibre per serving) several times a week, order sandwiches on 100 per cent whole wheat bread, eat entrées with dried beans, and regularly substitute white rice and other refined grains with brown rice, barley or bulgur.
12. Don't drink your meal by indulging at the coffee shop. The drinks are delicious, but they're also full of calories and fat. If you're craving a specialty drink, order a small one, or try a low-fat hot or iced latte dusted with cinnamon and cocoa powder.
13. Choose fruit for dessert at lunch or eat it as a light snack mid-afternoon to keep you from getting hungry.
14. Party smartly. Eat a healthy meal (including soup) before you go so you aren't starving when you get there and end up binging on chips. Plan to limit your alcohol: Alcohol is one of the main reasons students gain weight at school. One beer usually contains at least 150 empty calories. Try drinking only on weekends and avoid excessive binge drinking entirely.
15. Minimize stress in your life to prevent stress eating:
·Keep yourself and your schedule organized·Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night·Exercise can be a great way to relieve tension and reduce stress.
16. With a new schedule it may seem difficult to find time to exercise. Why not dust off your exercise videos so you can fit in fitness on your own schedule, not the gym's? Also, include weight or resistance training. When the metabolic rate of your muscle tissue increases, your body will be better prepared to handle the extra calories if you find yourself over-indulging.
Expert available for interviews:Rena Mendelson, Professor, School of Nutrition