How to Eat Well in College with a Busy Schedule

During college, I have learned more about my eating habits and different philosophies of food and health in general. With busy schedules, lots of coffee dates, an array of sugary sweets in dining halls, and lots of options for on-campus food, eating healthy in college can be a challenge. I know I’ve had my days where my dinner consisted of cake, cookies and dessert during ceremonies or celebrations. When we get busy, we sometimes forget that eating a balanced and healthy diet is so important to our wellbeing. Plus, it can help us build good habits for our future, which is especially important in college.

But what are some practical and easy ways to stay away from the junk food and make sure we are giving our body proper fuel? I have several ways I like to maintain healthy eating habits in college overall—while sometimes enjoying the occasional treat.
How to Eat Well In College

1. Establish a breakfast routine.

Growing up, I wasn’t very interested in breakfast foods. They were never my favorite. But in college, breakfast has been my favorite meal of the day. I alway know I have a quick, easy AND delicious option every morning. My go-to breakfast is: plain oatmeal with cinnamon on top, mixed in with almond butter, and topped with a sliced apple and banana. I sometimes switch it up and add some blueberries or shredded coconut.

This breakfast routine really helps me to start the day off right. It keeps me full until lunchtime, and it is a great source of carbs, fiber and energy. It really helps me mentally start off my day.

If you are in a dorm room or want other options for breakfast, I would suggest either making it a habit to have a sit-down breakfast at your dining hall or making sure you have fruit, granola,  or cereal in your room for easy access. Smoothies are also a great option for breakfast if you are able to make them on your own! Whatever you decide to do, make it a routine, so you know you will always start off with a healthy meal.
Salad for the College Girl

2. Stock up on fruit.

This ties right in with the smoothie idea! My number one suggestion for starting to eat healthy is to start increasing the amount of fruit you eat everyday. Fruit contains good carbs, which keep you energized. They also have so many necessary vitamins and minerals. My favorite ways to eat fruit are on top of oatmeal, in smoothies, on salads, or with peanut butter or almond butter. And so many fruits taste delicious on their own as well! As nature’s candy, why don’t fill up your meals with them?

Related Post: 5 Truths for Healthy Eating 

3. Have a refillable water bottle.

I am one of those people who love drinking water throughout the day. It feels weird if I don’t carry around my water bottle or tumbler cup. Making sure I have a refillable container for water has made all the difference when going from class to class or meeting to meeting.

4. Limit the number of snacks in your dorm or apartment.

Another way to simply eat better is to cut out some of the snacks in your room. While I think it’s good to have some fun snacks on hand, the less you have, the less likely you will eat too much junk food throughout the day. Stick to healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, granola bars with less sugar, healthy chips, or popcorn.

5. Make double the recipe and save the leftovers.

To save time in college, I always make twice as much food and save the rest for another meal. This means that I will be able to make my food last longer and get in several servings of healthy dishes. Some of my go-to meals I cook in my apartment are: soups, salads, pasta, rice bowls (with veggies or mexican style), as well as an array of other dishes. I also love to cook Spanish-inspired foods from some of my travels abroad, (which always turn out interesting, but really good!).
Fruit & Veggies in College

6. Eat veggies at night time and make sure to incorporate raw salads into your meal.

One thing I learned is that I really enjoy eating salads at dinnertime. Eating veggies at night is the perfect time to get in your nutrients and raw food, as leafy greens are great for cleansing the body after a long day. But if you prefer to eat salads at other times of the day, that’s awesome too! I think it’s so important to mix in raw foods throughout the day, in the form of salads, juices or smoothies.

[bctt tweet=”College ladies! Find a healthy eating routine that fits into your schedule!”]

7. Find an accountability partner.

I think a perfect way to make sure to eat healthy in college is to find a group of friends to support you. I have a couple friends who decided to give up chocolate for lent, and because they are doing it together, it makes it much easier to stay on track! Plus, grocery shopping and cooking with friends is always a lot of fun! Another thing I like to do to stay accountable is to subscribe to healthy eating and living websites like MindBodyGreen and Youtube channels like Blogilates, Tone it Up, FullyRaw Kristina, and more. Also, I love all the inspiration I get from the blogosphere–and all the recipes and tips out there!

8. Take a nutrition class or a health class.

Another way to learn more about healthy eating is to take a nutrition or health class in college. This is something I wish I studied more within my college classes, even though nutrition isn’t really related to my major. Perhaps step out of your comfort zone and learn something that will be important for you and the way you live in the future?

How do you like to maintain a healthy eating routine throughout the week?  Do you have any tips to stay healthy during busy schedules?

P.S. Check out my Healthy College Girl Grocery List!