You've probably heard of the freshman 15 before - and trust us, it's real. Being away from home, having a completely new schedule, and limited access to grocery stores and kitchens all contribute to weight gain in college. Even if you're a broke college student, you can still set up an affordable college diet plan and eat healthy this semester. Find out how below!
Stick To A Paleo Diet
To start, the foundation of a college diet plan begins around the Paleo Diet. Stick to meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and natural oils, while avoiding grains and processed foods such as sugar and grease. It's easy to opt for that mac and cheese or ramen every night, but you should minimize them as much as possible. The Paleo Diet is part of a "doing good" mindset, and won't break the bank. Here are some staple foods for a healthy college diet:
- Meats: Chicken is the best quality meat that is inexpensive.
- Eggs: Quick and great source for protein.
- Vegetables: Vitamins and minerals that can be kept for a while (spinach, onions, carrots peppers, green beans, broccoli, corn)
- Fruits: Go for apples, bananas, strawberries, and oranges.
- Brown Rice: For when you need to eat a grain and ran out of food.
- Water and Tea: Stick to these to save money (and calories).
Limit Your College Meal Plan
Many colleges force you to have a meal plan, or it may just be the cheaper option in the end. Nonetheless, even though being on a meal plan means you're forced to eat at a certain place every day, you still have an abundance of healthy choices. The real key to eating healthy in college is to make the right choices and steer clear of the bad ones. Below are good choices to stick with:
- Grilled chicken
- Cooked vegetables
- Salad bar
- Vegetarian/vegan meal options
- Vegetable stir-fry
Create Your Own Meal Plan
Meal planning and meal prepping is crucial to saving money and ensuring you're getting all the vital food groups each day. Kitchen or no kitchen, you can easily put healthy foods together for a college diet plan. Experiment with your own ingredients and quantities until you come up with something you really like. Pick something that's easy to customize, such as salads, stir fry, or pasta alternatives. In addition, these meals should have inexpensive ingredients and are easy to make in bulk. This is how cheap diet plans for college students work!
Learn New Ways To Cook
Being a college student comes with creativity. Meal plan or no meal plan, you're probably living in a dorm or don't have much money living off campus. Thus, you're going to have to find a way to cook someway somehow. Your first option is finding a place to cook if you don't have a kitchen in your physical dorm. Many residence halls have community kitchens, so as long as you have a sink and stove, you're golden. If you can't find a kitchen, try asking your friends if they do. Then when all else fails, remember you still have a microwave! Yes - you can still diet in college while having microwavable food. Purchase healthy frozen meals to save time, along with frozen chicken, vegetables, eggs, and fruit. What if you have access but don't know how to cook? LEARN. Better sooner than later, and you can easily follow recipes online.
What's your college diet plan? Share how you eat healthy in college by tagging us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily!