Even though the notorious "Freshman 15" is really just a myth, leaving home for the first time can translate into weight gain or bad eating habits. It's hard to make healthy choices when confronted with a buffet of options in the dining hall. Plus, your parents won't be around to remind you to eat your veggies and late night pizza delivery can easily turn into a habit. We turned to the members of SparkPeople, who know a thing or two about changing bad habits, to get their tips for eating healthier when you go away to college.
Ask for Help
No matter what you're trying to accomplish, going it alone can be tough. If your goal is to practice healthier eating habits, turn to those around you for support and information. There are lots of people you can ask for help including your roommate, a nutritionist at your school's health center or the manager of your dining hall. Here's what SparkPeople members had to say:
"Leave comments with your dining hall manager. Ours was extremely receptive to suggestions and added many healthy vegetarian main dishes, varied the salad add-ins, and had special vegan options (including dessert!) at every meal. Many chefs and cooks will welcome the challenge as they often don't get to 'express creativity' in places like dining halls." – COTTERR
"Find a buddy who is interested in eating well at the cafeteria, too. You can encourage each other along and offer suggestions. I have found this to be very effective when I have to eat at unhealthy restaurants. I model my choices on someone else who already makes great choices and it seems a lot easier than 'talking myself' into it every time." – JOYFULROAD
"Try stopping by the dietary services office and speak to someone face to face. Explain your eating goals and see what they have available. There are often vegetarian options and lighter options, but sometimes they were hard to find amid the more popular fried foods and burgers." – SOCPAGE
"My university includes nutritional counseling as part of the student health fee. Check to see if your campus has the same type of thing. The counselor is probably very familiar with the offerings at your university and might be able to give you some specific advice." – PCVCHRISTINE