As classes begin and we try our hardest to let go of winter break, we may begin to forget, or even give up on, our New Year's resolutions.
News.com.au reported that most people give up their New Year’s resolution in January, more specifically within two weeks. Alongside that statistic, News.com.au stated that 55 percent of New Year’s resolutions are health-related.
It’s no surprise that eating healthier is a popular resolution, but it’s also less surprising that 80 percent of people do not achieve that goal. Eating healthy can be overwhelming, especially if you Google what it means to eat healthy. Is healthy defined as vegan? Vegetarian? Ketogenic? Healthy is so loosely defined and can seem unappetizing, especially if you’ve been raised on fattening, but delicious, food. To eat healthier and improve your wellness, you should adopt healthy habits that are manageable and sustainable in the long run.
While this might only sound plausible for an adult with a well-paying job and a normal schedule, eating healthier can even be achieved by college students who juggle classes and work, tackle extracurriculars and have to resort to extreme budgeting.
For example, simply making sure to drink enough water throughout the day has led to weight loss for many people. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can eat 5,000 calories a day and have the body of your dreams simply by drinking water. It does mean that a little change, like making sure to drink enough water throughout the day, will lead to a faster metabolism and a flushing of waste from your body. The recommended amount of water per day is known as the 8x8 rule, according to Gaiam, which is eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
But what else, besides water, can college students afford, both with their money and time? The first thing that is key in a sustainable, healthy diet is to know what it is to be healthy and understand balance.
While there are some people who consider a banana a dessert, your way to a healthier lifestyle doesn't have to be so extreme. If you are eating whole foods that are nutritious for your body, you are more than halfway there. Packaged foods that claim to be sugar-free, low-calorie or include the word "diet" in it should be avoided. It is far better to eat foods that are closest to their natural state than it is to have a diet soda with a pack of low-calorie cookies.
Eating foods close to their natural state doesn’t mean that you are only eating raw fruits and veggies. It means staying away as much as you can from packaged snacks and treats whose ingredients you cannot even recognize.
As a college student it’s important to be resourceful and not get overwhelmed with all the presumed demands of eating healthier. The dining hall has options that are good for you and a wide array of fruits to choose from to eat during breakfast or take as a snack for later throughout the day. Additionally, the dining hall has a weekly nutrition newsletter that is a great resource available for all students.
Every week, the team writes newsletters that cover topics “pertinent to the college community while utilizing the most current evidence and research-based nutrition information,” according to the Rutgers Dining Services website. These newsletters are reviewed by an expert in the field of nutritional sciences to ensure that you are receiving the best and most accurate information. These newsletters are available online and at every campus dining hall.
In all, eating healthier does not have to be as daunting as it may sound or seem. To stick to your New Year’s resolution, adopt simple habits that make a big difference in the long run. The key, after all, to an internal and external change is consistency. Take advantage of the healthy options at the dining hall, Harvest on Douglass, the newsletters and much more. Making small, attainable changes and living in balance will have you on your way to a much healthier lifestyle and your body will thank you on the inside and the outside.