School is just around the corner. For some of you, it’s already begun! Whether you are in high school or college, school can be stressful. What does stress do? It causes breakouts, panic attacks, binge eating and sleepless nights. Staying healthy can reduce that stress. There are so many ways you can enjoy school, parties, and activities without damaging your health. I have learned a lot through my own experiences, and I’m going to share those tips with you! Teachers, these can be for you too!
1. Always eat breakfast. Cutting breakfast won’t help you lose weight, if that’s your goal. Breakfast boosts metabolism, gives you energy, improves brain activity, and controls late night binges.
2. Pay attention to the granola bars, yogurt, and energy bars you grab as breakfast or snacks. Keep the sugar and carbohydrates low and the fiber and protein high.
3. Eat at the table. Don’t eat in front of the T.V. or while standing up. Sit down and enjoy your meal. If you don’t pay attention to what you are eating, you might forget you even ate and end up eating more later.
4. Pay attention to the school menu. Pack lunches on days that are not healthy. It’s better to plan in advance.
5. Treat yourself once a week during lunch. Treating yourself is something to look forward to and prevents binges from depriving yourself.
6. Take advantage of your college’s salad bar. Don’t drown your salad in bacon, croutons, or fatty dressings. Keep it light. That salad bar is your best tool in college. Remember tip #6.
7. Stop adding so many condiments to your meals. Yeah school lunches might be dull, but by adding loads of ketchup, mayonnaise or ranch, you’re increasing the fat, sugar, and calories. Choose smart condiments like mustard, pepper, or garlic. If you have a salad, put the dressing on the side.
8. Portion control in the cafeteria. It’s okay to eat school lunch, but make sure you eat the food in moderation. Don’t get doubles or tell your lunch lady to give you an extra scoop of mashed potatoes. It’s not necessary.
9. Talk to the head of the cafeteria about offering healthy choices. Sometimes lunch ladies have the ability to request meals they serve. If you let them know what you’d like to see, they may be able to help you out!
10. Pack a healthy snack in your bag to control your hunger before lunch. All that morning studying can make your hunger pains increase. If you have a light snack before lunch, you’re more likely to make healthier choices.
11. Pack a healthy snack in your bag to eat on your way home to prevent binge snacking. When you get home from school, the fridge may be the first thing to greet you. If you eat on your way home, you’ll be less fatigued and less likely to go straight to the fridge.
12. Recommended to-go snacks: apples, pistachios, almonds, Greek yogurt, homemade protein bars, homemade fruit leather, vegetables and hummus, nut butter and celery, grapes, bananas, dark chocolate almonds, homemade sweet potato chips, protein muffins.
13. Bring a bottle of water to school to stay hydrated all day long. Drinking water will also help improve your skin health.
14. Turn off all electronics and go to bed early. It’s easy to talk to your friends and stay connected all night, but sleep is more important. When your body is fatigued, you are more likely to turn to sugary foods to boost your energy.
15. Stretch it out. Stretch first thing when you wake up to wake yourself up faster and to take care of those sleep cramps.
16. Cat nap. Don’t sleep all day but a 25 minute cat nap can do wonders! Don’t forget to set your alarm to wake up! A little nap can give you the same high as coffee.
17. Stay clean. Bring antibacterial wipes and hand soap.
18. Wash your face! Us youngsters have to keep our faces clean or the attack of the breakout will strike. Make sure to clean out those pores after your workouts and before you go to bed at night.
19. Take a daily vitamin. A daily vitamin can boost your metabolism, strengthen your joints, bones and muscles. It can prevent injuries and illnesses.
20. Suck it up and go to the doctor. It’s important to get a checkup every year to make sure you are in good health.
21. Dress up. Don’t wear sweat pants and baggy clothes to school every day. If you dress lazy, you’ll most likely act lazy. Wear jeans and a nice shirt. Your outfit can affect your mood.
22. Grocery Shop. Whether living at home or on campus, you must go grocery shopping. Campus stores are full of processed junk. Maybe your mom needs a kick in the pants to stop bringing home pizza rolls. Participate in grocery shopping so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
23. Shop locally. A lot of students have trouble affording healthy foods so they opt for fast food. If you shop at local markets or buy seasonal produce, it’s much more affordable.
24. It’s not uncool for a student to coupon! Pay attention to your grocery store’s deals and save money on fresh groceries!
25. Stock up on herbal tea. Tea can change your mood during those stressful study nights. It can prevent mindless snacking too.
26. Talk to your family about the importance of healthy dinners. Your parents may have busy jobs and resort to ordering pizza most nights. Create a game plan to make the house a healthier place.
27. Make a list before you go grocery shopping. Right down all the foods you’d like to buy and stick to the list. Don’t wander too far outside of the list unless it’s healthy. Don’t forget to buy healthy treats like: dark chocolate, cinnamon almonds, or almond butter.
28. It’s not cheaper to buy frozen dinners. You’ll save more money meal prepping and freezing your own meals. You’ll be saving more than money too.
29. Get more involved in the kitchen. Show your family how they can make small changes to make meals healthier. Ex: switching from vegetable oil to olive oil or using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or butter.
30. Keep healthy snacks at the front of your fridge. You’re more likely to grab the pre-cut fresh food if it’s at the front of your fridge and in your eye view. That saves from grabbing all the other unhealthy snacks.
31. Cut out soda and juice. It’s unnecessary sugar. If you get headaches from cutting it out, try carbonated water.
32. Dorm Fridge. If you live with a junk food addict, organize the fridge into yourself/their shelf. Stock it with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and fresh vegetables. Here is a recipe guide for dorm room meals.
33. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. If you are hungry, your brain will tell you to put everything with quick energy boost into your cart. You’ll end up buying loads of saturated fats and sugary foods. If you eat before you go, you’ll make smarter choices.