How to maintain a balanced diet when you’re a student 

Achieving optimal health through balanced nutrition and being a student is not as difficult as it may seem. By understanding the different food groups, practicing portion control and mindful eating, and incorporating a variety of foods into your diet, you can achieve a healthy lifestyle. Start small and make gradual changes to your diet. Your body will thank you for it! 

Here are four tips to help you maintain a balanced diet at university. 

Why eat healthy, anyway? 

There are numerous benefits to following a balanced diet. For example, it can help you maintain a healthy weight; a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help you feel full for longer, which can prevent overeating. A diet that nurtures your body can also reduce your risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, a balanced diet can improve your overall mood and energy levels. Consuming a diet high in whole, unprocessed foods can give your body the necessary energy to get through the day. Studies have shown that a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables improves overall mood and well-being and can reduce symptoms of depression. Amid a mental health epidemic, it’s important to do everything you can for your mind and well-being. 

Tips for eating out 

Eating out can be challenging when trying to maintain a balanced diet. However, there are several tips you can follow to make healthier choices. First, look for restaurants that offer healthy options. This might include places that specialize in salads or grilled meats. When ordering, choose dishes that are high in vegetables and lean protein. Avoid dishes that are fried or come with creamy sauces. Lastly, pay attention to portion sizes. Many restaurants serve portions that are much larger than what you need. Consider sharing a dish with a friend or taking half of your meal home for later. 

Tips for taking supplements 

While it’s always best to get your nutrients from whole foods, supplements can play a role in a balanced diet. For example, if you’re not getting enough vitamin D from the sun or your diet, a supplement can help. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional on NHS GP before taking any supplements. This is because some supplements can interact with medications or cause unwanted side effects. It’s important to mention that supplements should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet. They should only be used to supplement a healthy diet. 

Tips for portion control and mindful eating 

It’s important to practice portion control and mindful eating. This means being aware of how much you’re eating and paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. One way to practice portion control is by using smaller plates and bowls. This can help you feel more satisfied with smaller portions. Mindful eating means you pay attention to your food and eat without distractions, such as watching TV or scrolling through your phone. This can help you enjoy your food more and prevent overeating. 

Tips for healthy snacking 

Snacking should not be avoided. In fact, it can be a healthy part of a balanced diet as long as you choose the right foods. Some healthy snacking options include fresh fruit, vegetables with hummus, Greek yoghurt with berries, and nuts. It’s important to choose snacks that are high in nutrients and low in added sugars and unhealthy fats. This can help you stay satisfied between meals and prevent overeating! 

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