Trying to eat healthily at college can be challenging. There are late-night pizza, ramen, and taco nights; potluck dinners, double-feature movie nights, and fro-yo stations all competing for your attention. Reducing the number of unhealthy foods you eat is an important part of staying healthy in college. Junk food might taste good and make you feel momentarily satisfied, but it’s not very nutritious and is high in fat, sodium, and sugar. These are some of the negative effects of eating too much junk food.
How To Stop Eating Junk Food
- If you see junk food in the cafeteria, but don’t want to eat it, move away from it.
- If you see junk food on a table in your dorm, either ask the person to put it away or ask them not to put the food out again.
- If you’re going to have a party at your dorm, try not to have any unhealthy foods at all—or if you do, make sure they are at least one step removed from the main event.
- If you go out with friends once a week or more and they order something unhealthy for everyone to share, don’t eat any of it yourself—just take some applesauce and yogurt with you instead!
- If you see junk food being sold at a store, don’t buy it.
- If you see junk food in front of the cashier and want to buy it, don’t.
- If you see junk food in the vending machine, just don’t get it. It’s not worth the calories and the guilt that comes with eating it!
- If your parents have a candy dish at home, use some of their candy as a reward for good behavior or to make up for poor choices with junk food (this is a great way to keep kids from making poor choices).
What Are Your Tips For Staying Away From Junk Food?
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Eat a piece of fruit, a bowl of cereal, or eggs.
- Avoid eating fast food on the weekends. Instead, go to a local deli and eat sandwiches made with fresh-baked bread and fillings made with high-quality ingredients.
- Try to avoid processed foods that are high in fat and sugar (like chips, cookies, and ice cream). Look for healthier alternatives that are low in fat and sugar (like apples and pears).
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein each day by eating lean meats like turkey or chicken. A good way to get protein is by adding beans to your diet—they’re low in calories but high in protein! Beans are also great for an inexpensive source of fiber—eating one serving of beans every day can help you reach your daily fiber goal!
- Find healthy snacks to keep on hand that is high in protein and low in fat—like almonds, nuts, or seeds.
- Try to eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetables every day. It’s a great way to get the vitamins and nutrients you need!
What Is Your Go-To Healthy Snack?
Junk food is high in calories, fat, and sodium. The calories from junk food can cause you to gain weight and excess weight can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Eating too much junk food has also been linked to a shorter lifespan. Eating junk food can also lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Your body uses a lot of energy when you eat unhealthy foods. This energy comes from the calories that are not used for energy but instead stored as fat around your abdomen. Having excess abdominal fat can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and gallbladder disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 300 extra calories per day in order to lose weight safely without risking health problems or compromising their current lifestyle.
Eating junk food can affect your metabolism. When you eat junk food, your body releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin is used by the body to help glucose (sugar) get into cells for energy. The more insulin you have, the less efficiently your body uses glucose for energy, and the more sugar is stored as fat. Eating too much junk food can also cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, which can add stress to your pancreas and make it harder for your body to use insulin properly. These problems may lead to diabetes or other health problems like heart disease or stroke.
Eating too much junk food can damage teeth by breaking down enamel, making them more porous and prone to decay, cavities, and gum disease. If you have healthy teeth, eating too much junk food can affect their appearance over time by weakening them or changing their shape (dentine). Eating body and lead to cravings for junk food.
What Do You Think Is The Best Way To Break The Habit Of Eating Junk Food?
- Talk to your friends and make them aware of the effects junk food has on your health.
- Set up a system so you always have healthy snacks available in the dorms.
- Create a list of healthy alternatives to junk food, like apple slices or carrots.
- Choose healthier options at the campus dining hall, like hummus instead of chips or salad with grilled chicken instead of pizza.
- Ask your friends and family to send you healthy snacks and non-perishable foods.
- Get involved in activities that will help you stay fit, like yoga or kickboxing classes.
- Enjoy the benefits of a healthier diet: Avoiding junk food will make you feel better, more energetic, and more confident about yourself.
Eating junk food is a quick way to end up unhealthy and feeling like you don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish everything you want. But by choosing healthier foods, you can stay on top of your game while still enjoying life. That doesn’t mean you can never have junk food again. The key is to make healthy choices most of the time and have the occasional indulgence when you really want it. If you’re struggling with eating healthy at college, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends, roommates, and healthcare providers can provide support and resources to help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.