Eating Healthy in College

People  are often curious of how I eat a decently balanced diet because I literally eat half my meals on campus if not more.  Like I said-I’m not really a foodie and I can prepare maybe 5 different meals successfully.  Maybe one or two that doesn’t waffle maker, griddle and George Foreman.

Eating well in college can be rather challenging, at least for me personally.  With the surplus and unlimited cookies that I put into my belly, sometimes I eat well and sometimes I don’t.  You can always  find some sort of decent option but sometimes you just crave cookies…

The Riccotta Cookies are my favorite.


All You Can Eat Dining

Something quite obvious is avoid fried food.  Anything with fried, crunchy, crusty, that generally means that it is much higher in calories and ect.  Coated is another word.  My dining hall likes to say crunchy coated fish meaning fried fish.  They are almost as weird as me…

Uh what?

Ask for your food grilled.  The people at my dining hall know me either as the girl never wearing pants, the girl with the funny accent, or that girl that is going to make 2000 special requests with their food.

If you eat at an all you can eat-start with a salad.  You can always go back up 10000 times (like I do) so no need to get all your food at once.  In fact, I highly recommend having one plate at a time.  Eat your plate and drink your drink.  Then go for round 2-10000.

I’ll just give you a heads up.  College campuses cook in oil.  It’s cheaper and there is no need to spend extra money when 95% of students want that oily flavor anyways.

As with anything.

Moderation is key.

Duh-I highly advise ice cream and cookies in moderation.

My biggest advice is don’t grab 20 plates of food and go one at a time.  You can always go back up and you are less likely too . 


On the Go

Always-I repeat always have something in your bookbag for that random time you will get hungry.  Might I recommend a protein bar or a piece of fruit?  It will keep you full for a while in the middle of class.  My teachers know me as the girl that is forever snacking in class.  I choose more chewy bars (aka something that I can eat all class long without being obnoxious).  My teachers get enough of that from my jazzy commentation in class.

Sometimes,  you’ll just be on the run and not able to go back to your house or room right after class.  That way having a little something in your backpack will save you from hitting up the vending machines.  Did you know vending machines don’t have too many healthy choices?  I mean in my world, I would have a fruit vending machine but I’m not socially acceptable.


In your Room

Keep your room stocked with a few healthy foods.  Most college campus allow a minifridge and microwave (in fact I don’t know any that don’t) so when looking to leave the nest I suggest you and your future roomie decide who is bringing those.  I don’t recommend having a waffle maker and griddle in your room though.

But honestly I hid them from the RA everytime we had fire checks…but don’t do as I do…I have gotten in more trouble bringing my water boiler to my room in my townhouse this semester then with my waffle maker freshman and sophomore year. 

Most colleges allow a toaster as well. 

My roommate and I were hungry girls.

Here are some easy foods that I kept in my room freshman and sophomore year with my minifridge and microwave:

  1. Greek yogurt
  2. Pieces of fruit
  3. Bread and peanut butter/jelly/butter whatever you like
  4. Milk
  5. Eggs (microwaveable eggs in a bowl anyone).
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Cereal
  8. Soup (We all can’t be lucky going to school in warm places)

I normally ate breakfast in my room.  It was easy as I was getting for class.  For most people it is not necessary to eat all 3 meals on campus and my meal plan didn’t allow it.  I chose that meal plan because I knew I would always make my breakfast in my room.


From the Besties

I posted a question asking the best college advice from my tweeting BFFS and this is what we came up with.

Holly and I share the same name and idea.  I always make use of my schools huge salad bar.

like here
and here

And finally.  Try many new foods because chances are your dining hall has some pretty crazy things as mine does.

How would I know I loved turkey and apples in a wrap?

Stay tuned for a staying active in college post soon.  🙂


 Question for you:

Best advice for incoming freshman or anyone looking to eat healthy on college campus? Did you gain the freshman 15?  I’m going to be gaining the senior 60 for real. 

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  1. I’d also say, avoid eating late at night. It’s so easy to succomb to that late night pizza even when you’re not hungry and there is no time to burn it off before you go to sleep.

    I did gain weight for a number of reasons…not fun!

  2. I make my breakfast and dinner at my apartment and pack a lunch if I’m out. It saves money and allows me to eat the food I want to eat. It’s not hard to eat healthy in college if you put a small amount of work into preparing meals and snacks.

  3. w00t! My tweet was featured. Love.

    I have basically been the same weight (within 10 lbs of 150) from my freshman year of H.S. until…now (I’m 30). I credit massive salads and copious quantities of broccoli. And borderline-compulsive swimming.

  4. Eating in college is hard- I was a salad bar freak and the dining hall was def my friend. The hardest things were usually the fro yo machine and the late night eating. And the beer. I def gained the freshman 15 but then junior year i developed an eating disorder. I think you need to just keep things in perspective and try your best. I guess I’m not the best source since I never really figured it out….your success is impressive to me Hollie!

  5. I actually lost weight in college — I think I was so busy with working 2 jobs and going to school that I forgot to eat. Seriously.

    But I think you have great tips — my younger sister gained weight when she went to college (and has since lost the weight) and the “trap” for her was staying up late studying and wanting to eat to stay awake — she started having more fruit/veggies in her little mini fridge and she’d have that late at night instead of ordering a pizza, etc.

  6. eggs in a bowL??? hah what are those?
    I did gain weight, but not as much as I thought I would, considering the endless amount of food and drinking. But I did have to swim everyday which helped!

  7. Yay I’m famous! 😀

    I definitely have a different perspective on healthy eating in college because I live at home. My eating habits haven’t changed while at home but when I had classes all day with a break for lunch I started falling victim to the school food rather than bringing my own.

  8. This is soooo helpful Holly! I will be going off to school in 2012 so this is definitely gonna be great for me! Fabulous tips and I believe in all ’em. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I agree with all these tips. I always make breakfast in my room. I have a “points” based meal plan instead of all you can eat dining hall meals, which is definitely better because I buy one thing vs eating a bunch in a dining hall. When I go to dining halls, I always take a bunch of fruit though!
    My campus is great because there’s always healthy options, vegetarian/vegan, and gluten free options for those that need them.

  10. I never lived on campus so I never had to worry about the dinning hall food but I definitely agree with all good things in moderation and sometimes just say no

  11. I didn’t gain the freshman 15, I lost weight but I didn’t eat so great my freshman year. I tried but I was confused about healthy food vs. healthy-fied junk food. I also wasn’t pay enough attention to my body tellong me when to stop eating. Once I started eating whole foods, listening to my body, and exercising I lost more weight and feel much better about myself!

  12. I LOST weight in first year like 20 lbs, but this was because as a vegetarian I was sooo bored with my food selections that I lost my appetite and stopped eating. I lived on pomegrantes.seriously. those 20 lbs and more! are back

  13. Giiiiirl I am very excited for college. Is that an Emerson 4.6 cubic foot mini-fridge?! If so, that is what I am getting next year:)) I eat so much food it is going to be STOCKED with veggies beans quinoa chia seeds froooot you name it. I got your email and I am a terrible emailer BUT I think I know what I am going to do for a guest post so sign me up for whenever you want me to posty and I will do it! <3 you

  14. Great post. I won’t have this problem since I am going to college that is like ten minutes away from my home. I know, I’m a loser.

    This was helpful though. I gained like ten pounds entering high school. We had terrible lunches and then we could go off campus. I ate nachos all the time.

  15. Thanks for the tips, because you know I’ll need them in a year! I really hope whatever school I goes to has an unlimited salad bar… I could seriously just live there and have my hugh-jass salads and be happy. But really I just use frozen veggies and meals now to save time so if I can just get a freezer and a microwave I’ll be good to go.

  16. Great name(s?) and great idea of course!

    I did gain weight my freshman year but then lost all plus some then gained back some healthy person weight 🙂
    Loved this post!!

  17. LOVE this!!!!!! its so hard to eat healthy in college- i def stocked up my dorm room fridge tho. i am so thankful to be in an apt where i can COOK!!! i totally agree about trying new things in the dining hall!!

  18. I am dying to hear your accent! Please please can you do a vlog!?

    I like this post, I will go to college in 2012 and know if I start to eat badly when I get there I won’t be able to stop. So the key for me I think will be eating healthy ALL the time because once I start allowing myself “junk food” it will get out of hand. Argg im such a black-and-white person though.

  19. I just always made special request and just simply eat what I new wasn’t healthy in moderation. Also, LOAD UP ON TO GO BOXES IF THE FOOD IS GOOD lol. Whenever WM had healthy food for dinner, I would fill a to go box with extra and bring it with me the next night in case they didn’t have anything good. Yes… I was the kid who brought the to go box IN to the dining hall, not out.
    Finally, have a back up plan. We always had Quiznos downstairs if the food was awful. I would go get a sub then bring it back to the dining hall to and grad a salad, fruit, and milk too.

  20. this is so true girl 🙂 i had a heart time eating healthy in college, as i’m sure so many people do because we’re surrounded by un-healthy foods. thanks so much for posting this as a reminder to us all! I didn’t gain the freshman 15 but def needed to start WORKING OUT asap after I graduated ha

  21. Great post. I’ll echo some of the other commenters. I had to really avoid late night eating, and keep the drinking in check.

  22. lol in my world there would totally be a fruit vending machine…and a dark chocolate chip + peanut butter banana french-toasted sandwich vending machine too… a girl can dream! and I’m the same way (well I plan on it anyway!) of eating breakfast in my room/ on my own time so I’m not paying for 3 a days on the meal plan.. . Plus, I’d MUCH rather have french toast (which actually probably won’t happen so easily 🙁 and oats anyway!) These are all super duper helpful tips though; gahh I’m so excited for college!

  23. Awesome post. I concur. Buy healthy stuff, go for fresh fruits and veggies at the buffets and request that your sandwiches be made with only 1 peice of cheese or not doused in butter. Always worked for me!

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