Tips for maintaining a healthy diet

Ayilaran Ifedayo

Tolu is a student of Chemical Engineering in the University of Lagos. Tolu does not care for proper dieting and eats foods on impulse. He skips breakfast and lunch and instead prefers to munch on snacks all day. Every hour, you can find Tolu at the snack shop, buying doughnuts, minced pies, and carbonated drinks.

Tolu’s dinner plans are no better. Every evening, it’s a dinner overloaded with carbohydrates. It’s either spaghetti or rice, or nothing at all. The overnight reading sessions are worse. Tolu believes he needs sugar in his system to stay awake; hence he eats all sorts of sugary foods and guzzles sweetened drinks like a six-year old.

Eventually, Tolu’s unhealthy habits lead to malnutrition and he falls ill during his examinations. As a result, Tolu cannot write his exams and fails many courses in the process.

Most of us are like Tolu. We fail to eat properly and choose to eat whatever we see instead of taking time to plan our meals. 

Yes, classes can be stressful and assignments and tests are exhausting. Still, these things should not be an excuse for unhealthy eating. Because you haven’t taken ill yet doesn’t mean your bad eating habits have no side effects. You may end up falling ill at a critical time like Tolu during his examination.

Many students believe planning meals is a stressful task. However, this is not the case, as a proper diet is easy to create and a cheaper alternative to expensive fast food. Do you want start your healthy eating journey but don’t know what to do? Here are some tips to guide you:

Breakfast is important

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and its importance in a proper diet cannot be overemphasized. Always ensure to eat a proper breakfast before leaving for class each morning.

High calorie foods like eggs, milk, bananas, and fish are very good for breakfast. These foods provide you with energy and ensure that you remain active throughout the day.

Switch things up

Avoid repeating the same meals like our friend, Tolu, who eats spaghetti and rice every night. Instead, create a variety in the type of food you eat; mix different food classes for a balanced diet. For instance, in place of eating plain rice (carbohydrates), add beans (protein) and vegetables (minerals).

Cut down on carbs

Students live high-pressure lifestyles where time is often a scarce necessity. Therefore, easy-to-cook foods like rice and spaghetti are attractive options for satisfying hunger. The problem with those meals is that they are full of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are not bad but consuming them in large amounts at the detriment of other nutrients is unhealthy. Therefore, reduce your consumption of food like rice, spaghetti, bread, etc.

Take lots of fruits

Fruits give you one of the most important nutrients your body needs: vitamins. When you can, eat fruits after your main meals. Fruits like oranges, apples, berries, bananas, pineapples, melons, etc. are cheap and can be bought at different spots within school.

Avoid alcohol consumption

Alcoholic substances have no benefits unless you count potential liver and heart damage as “benefits”. If you must take alcohol, do so in minimal amounts. However, it is better you stop all forms of alcohol intake. Remember you can always have a great time without alcohol.

Take lots of water

Water is extremely important to your health. Think about it, around 60% of your body is made up of water. More importantly, water has been known to affect brain performance and energy levels.

Always drink water. Experts recommend drinking at least 13 cups a day for men and 9 cups a day for women. Packing a water bottle while going out will keep you hydrated all through the day and eliminate the need to buy water repeatedly.

Drink water like your life depends on it because it does.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy diet is something you should give serious consideration. Not only will you save money, your health will be the better for it. Don’t end up like our dear friend, Tolu, who ended up regretting his decision to replace proper eating with binging on junk food and carbonated drinks.

Take charge of your eating routines today by embracing a balanced diet that contains all the necessary nutrients. Don’t fret if you have problems adhering to your new meal plan. With time, you’ll get used to it and find it comfortable.

Happy healthy eating!


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