• Amber Tay

Healthy Eating Habits to change your Lifestyle



Whether it be eating supper with our friends at supper stretch near Eusoff Hall, or getting fast food for takeaway because you simply have no time to eat in between your classes, it’s easy for us to fall back into our unhealthy eating habits as the semester begins again. Or perhaps we never stop them to begin with.


Studies over the past few years suggest that most university students have poor eating habits. In 2017, a study revealed that only 27.1% of university students in Singapore meet the national recommendation of daily fruit and vegetable servings. This is often due to the transition to university life, where many of us begin to experience more freedom as we live on our own for the first time in halls or residential colleges.


Why should we eat healthy?

When I think of excuses that my friends tell me why they don’t eat healthy, one immediately pops into my mind.


“Eating healthy? Sound like a lot of work”

Many often think that they have far too much work to be able to live a healthy lifestyle. They see doing well academically and having a healthy lifestyle to be two things that cannot be achieved simultaneously.


However, having healthy eating habits can directly benefit your academic life. For instance, it can help improve your mood and energy levels due to your body getting the proper nutrients it needs to function properly. It can also reduce the negative effects of stress on your body.


Furthermore, eating healthy doesn’t require as much work as you think. In fact, it’s more about establishing simple habits that you can easily apply to your daily routine.

So don’t worry, I’m not telling you to go cold turkey on everything and anything that can be deemed unhealthy (I’m eating a bag of chips as I write this article). To suddenly adopt a new lifestyle will also be difficult. Moreover, with our busy schedules, there’s only so much free time we have on our hands.


However, implementing just a few simple habits into your everyday routine can help a lot more than you think.


So here are some simple healthy habits to start doing today!


THE 4 HEALTHY HABITS


1. Drink plenty of water

Yes, hydrate people! It’s important! It’s recommended that students drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and this is excluding those who exercise vigorously. If you’re someone who tends to forget to drink water, just place a cup of water by your desk as you do your assignments. Or if you’re going out, keep a bottle in your bag. Some people also choose to drink water first thing in the morning, as it can quickly rehydrate your body after all those hours of sleep. You can also always change up the taste by adding slices of lime or lemon to your drink!


2. EAT BREAKFAST

You know the drill: you sleep in after staying up all night doing assignments, and suddenly you wake up realise it’s past 11 AM. “Oh well,” you think to yourself. “Might as well skip breakfast and just eat lunch then.”


NO! EAT YOUR BREAKFAST!


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Though it doesn’t feel like such a big deal, skipping breakfast can really affect your energy levels and alertness for the rest of your day. Furthermore, it reduces the amount of essential nutrients you consume, which can affect you in the long run. Waking up early also gives you time to slow down and helps set your intentions for the rest of the day.

If you’re rushing for a morning class, just grab some bread or fruits to eat along the way: trust me, you’ll thank me later. For those who happen to wake up past 12 PM, try snacking healthily during midday.


3. Keep healthy snacks on hand

I don’t know about you, but something about readings always causes me to crave snacks. Whether it be chocolate, chips, or gummies, I would always find myself munching on them…even if I don’t really fancy the snack to begin with. So why not eat a healthy snack instead? Next time you go to the grocery store, try getting cashew nuts, raisins, fruits, or greek yogurt instead. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy them. Plus, you won’t feel guilty about eating them. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.


4. Enjoy your food!

At the end of the day, food should always be enjoyed and savoured! It’s okay to snack on unhealthy treats from time to time, but remember that you should always prioritise keeping your body strong and healthy.


References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6422551/

  • https://www.clarke.edu/campus-life/health-wellness/counseling/articles-advice/10-healthy-eating-tips-for-the-busy-college-student/

  • https://www.jstor.org/stable/27009028

  • https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/nutrition-health-and-wellness/healthy-diet-can-reduce-stress.html#:~:text="Eating a healthy diet can,helping to reduce weight gain."

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