It’s true — college students are at risk for gaining weight. Although coming from a health-conscious background can help, college is the first time that many people make their own diet choices. Unfortunately, these choices are not always the healthiest, but instead the most efficient or the most appealing. There is no need to ban all unhealthy foods, but you may want to be more conscious of your food intake as you enter a new environment.
When you have the choice, always choose fruits and vegetables, because, first and foremost, these high-fiber foods are nutritious and filling. That’s not to say you cannot have a treat every once in a while, but establishing a diet that is made up of whole foods will help you in the long run. To avoid a sugar hangover or weight gain in college, there are some foods that you should ban from your quarters completely. That way, you’ll avoid temptation and can stock your dorm room with healthy foods.
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Processed energy and granola bars are some the worst breakfast foods. These bars may seem healthy, but the amount of added sugar they contain cancels out their health benefits. In some cases, you may as well eat a candy bar. Foods that raise your blood sugar and suddenly drop your energy are not worth hoarding in your desk drawer. Your body will thank you if you replace processed, high-sugar items with satisfying, wholesome foods.
Although Red Bull may get you through that all-nighter, your brain will suffer. “While a little caffeine goes a long way, many energy drinks contain much larger doses of caffeine, which can lead to serious problems over time,” says Chuck Shaeffer, psychotherapist and professor at New York University. “The high levels of caffeine in multiple servings of energy drinks give you more than just wings — they can also lead to many difficulties in brain function, including seizures, panic attacks, racing thoughts, reduced attention, and ineffective memory.”