After spending childhood years practicing a healthy diet under the supervision of careful parents, many young adults lose the track when they are at college.
Unsupervised, they become prone to make all the wrong choices when it comes to food, forgoing cooking and instead binging on packaged or takeaway food heavy in additives and empty calories. Moreover, no time to exercise also means no way to burn off these calories.
So what can be done to stop an uncontrolled loss in fitness? Take a look at the simplest, most effective healthy eating advice from dietitians.
1) Stock up on eggs
Eggs are at once one of the most versatile, convenient and cost-effective sources of protein. "At just 70 calories, a large egg is an excellent source of eight essential nutrients, including 6 grams of high-quality protein to help keep you satisfied," said Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition in New York City. They can be prepared quickly when you are in a rush.
2) Look for more veggies
You cannot go wrong with vegetables. They are cheaper than protein and healthier than carbs. "If you are ordering at a restaurant, then look at the side dish section for raw or cooked (but not fried) veggie options," advised Brigitte. Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables.
3) Always carry water
"Staying hydrated by drinking enough water helps keep your energy up and fight food and sugar cravings throughout the day," Brigitte said. "Choose water over juice and soda."
4) Pick whole grains when possible
Try oatmeal for breakfast, choose whole-wheat bread for sandwiches, and brown rice over white and refined variety whenever available. They offer a good boost of fiber and B vitamins, which keeps you energised all day long.
5) Pack healthy snacks
In between the three meals a day, everyone indulges in a bit of chips or biscuits or fried food which ultimately leads to weight gain. Consider packing one to two balanced snacks you can eat between meals, and make sure they include high-fibre options like whole fruits, nuts, seeds, pre-cut veggies, and whole grains, explained Rachel Fine, MS, a registered dietitian and owner of To the Pointe Nutrition in New York City. "Snacking is helpful to curb hunger and control portion sizes when you finally get to your next meal," Rachel said. "When it comes to snack bars, choose those with transparent ingredients like nuts, whole grains, and fruit."