Students can eat healthier

By Tatianna Salisbury

Being a college student is difficult, and healthy living is easy to forget when students have a million things of higher priority on their to-do lists. From constantly prepping for exams to the never-ending wasteland of lecture notes, with everything the average college student has on their plate — they may be missing fruits and vegetables in their diets.

Many fad diets, such as Weight Watchers, target young college students primarily for this reason, promising instant results with little to no effort. However, there are ways students can improve their lifestyle without over-exerting or exhausting themselves.

A healthier lifestyle starts with making better choices about what to eat. NIU is fully stocked with resources to help students who are looking to make a change but are unsure of where to go.

On-campus eating

Dining halls are a common resource for students and offer a variety of dining plans for residents, commuters and those who live off-campus.

MyDining is a service provided by the NIU Department of Nutrition and Wellness and designed to inform students of nutritional information in the food served at each dining hall location, according to the Campus Dining Services homepage. Students can utilize this resource to keep track of what’s on their plate and plan their meals accordingly.

Each dining hall offers Healthy Huskie Choices, which give students healthy options and help them balance their meals, according to Campus Dining Services homepage. Healthy Huskie menu options include edamame, roasted potatoes with pasta and lemon baked codfish.

Subway, located in the Holmes Student Center, offers a variety of healthy and delicious options for students needing a quick bite to eat between classes. They are a great choice for any student looking for a healthy meal without having to run back to their dorm.

Avoid fad diets

Healthy eating requires commitment, as it’s easier to stray from a meal plan when there are doughnuts and potato chips up for grabs. Quick-fix or fad diets target students with an easy way to lose weight fast without sacrificing “feel-good” foods. These diets set unrealistic expectations for students, often leaving them feeling stressed or frustrated if the results aren’t exactly as promised, according to WebMD. These diets don’t encourage students to set realistic goals or guide them through the steps of maintaining and achieving healthy living on the long-term scale.

Sophomore journalism major Kayla Bittner is not a fan of fad diets and feels students should stick to more realistic meal plans when it comes to eating healthier.

“People take diets too seriously,” Bittner said. “If that pressure was on me, I would give up instantly. Students need to take a more realistic approach to eating healthy.”