Health Corner: The Snack Monster

By: Sara Scheler

April 3, 2013

Many of us (myself included) are guilty of over-snacking. Chips just go so well with lengthy textbook assignments. But eating late at night can lead to weight gain because your metabolism slows down after dark. Try some of these tips Carry around healthy snacks (nuts, apples, wholegrain pretzels, carrot sticks, etc.) so you are not lured into a snack trap by your hunger.

1)   Stash junk food in inconvenient places around your dorm. It might sound weird, but if the cookies are right next to your desk, you will want to eat them even if you are not actually hungry.

2)   Keep healthy snacks around your dorm. Apples and oranges are full of vitamins and have lots of filling fiber to satiate your appetite. If fruit is conveniently placed, you will be more prone to eat it than to dig around for the chips.

3)   Eat breakfast! If you kick-start your metabolism early in the day, it will be easier to stop eating as your day winds down. Try to find something whole grain and protein-packed to have for breakfast; it will be more likely to keep you full until lunch.

4)   Eat a larger lunch and a smaller dinner. A big meal at the end of the day can make you tired and unproductive. Give your stomach plenty of time to digest by eating dinner around 6 or 7. Then reach for healthy, low-calorie snacks, like fruit or yogurt, if you are craving something sweet while you study.

5)   Exercise before dinner. A half hour on the treadmill can help you release stress from the day. But be careful; don’t eat a huge, unhealthy meal just because you worked out. Reach for protein, like chicken or eggs, filling grains and beans if you are famished.

6)   Make sure you have healthy food on hand when you study, and if you do end up snacking, plate it first. Put a handful of chips in a bowl, and put the rest away so you are not tempted to finish the whole bag.

7)   Finally, make healthy eating habitual. The less junk food we eat, the less we crave it. Carrying around healthy snacks and finding healthy items for breakfast, lunch and dinner can curb our junk food cravings.