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Healthy Eating on a Meal Plan

Having a meal plan means different things at different schools. Sometimes it only includes meals at the dining hall and sometimes it may include on-campus restaurants.

Regardless of what your meal plan includes, it is important to stay mindful of your diet. Coming from someone who lived right next to the on-campus Chick-fil-A, I know how difficult it can be to make healthy decisions. It took me about a semester and 20 extra pounds before I realized that just because I had the freedom to eat whatever I wanted, didn’t mean I should.

Here are three tips to help you eat healthy on a meal plan, specifically at the dining hall:

1. Limit your soda. It’s tempting to fill your cup with soda three meals a day, but this is a quick way to add on the freshman 15 (or 20).

2. Watch your breakfast. Breakfasts at dining halls are surprisingly high-calorie. It’s alright to load your morning plate with bacon and biscuits every once in a while (like on a Saturday morning after a Friday night out), but try to stick with fruit, cereal, or yogurt which most places should offer.

3. Beware of all-you-can-eat. nce you enter a dining hall, you can stay as long as you want and eat as much as you want. But listen: you don’t have to eat three servings of dinner just because you can! It’s going to take self-control, but try to pick one main dish, a side, and if you went to the gym that day, a dessert. If you eat healthy and incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you should have no problem keeping off the weight and enjoying your freshman year in college.