Another semester has begun and if you’re like me, you’re already swamped with assignments, readings, work and everything else that goes with it. Perhaps you also spend a full day on campus, leaving little-to-no time to sit down and have a decent meal.
With so much on our plates (no pun intended), it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet while bal- ancing school and work. It’s no secret unhealthy meal plans are contributing to the increasing trend of health problems in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. Add our increasingly sedentary lifestyle and it’s no wonder this trend is worsening.
However, I’m a firm believer in the human ability to change and adapt. A little hard work and a lot of discipline may be all it takes to turn this around. It isn’t impossible—difficult, yes, but not impossible—to accommodate a healthy lifestyle. And it isn’t just about losing weight. While it may be your primary goal in the fight to get healthier, weight loss shouldn’t be the only factor you think about. Certain diets allow the human body to drop weight quickly, but keeping it off is the hard part. We have to be more aware of what we eat. You can exercise all you want, but complementing your hard work with a diet filled with fattening foods but without proteins and vegetables won’t help in the long run.
What can we do to change this? How can you adhere to the promises you made when fast food is the only option during a busy day? There is nothing wrong with stopping for a quick bite to eat. But start looking at the healthier options your favorite restaurant has to offer. I promise you, they are there. In recent years, eating healthy has become a trend companies are marketing to students.
Companies see we are making changes to our life-styles and they are trying to adapt. I guarantee no matter where you find yourself during those 10 minutes of free time you will find something much more sustainable for your long-term health.
Take the Rubios we have on campus, for example. I dare you to try the entrée-sized Balsamic and Roasted Veggie Salad with chicken. It’s really good. The best part is the entire plate has only 310 calories (with dressing) and is loaded with 20 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. It’s like the super-hero of fast-food salads because it packs so much protein, you’ll stayfull longer, enabling you to actually pay attention in class. Plenty of other restaurants also offer healthy op- tions. Next time you go to In-N-Out Burger try a protein style burger – they’ll know what you mean. Read the menu and make a smart choice. If you can’t find something, ask.
There are no excuses. Nutritional guides are accessible anywhere, even on your smartphone (I know you have one). To anyone saying “I don’t have time,” or “It’s not worth it,” quit lying to yourself. It isn’t about how we look as a society, or how others in our society look at us. It’s about taking the first step toward personal health and well- being. Who doesn’t want to live a long and fulfilling life? When making a change is so manageable, why wouldn’t you? It’s time for us to turn this around. Humanity has survived much worse than this and I know we can do it again.