Back-to-School Wellness Tips

Start your semester off right with these healthy habits.

Just like New Year’s Day, the first day of a school represents a fresh start. Now is the perfect time to consider forming new habits that can help you live a healthier lifestyle. While some habits, such as controlling spending, may require self-discipline, others, like making healthier food choices, can be fun and delicious. Below are 10 small ways you can indulge in better health this semester. Start with trying one of these changes, then build from there. Even a few healthier choices can change the way you feel.

  1. Nothing quenches your thirst like a big glass of cold water. Make an effort to enjoy one with every meal and throughout your day.
  1. Start each day with breakfast. Fuel your body and your brain with fruit, low-fat milk or yogurt, whole-grain cereals, and lean protein like eggs. You can even start eating veggies early with a delicious mushroom-and-spinach omelet.
  1. Eat attentively. Sit with friends at a table, take a few minutes to relax and enjoy your meal. Avoid munching away in the car, or in front of a TV or computer.
  1. Find a fun activity you can enjoy with friends. Burn off steam and calories!
  1. Start with half your normal portion. Eat slowly and stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Learn to tell when your body is really hungry, rather than just bored or needing comfort.
  1. Make at least half your plate fruits and vegetables. No portion control needed here: Have as much as you want.
  1. Try tracking your calories and activity. My Fitness Pal makes it easy with thousands of Sodexo recipes and a wide variety of physical activities to choose from. See how you feel when you balance calories in and calories out.
  1. Don’t snack to entertain yourself. You should eat to satisfy hunger. Stock up on healthy snacks, like nuts and fruits, in measured portions. Keeping an apple in your backpack is an easy way to always have a healthy snack on hand.
  1. Switch to whole grains. Quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat are more nutritious and more filling than refined grains.
  1. Kick the sugar habit! Train your taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness in fruit. Wean yourself from the added sugar in coffee, sweetened beverages, pastries, and desserts.
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