Tips on Healthy Eating While Studying

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While studying for exams, tests, and quizzes, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks. In fact, it’s a lot of people’s first response to stress. Science has proven time and time again that “stress eating” is a real-life phenomenon. However, you can do something to control it. Here are our tips on healthy eating while studying.

Buy healthy choices
The issue starts at the grocery store, vending machine, gas station, and, for many college students, the dining hall. In most cases, we have the power to choose what we eat. That means it’s on us to make healthy choices. You can’t eat an entire bag of chips while studying for an exam if you make the choice not to buy them in the first place. Push yourself to avoid buying the junk, and you will inevitably be unable to eat it, even during your frantic cramming sessions. If you’ve already gotten into the habit of buying unhealthy snacks, considering purging your cupboard altogether or donating it to your local food bank.

Take breaks
Eating while you’re studying may seem like a good idea to keep the flow of learning going, but it can distract you to the point where your body can’t recognize when you’re full. Instead, take short breaks to snack to ensure you will feel satisfied after eating.

Portions are one of the biggest problems with snacking on unhealthy food while studying. In your stressed state, you might not even realize how much you’re eating. While it’s best to avoid junk food altogether, you may feel that you can’t cut it out completely. Keep in mind that it should be consumed in very small portions due to the high concentrations of fat, sugar, and sodium it contains. Even with healthy snacks and meals, portion size is hugely important for everyone to keep in mind.

Avoid candy and foods high in sugar
Candy and sugary foods are problematic for several reasons. First, they can get stuck in your teeth, leading to cavities and other issues. Second, they have no nutritional value and will not keep you full and focused. Third, they will provide an initial burst of energy, but shortly thereafter, you will experience a sugar crash. Avoid these foods and choose options that have natural sweetness instead to curb your cravings, such as fruits.

Keep your liquids simple
The liquid you consume matters, too. During exam times and even when you’re just studying for a big quiz or practical exam, it’s tempting to try to force your body to stay awake with caffeine-infused beverages like coffee, soda, and energy drinks. However, most of these are poor choices for your health. Soda and energy drinks are often very high in sugar and create a coating on your teeth, which can lead to damage. Coffee is okay, as long as you keep the sugar and add-ins to a minimal and brew it at home. Above all, drink lots of water, and keep in mind that your body needs sleep to function properly.

Healthy snack ideas
Instead of giving your body what it wants, try giving it what it needs. Eat snacks that will help your brain and give you energy. Choose whole grains, nuts, seeds, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.

This is a guest post contributed to by Derksen Dentistry, a dentist in Lansing, Michigan that specializes in general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.