Managing Diet in Hostels for Students by a Student

Author –  Arpit Kushwaha, INFS Certified Nutrition and Fitness Consultant & a student at Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Introduction

College is the time you can set your own priorities and make your own choices. I used and abused my choices in my first three years in college. This is while during a trip with friends to a beach I realised what I had done to my body! Looking at the pics from the trip, I decided enough is enough and I need to get in shape!

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With limited funds, lack of knowledge and general laziness it seemed like an insurmountable task. But I worked around each obstacle one by one. I am sharing some tricks with you so that if you are thinking of adopting a healthier lifestyle, it will give you some hope and you will start to make the change to transform your lifestyle and so your body.

This article is about how I managed creating healthier meals out of what was available to me. To transform yourself though, this needs to be accompanied by a structured diet plan and quantified nutrition distribution. You will get acquainted with this by Project IGNITE of INFS.

Now the most common myth that holds us back from starting to make the change is that cleaning up the diet involves eating tasteless or boiled things! But what if it meant addition of new, healthy and soul satisfying options?

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Even while living in a hostel or away from home, here are a few things you can easily get access to:
1. Stock up on peanuts and soy nuts!
Peanuts and Roasted Soy Nuts are good source of Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates. 100gms of Peanuts will provide 25gms of protein, 50gms of fats and 25gms of carbs while Soy Nuts will give you double the protein. Both are great for when you need some much needed energy. You can even add them to your mess food. Calories from nuts quickly adds up though, so keep that under check always.

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2. Another good option are dairy products
Dairy products are rich in protein and you know you are lacking in those especially trying to survive in hostels. You can do small things, like adding cheese slices to your food will help you complete your fat and protein requirement. Not only this, it will help you keep a record of calories also easily.

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3. Divide it across meals
You can divide intake of dairy products in your diet throughout the day, which might help you in including protein in your every meal! For example you can have cheese slice in breakfast, yogurt in lunch and milk in dinner along with your normal food.

4. Healthy wraps
Here is a hack that will make mess food more interesting: Make healthy wraps from chapatis available in your college canteens or mess by adding your own cheese slice, eggs and veggies (also from your canteen or mess). Use what you have to create a fulfilling meal.

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5. For the sportsmen and women
If you are involved in sports in college, you need quick digesting carbohydrate to refuel if you exercise for more than 60mins. A good intra-workout snack can be glucose powder in water or bananas. Don’t go overboard in meal times, this much is enough.

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6. Take matters in your own hand
If your hostel policy allow you to keep an induction cooker or rice cooker or even a kettle, make use of it. You will be able to make delicious cheese omelettes, chicken, and even oats. I shared accommodation with friends off campus and bought a stove to prepare my meals. I didn’t know cooking at all and in a year’s time am able to make entire day’s meal in 15mins flat!

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7. Emergency fixes
Whenever you think assignment deadlines are going to take over your life, and you won’t be able to follow your diet, keep boiled eggs and peanut butter handy and have them with chapatis (available from the mess) or breads. There are a lot of low cost electric egg boilers in the market. They will definitely make your life easier.

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8. No time for breakfast?                               
It doesn’t matter if you can’t have your breakfast in the morning because of lack of time, you can still have it later in the noon and shift your dinner a little late. All you need to care about is, whether you are taking enough calories according to your energy expenditure or not. You can make an eating pattern which is convenient and sustainable according to your lifestyle.

These are few hacks which will help you manage a healthy diet while you are trying to survive your hostel life. Let nothing stop you, go and start your fit college life.

Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS) was established with the intent of providing comprehensive and practical knowledge in Health and Fitness. INFS Nutrition and Training courses are divided into levels so that everyone from a general health enthusiast to someone who wants to build a career in Fitness industry can benefit from them.

For more information about our Nutrition and Fitness courses please visit http://www.infs.co.in

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