Staying healthy in university can be hard! If you’re not used to cooking for yourself, it’s easy to go for pasta all the time and as delicious as it is, it can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.
When I first started university, I gained a fair bit of weight. I was snacking more than usual and pasta was my go to because of how quick and easy it was.
I also wasn’t exercising at all in first year but thankfully, I started during lockdown. You can read all about my favourite exercises/workouts on my blog post about all things regarding at-home workouts.
This year, I’ve really took care of myself. I’ve been exercising frequently and eating more fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables.
In this post, I’m sharing what I eat in a day as a student and in a calorie deficit. I’m not sharing the calories of everything as I know people prefer not to know but just know it is a calorie deficit for me.
I usually eat breakfast after my workout and my workouts usually last from anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
At the moment, I’m loving porridge! Baked oats has been a huge trend at the moment and though I tried them, I didn’t love them. I’ve much preferred spicing up my regular porridge with toppings!
I use the Quaker Oats instant packets. It takes 2 minutes and these were on offer – 18 packs for £2!
As a topping, I usually have fruit, honey and some form of chocolate. Around holidays it tends to be mini reindeers or bunnies, if not, it’s usually chocolate buttons!
Porridge is a great breakfast as they’re very filling but lower in calories.
With my breakfast, I’ll either have a coffee with flavour drops or a protein shake if I’ve had a very intense workout!
Coffee for me is essential – especially as a university student!
For lunch, I tend to go for something lighter.
This week, I’ve been enjoying salad! I’m not a salad girl at all but I chose some vegetables that I actually enjoy and it’s such a tasty lunch!
My salad is composed of lettuce, baby corn, sugar snap peas, carrot sticks, pepper, spicy chicken and fat free vinaigrette!
However, I don’t always have this!
Sometimes I go for bagels with beans or a chicken pitta with pop chips and a snack bar.
I tend to like my lunch to be quick and easy since my afternoon lectures start at 1 so I want to have eaten before they start!
For lunch, I only drink water. I try and drink 2 litres of water a day so after my breakfast drink, I’ll not drink anything but water until the evening.
Dinner / tea
My boyfriend is the chef of our flat so he usually takes the lead when it comes to that.
This is the meal that changes pretty much every day and it varies greatly.
Sometimes it’s pasta, sometimes it’s stir fry, fajitas, chilli, fish and chips.
Whatever we have, it’s always very filling and we always incorporate some sort of vegetables in.
Since coming back to uni for second year, I’ve managed to get 5-a-day in most days.
I also like that the meals are a lot more adventurous. We find new recipes all the time and love them and we’re not scared to try new things.
It’s also very inexpensive! All our shopping is from Aldi and a weekly shop generally costs us less than £30 and that’s for the both of us for lunch and tea!
After tea, we always go on a long walk. It gets us moving and off our phones and I love getting the fresh air. I always feel much better when I go on a walk after tea rather than lazing around.
Of course, this is all personal to me and you shouldn’t take it as the best way to live. It’s what works for me and everyone is different!
I tend to snack quite a bit in the day and it’s how I get my treats in without exceeding my calorie count.
Some of my snacks include:
- Snack bars (e.g. fibre one, skinny whip, cereal bars)
- Rice cakes / crackers
- Ice lollies
- Party rings
- Halo top
I tend to go for lower calorie snacks so I don’t have to worry about them too much but occasionally when I want something with higher calories, I will go for it.
My biggest “treat” food is Ben and Jerry’s Netflix ice cream. It’s amazing!!
Where do I get inspiration for healthy foods within budget?
I usually turn to pinterest or YouTube for the best healthy recipes!
At the moment, I’m loving protein pancakes by Linda Sun. She’s one of my favourite fitness youtubers at the moment and her pancake recipe is insane!
You can find out how mine turned out on my Instagram under the March 2021 highlights.
Most recipes are pretty easy that I find and you can also find lots of uni students sharing meal ideas on Tiktok.
I’ve been thrown into the uni side of tiktok and as nerdy as it may sound, I love it! I find the videos so helpful and it’s fun to see how others spend their day. It’s really motivating!
It’s also surprising to see how many of your favourite meals can be healthy! Instead of an English breakfast, I go for quorn sausages, a bagel thin and a small tin of beans (I don’t like bacon). It’s just as filling!
You don’t have to decrease your portion sizes to cut down calories. Swap some for healthier alternatives. For example, low sugar versions generally taste the same as the regular and are lower in calories.
Despite all this talk of calories, please remember, the number you eat do not define you and you shouldn’t feel bad for eating a higher number than others. Everyone’s intake needs to be different and yours may be higher than others.
How do you eat healthily? Let me know in the comments below?