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Nutrition & Healthy Weight

​Physical activity and good nutrition are key to leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing illness or stress.


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight status that adjusts an ideal weight range according to height. Because it does not take muscle mass or percent body fat into consideration, BMI alone is not diagnostic, but it can serve as a useful guideline in determining whether your weight is within a healthy range. For adults aged 20 years or older, BMI falls into one of these categories: underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.

Being outside your BMI’s optimal range can be normal if you eat healthy foods and are active.

Generally, if your BMI shows that you are overweight or obese, losing weight, even a small amount, can improve your health by lowering your risk of the following diseases: heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and breathing problems.

Being under your BMI’s optimal range can signal a problem with your nutritional status.

Discuss your weight with a medical provider to determine whether your eating and exercising habits are meeting your health and nutritional needs.

Healthy eating

A healthy eating plan should include 45-60% calories from carbohydrates, 10-35% from protein, and 25-35% from fat. Try to balance your nutritional intake with these healthy eating tips:

  • Choosing healthy portion sizes allows you to eat what you want, without ingesting more calories than you can use for energy.
  • You can get the most nutrition out of your calories by choosing foods that provide vitamins and minerals over those that contain only empty calories from refined sugar and hydrogenated oils.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated and energetic.
  • Read nutrition and ingredient labels, and ask how your food was prepared.
  • Refuel every 3-4 hours: your body needs enough calories to get through the activities of the day. See our snack tips below for information on how to balance your “snack attacks” in a healthy way.

Snacks

Ideally, as an active college student, you are refueling every 3-4 hours. Snacks can help you prevent overeating. Healthy snacking will depend on your choices of food and portion sizes: choosing the wrong snacks could lead to unwanted weight gain and sluggishness.

  • Pre-portion your study snacks onto a plate, bowl, napkin, or small plastic bag. Avoid eating from the bag or box.
  • Avoid eating while studying, working at your computer, or watching TV. Try to eat at a table in a relaxed environment.
  • Choose snacks that have some protein, which will help you feel full and more alert. Carbohydrates (when eaten alone) have the potential to make you feel sleepy.

Mini-Meals

Not quite ready for a full meal? Mini-meals provide steady energy to your brain. Mini-meals that are high in proteins and provide some fat can help reduce the constant carbohydrate or sugar cravings during the day, as these nutrients help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote feeling satisfied after eating.

More nutrition help