Students are given a bad reputation for not eating ‘healthy’ food. One thing that I question is, should this really matter and if so why is it such a big deal?
An obvious answer would be that everyone needs to live a healthy lifestyle due to worrying levels of obesity in society etc, but, unless you have been a student or been in a scenario where you have to survive on a certain amount of money, you cannot truly understand why what is deemed junk food, is the food of choice for many individuals.
Personally, I believe that the way in which a student eats isn’t an issue, unless there are already underlying health issues. I find that as long as someone has some form of active lifestyle as opposed to “couch potato syndrome” then food just fuels the day’s activities.
One reason why it is easier for students to choose “junk” is mainly due to price of the product. Fresh fruit and vegetables can often be expensive, especially from supermarkets. Not only this, but, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can quickly go off compared to other foods.
However, there are easy, cheap and healthy alternatives to junk snacks and meals meaning you are less likely to go for the dreaded pot noodle.
So, yes, students may eat food that makes society shudder, however, the main aim of a student is to survive meaning that there is time to worry about antioxidants when student life is far behind them.
With all of this in mind, I decided that I should conduct a little experiment and eat healthily for a week to test whether or not I would find it beneficial.
An apple a day keeps the Doctor away. Right?
I know that in theory, a long lasting healthy diet would have long term effects and wouldn’t necessarily work straight away, none the less I decided to give it a go.
Firstly, I created a seven day meal plan so I knew what I was required to buy when I went shopping (shopping without a list can be dangerous as supermarkets and other areas are experts at getting you to spontaneously buy a product you wouldn’t want or need).
It should be said before I carry on, that this particular plan was one that was high in protein and low in fat with hardly any carbohydrates at all, this was due to the muscle building, fat burning, properties of the plan designed to benefit my gym activities. Not only this, but, this also acted as a fat detox for my body due to the overwhelming amount of junk I consumed over the two week Easter period.
So off I went with my list in hand, ready to buy exactly what was needed for my weekly experiment – knowing that my bill at the end of my shopping trip would be more than my usual £20 – £30 as most of my list was made of fresh produce. However, nothing could have prepared me for the £60.72 bill that I was handed when I had finished my shop (I almost wept) around double what I was used to paying.
After picking myself up off of the shop floor, and telling myself (and my bank account) it was okay, I went home to begin my “healthy” lifestyle.
So what did I find out at the end of my seven days?
Nothing, nada, diddily squat.
The only difference was I felt less lethargic (this could have been psychosomatic), but, apart from that I found I was eating more, spending less time looking at pictures of cats online, instead looking at pictures of food ranging from anything from burgers to cakes and anything in between.
After completing the week, I have thrown the seven day strategy out of the window and welcomed carbs warmly back into my life.
As already mentioned, I truly believe that unless you live an unhealthy lifestyle already (involving more or less no exercise) then you shouldn’t really be worrying about your diet, unless of course you are eating McDonalds for breakfast, KFC for lunch and a whole cow for dinner.
[NB: Taken off of my old food blog, this was created in my first year at university. I have also combined two separate pieces of work into one.]