Marion Irvin, Dietetic Major ’19, University Health Center Nutrition Peer Educator
That time of the semester has come when Terps can be found studying late at night in any available space on campus they can find. With late nights comes overpowering food cravings. For some, this may mean finishing a family size bag of potato chips. For others, it may be grabbing all of the candy in the 24 Hour Shop to keep a steady “sugar rush.” Food choices can have a real impact on how your brain functions and how your body combats stress.
Here are some snack ideas that will help you ace that tough exam!
Pre-Portion Your Snack
If you know that you are going to have a long night, pre-proportion your snack. This will help you avoid the temptation to stress eat. You can put your favorite trail mix in a plastic baggy to take with you, as well as a piece of fruit! The carbohydrates from the fruit will keep you energized and focused, while the healthy fats in the nuts will keep you feeling full.
Make Healthy Snacks Available
Make healthy snacks available to you in your room. Some students do not trust themselves to keep foods such as granola bars in their dorms because they think they will eat the whole box in one night. Instead of keeping these snacks in the open, try putting them in your closet or in a desk drawer. It is important not to restrict yourself when it comes to food because it may prompt a binge later.
Make Your Snack Purposeful
Make your snacks purposeful. Pairing a protein and carb together will give you longer lasting energy and keep you full. Vegetables are great and nutritious, but try eating them with hummus or peanut butter. You are going to feel satisfied for longer, making it easier to manage your portions at your next meal.
Think Before You Execute
If you know that you are going to go to the dining hall, think about your food choices ahead of time. If you go in with no plan, you will be more likely to make poor food choices. This tip can be difficult when you’re in a social setting, but think about how happy your body will feel for feeding it healthy, nutritious snacks.
Feel the difference next time you’re staying up late doing work!