How to stay healthy during mid-terms and finals

Having spent a whopping five and a half years at ASU, I have been through my fair share of studying battles, being buried in reading at the library (I had to be in the library for hours at a time because that was the only place I could concentrate!! ADHD, what?). If you’re a med student, then you live in the library and you know what I’m talking about (that one’s for you Justin).
Most students simply don’t eat while in the library. Although it may feel great to lose a couple of pounds from not eating, starving yourself is NEVER the way to lose unwanted pounds and can be very dangerous to your health.
With that in mind, how can you eat healthily and give your brain what it needs while studying for that big test? Here are a couple of pointers that will keep you sharp and alert in the library:

Don’t live on pizza

Although it may seem like a great food for studying, pizza does not contain the right type of fat that you want to be eating while using your mental faculties. Here’s a great article on why you should be eating more foods with a proper amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in order to help your brain function properly while even improving memory!! And that’s good for testing! Also, here’s an article on foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. (Hint: walnuts and soybeans are good portable brain foods!)

Drink lots of water

When you become dehydrated you get disoriented and less alert. Duh, right? Well, if you’re in the library studying all day, you’ll have no way to distinguish between dehydration and just being tired or weary of working so hard. So make sure that you drink tons of water.

Set alarms for your meals

Losing track of time in the library is almost inevitable. So go ahead and set an alarm to go off every two hours. This way you’ll remember to eat those 5-7 meals to keep your metabolism going strong.

Bring a portable cooler

Nowadays you can buy a small, portable cooler at Target or Walmart for $15. Get one and throw your meals in there. Frozen vegetables, walnuts, beef jerky, soybeans, salmon salad… all have protein, all have great brain power packed inside! You’ll be studying more effectively in no time!

Start your cheat day the second the test is over

This is a great way to motivate yourself to study hard and eat right at the library. If you do your job and get it done, you can leave the classroom and go eat… well, that’s up to you!
Note: Although 5-7 meals a day does work in getting lean, I have recently stumbled across an easier approach that requires eating less often. Click the link below for a recent post I did on a new approach called Intermittent Fasting.
photo provided by flickr user Treehugger





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