College may be the first time you are officially on your own. You may experience freedom like nothing before, but this also comes with the responsibility of taking care of yourself. You might be blessed with a fast metabolism that allows you to keep a slim figure while consuming McDonald's everyday. However, that won't always be the case. This list of do’s and don’ts will guide you in the way of healthy eating while living in a dorm. 

Do: Cherish Your Breakfast

I cannot express enough how important breakfast is. You are going to burn off your entire breakfast during the day, so it is smart to fill up on a healthy meal. Stock up on items such as oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, and frozen breakfast burritos. Personally, I always have a couple avocados on hand. I toast a piece of sourdough bread and top it with mashed avocado. I promise, you will start your day off energized and ready to go.

Don’t: Eat When You’re Not Hungry

I am being a complete hypocrite as I sit here and write about eating when I'm not hungry. I could be extremely stuffed from dinner, but how can I watch a movie without eating my weight in popcorn? It is so important to learn the difference between being bored and being hungry. Usually, it’s our body just telling us that we're thirsty. Trade that bag of popcorn for a glass of water and you’ll be strangely satisfied.

Do: Take Advantage of Your Community Kitchen

As someone who loves to cook and has lived on campus for 2 years, I can tell you that a community kitchen is a benefit to living in a dorm. When you know what you’re putting in your food, it’s easier to keep yourself accountable. Trader Joe’s has plenty of options for quick and easy meals. Pick up pre-chopped vegetables, a bag of whole grain pasta, and some marinated chicken breasts for a delicious and healthy entrée.

Don’t: Eat Chick-Fil-A Everyday

I pass Chick-Fil-A every single day walking across campus and the temptation is real. However, loading your body with fried foods can lead to a very negative outcome. Teach yourself that these are treats, and by that, I mean eat them every once in a while. It’s unrealistic to think that you would only eat kale for your entire college career, but it is realistic to think of fast food as an occasional indulgence.

Do: Expand Your Horizons

This is a phrase my dad used all the time growing up, especially directed at my picky older sister. College is all about experiencing new things. Learn how to cook for yourself. Try new foods and enjoy yourself in the process. Don't be afraid to expand your horizons.

Healthy eating is one thing but doing it while living in a dorm is another. You’re balancing your first couple of semesters at college, living 5 feet away from someone, and doing all of this without your mom right by your side. If you can manage to sneak in a couple more vegetables under these conditions, you’re going to be golden.