Those who want to succeed in their studies often make a basic but critical error: they zero in on academics at the cost of their health. Unfortunately, that same carelessness about holistic well-being can also undermine your academic efforts.
Take the common student habit of consuming junk foods to minimise cooking time. Not only does research show this habit is connected to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, but it also reveals that it’s associated with a higher rate of global and executive function decline. It’s also linked with obesity, which has its own share of cognitive consequences. That means if you want to succeed academically, managing your weight is one strategy you can try. The following is an overview of how you can start.
Boost your nutrition
The food you fuel your body with plays a prominent role in your weight loss initiatives. For instance, vegetables like broccoli and cabbage can help you naturally feel full faster due to their high-fibre but low-calorie content—so you’ll eat less during meals. Your diet can also boost your academic productivity. The same balanced diet of nutritious foods that can help with weight loss—including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—also gives your body and mind the energy to complete tasks, concentrate on learning, and create more and better output. Try incorporating these foods into your diet. For example, you can turn to healthier snacking alternatives like bananas or hummus and crackers during your study sessions. However, tread carefully if you’re diagnosed with conditions like diabetes or coeliac disease. In these cases, you’ll want to ask a dietitian what’s best to eat for healthy weight loss.
Simply getting more movement in your day, like by taking the stairs or walking to places instead of driving, can boost your efforts to perform better academically. It also provides some beneficial physiological changes, like the growth of new cells and blood vessels in your brain. However, you need to exercise consistently over the long term to get the best results. If you’re having difficulty juggling classes, exams, and everything in between, try starting slowly and working your way up. Set some fitness goals, like working your way up to two-hour long jogs over the course of a few months. If you feel like working out is a chore, try finding a physical activity you enjoy doing. For example, you can join a local sports club run by fellow students. That way, you’ll actually look forward to exercising more.
Find your community
No weight loss journey is linear. There will be ups and downs, and the latter may actually discourage you from managing your weight altogether. Keep yourself motivated by building a support system you can rely on. Talk to family and friends about your goals. Get a workout buddy so you can encourage each other. If you want to meet with those with exactly the same goals as you, though, consider joining a community that can support you. You can find one easily by using search phrases like “weight loss workshops near me,” and if you’re too busy, you can look for a virtual workshop that works with your wellness goals and fits your study schedule. That way, you’ll have access to supportive community members and expert coaches who’ll inspire you, share their insights, and keep you accountable on your journey towards weight loss and improved academic performance.
Get better sleep
Having sufficient sleep is vital in losing weight. Getting less than 7 hours of shuteye a night can increase your ghrelin, the hormone that controls your hunger. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. Additionally, a lack of sleep can make you feel fatigued and decrease your focus when studying. In other words, all-nighters won’t do you any favours—when you feel tired, it’s best to pack it up and get some well-deserved rest.
Managing your weight can be critical for gaining academic success. Follow the above tips to take better care of your health and excel in your studies.