With long hours and inconsistent schedules, it’s no wonder med students have poor eating habits and constantly skip meals. Without proper diet, health and wellness decline dramatically. If you’re looking for ways to eat better, we have 10 diet tips for busy medical students that are true recipes for success.
10 Healthy Diet Tips for Busy Medical Students
We’ve compiled these 10 health and wellness diet tips for busy medical students to help you on your journey of becoming a doctor. Follow them closely to keep yourself fit now and throughout your future medical career.
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
It’s pretty common for med students to skip breakfast due to inconsistent schedules. But you need to understand that future doctors provide more effective patient care when they’ve had a good breakfast.
Students that eat breakfast first thing in the morning think better. They handle case studies and clinical rotations with greater ease. These smart future physicians also better tackle those hard US medical exams such as the USMLEs.
Plan your breakfast ahead of time the night before to ensure you eat healthy in the morning. If you don’t have the time to prepare it, buy breakfast on-the-go instead. However, you should still plan ahead to be sure you don’t end up in an unhealthy drive-thru.
2. Eat Healthy Snacks
As a med student, you probably keep a surplus of unhealthy ‘white coat snacks’ in your pockets. Instead, hoard up on healthy snack choices, such as:
- Dried fruits
- Granola bars
- Assorted nuts
3. Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Another factor that’s responsible for the decline of health and wellness for medical students are nutritional deficiencies. You need the right type of fuel to burn the midnight oil if you attempt to pull a late nighter during clinical rotations.
Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet each day can help curb the urge for fast food and unhealthy treats. Even if you don’t care for fruits and veggies, these foods will help you feel more alert and focused.
You can also turn to dried fruits for more convenience. If you want something sweet, try a nice, hearty salad with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, bananas, watermelon, mangos, peaches, nectarines, pears, oranges and/or tangerines. That makes for a very healthy snack!
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water. This is a very important tip for any busy med student. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it helps keep you focused and improves your concentration.
This is very crucial during test taking, internships and clinical rotation time. You want to be alert and feel healthy during rotations and class time.
Not a water person? At least drink a couple of glasses per day. Then, substitute plain water with Gatorade or flavored water. Just make sure it contains little or no sugar to avoid crashing during the middle of the day.
5. Don’t Frequent Junk Food
For many students on-the-go, junk food may seem like the fastest and easiest option in-between classes and rotations. But it’s far from the healthiest. It’s okay to eat junk now and then. But only if you throw in some fruits, veggies, nuts and/or granola with it.
However, it’s best to avoid junk foods whenever possible for your health and wellness as a med student. In the long run, bad eating can lead to major problems that negatively affect your focus and physical health. This can have a negative impact on your future career as a doctor.