September: The New January for College Students - Establishing 5 Healthy Habits for Success

September: The New January for College Students - Establishing 5 Healthy Habits for Success

In the ever-evolving landscape of goal setting, it seems that January's New Year's resolutions may no longer reign supreme. Instead, a new trend is emerging, where September takes the spotlight as the "new January." In this blog post, we will explore why September is becoming the ideal time to kick-start positive changes and establish good habits, especially for college students. Say goodbye to those January resolutions, and embrace the fall season as a time for growth and self-improvement.

Why September is the Ideal Time for Change:

While January has traditionally been synonymous with setting new goals and resolutions, there is a growing movement to embrace September or Fall as the "new January." This shift in mindset makes complete sense. The end of summer provides a unique opportunity to reset routines, get organized, refocus, and establish good habits. Moreover, by the time the holiday season and January roll around again, you'll have four months of positive habits in place, allowing you to enjoy the festivities guilt-free.

A November 2022 survey conducted by Forbes Health of 1,005 U.S. adults found that the two most common New Year's resolutions were to eat better and exercise more—goals that naturally align with September priorities. So, let's delve into how students, in particular, can take advantage of this September reset to improve their mental and physical well-being.

The Student Dilemma: Returning to Unhealthy Habits

As the school year resumes, students across the country are returning to campus. After a summer filled with late nights, indulgences, and flexible schedules, the return to academic life is welcomed but also somewhat challenging. For many students, September marks a return to poor health and eating habits. Stress, time constraints, financial limitations, and newfound independence can all contribute to making less-than-healthy dietary choices, impacting mental and physical well-being, as well as academic performance. We've all heard of the infamous "Freshman 15.

However, Chef and Registered Dietitian Abbie Gellman, MS RD CDN, believes that achieving health and nutrition goals is not only possible but also simple, given the right knowledge and tools. In the following sections, we will explore the significant role that quality protein plays in optimizing school performance and Gellman's top tips for maintaining a healthy diet throughout the school year.

The Role of Quality Protein in Well-being

Quality protein is a cornerstone of a healthy diet and has many essential benefits for the mind and body. It supports lean muscle mass, strengthens immunity, regulates blood sugar, and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Protein also plays a role in fueling muscle and tissue repair, ensuring healthy cells by transporting essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Additionally, it contributes to storing iron, an essential mineral for growth, hormone production, and other vital functions.

The Consequences of Skipping Meals or Poor Eating Habits

Skipping meals or failing to meet dietary and nutritional goals can have detrimental effects on mental and physical performance. This includes brain fog, tiredness, mood swings, and reduced focus. Poor nutrition can also weaken the immune system, making students more susceptible to illness, especially in close living quarters.

Practical Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

Now that we understand the importance of quality protein and the consequences of poor eating habits, let's explore some practical tips for easily integrating healthy eating habits into your school routine:

  1. Start with a Protein-Packed Breakfast

Many students sabotage their health efforts by skipping breakfast or opting for low-nutrition options like sugary cereal or processed energy bars. Breakfast is crucial, as it replenishes energy levels and enhances alertness and focus. Gellman suggests incorporating protein into your breakfast to fuel both your body and mind. One surprising and nutritious option is Parad’Ice by Protelicious gourmet ice cream, with 9 grams of protein per serving and zero added sugar. Pair it with fresh fruit for a delightful morning meal. For those without freezer access, oatmeal or yogurt with a scoop of Protelicious Signature Gourmet Whey Protein Powder can provide fiber and high-quality protein.

  1. Distribute Protein Intake Throughout the Day

To maximize the benefits of protein, Gellman recommends spreading protein intake throughout the day, rather than backloading it all at once. This approach ensures sustained energy and efficient utilization of protein. The general guideline is to aim for around 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight each day, though individual requirements may vary based on factors like gender, weight, and activity level.

  1. Blend a Protein-Rich Smoothie

For busy mornings or hectic lunchtimes, Gellman suggests creating a high-protein smoothie by mixing a scoop of Protelicious Signature Gourmet Whey Protein Powder with a liquid of your choice, along with additional ingredients like fruit, nut butter, or greens. This convenient and nutritious option provides lasting energy.

  1. Swap Sugary Coffee for Protein

If you're a coffee enthusiast, consider enhancing your morning brew with a scoop of Protelicious Signature Gourmet Whey Protein Powder in True Chocolate. This alternative not only improves the coffee's flavor but also provides sustained energy without the mid-class sugar crash.

  1. Snack Smart with Protein

Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks during late-night study sessions or post-class fatigue, Gellman recommends refueling with a serving of Parad’Ice by Protelicious ice cream. With 9 grams of high-quality protein and no added sugars, it's a guilt-free indulgence that helps maintain focus.

Building Healthy Habits

In conclusion, there's no need to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of establishing healthy habits. Start with small steps, such as prioritizing a protein-rich breakfast and reducing sugary snacks and drinks. By gradually building these good habits, they will seamlessly become part of your daily routine.

Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN, is a chef and Registered Dietitian with a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University. She serves as a trusted Expert Advisor at Protelicious.

Remember, September is the new January, and it's the perfect time to prioritize your health and well-being. By following these tips and embracing the power of quality protein, you can set yourself up for a successful and healthy school year.