They Call It “Junk Food” For A Reason
Many people assume that their mind and body are separate entities. They act as though they can sleep 4 hours a night, eat junk food, and shower once a week while still being productive. Imagine trying to study in that state compared to after a good night’s sleep, just coming out of the shower, and having eaten and clean meal. It still might be possible to study in the first state, however, it will be much more difficult, you’ll likely not be able to study for as long and your focus will likely take a hit. That’s why nutrition, though it might seem irrelevant, is actually quite an important factor for studying.
Ok, so we get it, eating healthy is important for studying but how do I do it consistently? My number one piece of advice is to not keep unhealthy food at home. The struggle should be at the supermarket, not every night deciding whether or not to grab that bag of chips. Preplan what you’re going to buy, look up some online recipes and plan meals, and make sure you’re still buying food you enjoy. Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, it can actually taste quite good. Pre-cooking meals is also a hugely useful practice for eating healthy. When you have a pre-prepared, healthy meal in the fridge ready to go, you’ll almost always reach for it rather than ordering out. The friction is just too low to pass upon it.
Now that you’re buying healthier foods, what should you actually be eating? Nutrition is a vast field and there are literal books and PhDs written about it but in general go for whole, nutritionally dense (minimally processed, containing one ingredient) foods, and plenty of vegetables. Try not to eat meals high in carbs before a planned study session and try not to eat too much. You should especially try to avoid highly processed foods full of sugar. This is a surefire way of feeling bloated and lethargic and losing your motivation to study. My diet mainly consists of salmon and lean meat such as chicken, with plenty of root vegetables, however, don’t just copy what I eat, as each person has different requirements.
When you’re starting off it’s easy to have this ideal example of a diet and get disappointed when you can’t reach it. The most important thing is consistent change over time. If you can start by reducing the amount of sugar in your coffee, reducing your consumption of snacks, and eating more vegetables, over time you’ll be able to come much farther than trying to be perfect from the start. You shouldn’t expect yourself to have a perfect diet from the get-go, it takes time and diligence and with time you’ll get better at it. You want to focus on changing your identity to someone who eats healthy, rather than someone on a diet. That way you’ll be more likely to make the right decisions in the future and you won’t fall as hard when you inevitably slip up.