A student's guide: cooking on campus

Slimming as a student is simple… even with a demanding study schedule and hectic social life! All it takes is a few Food Optimising swaps to create healthy campus cuisine.

cooking in student digs

With Food Optimising dishes ranging from simple stir-fries to more complex cuisine, the world is your oyster when it comes to cooking your own food. Whether you’re on a tight budget (or in a tight space!) there are plenty of dishes to suit your cooking style. If you haven’t already checked it out, our recipe archive is a great place to start. Even if you’re short of time, packet noodles or pasta ‘n’ sauce take minutes to make!

Most traditional dishes can be adapted to make them Food Optimising-friendly so if you share the cooking in your accommodation it’s easy for everyone to have the same meal. (we guarantee you won’t be able to stop them tucking into your home-made curries, chips and lasagne).

Letting your housemates know a bit about Food Optimising will help them understand what sort of meals you can all enjoy. Advising them of any small swaps that can be made in the cooking process, such as using Frylight instead of oil, will not only give you a healthy diet, but everyone else too!

healthier takeaway choices

Let’s face it, takeaways are part and parcel of student life and it would be pretty hard to avoid the local Chinese takeaway for the whole of your university days. Luckily, Food Optimising means you don’t have to!

  • Chinese is a good choice, with plenty of rice and noodle dishes that are low in Syns. Top Chinese choices include chow mein, mixed vegetables, chop suey and other dishes that aren’t covered in batter. You can also save Syns by swapping egg-fried rice with Free boiled rice.
  • For a midnight munch, a night out is often rounded off at the kebab shop, where the choice typically ranges from cheese burgers to cheesy chips! To avoid high-Syn doner dangers, a healthier option is to go for chicken, rather than lamb kebab meat. Accompanied with piles of salad, rather than pitta bread, and swapping garlic mayo for chilli sauce lowers the Syns.
  • Pub Food is probably the safest option when it comes to eating out, as there are many Free Food choices on the menu. Steaks, gammon, salmon, vegetable chilli, jacket potatoes and salads all make healthier choices.

campus canteen

Whether your canteen grub is Michelin-star standard or school lunch fare, there’s always a Food Optimising option.

Mashed, boiled, baked or fried, you're bound to find a potato choice and that's a good basis for your Food Optimising meal. Go for a huge baked potato and accompany it with loads of salad and baked beans, or work along the vegetable section, filling your plate. Have your spud with cold cuts of meat like ham or chicken along with a huge salad, or (if it’s available), steak or fish.

snacking between lectures

Boredom, force of habit or simply the need for a sugar fix can lead us to the vending machine between lectures. Although there may be some lower-Syn items lurking amongst the chocolate bars and crisps, the majority of the sugary and salty snacks will reduce our energy rather than replace it.

For an instant hunger-buster and energy-booster, fill up on fruit whenever you can – stock up on loads of easy-to-eat fruit such as apples, bananas and pears. If you’re mega-organised, fill a Tupperware container with chopped fruit so that you can snack on it all day. Fat-free yogurts, carrot sticks, Ryvita Minis, hard-boiled eggs and crab sticks also make great between lecture-snacks.

Find your nearest group

Lose weight without hunger! You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.

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What you get with group membership

  • A friendly, understanding Consultant – who’s been a member themselves
  • Image Therapy – the heart of a Slimming World group – giving you unique help, support and encouragement when you need it most
  • Loads of praise and celebrations for each weight loss milestone you achieve
  • Warmth, friendship, laughter, sharing ideas, recipes, inspirational stories and much, much more
  • Free access to dozens of online features and tools to support you between groups
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What you get with online-only membership

  • Weekly online support and motivating e-mails based on your personal progress
  • Access to motivational support tools, insightful features and special strategies to help you in the weeks ahead
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Featured success

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Kirstie bags top award

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