5 Nutrition Hacks for Acing Your Finals

Thea Boatswain, ’18, University Health Center Nutrition Peer Educator

5 Nutrition Hacks for Finals Week

Finals is that stressful time during the semester where nothing else matters but studying and getting the grade. Unfortunately, that also means our diets may suffer.

Here are 5 nutrition hacks to eating healthy during finals week.

  1. Eat breakfast – I know, you hear this all the time. But breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  Eating a well balanced breakfast can help you focus more and give you energy as well as vital nutrients to get through your day!
  2. Find ways to study without food – Although tempting, try not to study while eating. Mindless snacking is the easiest way to over eat.  Have you ever gone through an entire bag of chips and not even realized it? Instead try one of these:
    • Eat before studying
    • Take a planned study break to eat
    • Listen to music instead
    • Go to the library to be away from your dorm or kitchen
  3. Make snacks purposeful snacks – You’ll still need to continue to fuel your body so having snacks available to keep you from making impulsive food choices is important. Here in the nutrition coaching office we call them purposeful snacks. This means that you can pair a carbohydrate source (like grains or fruits) with a protein source (such as nuts, soy, meat, or dairy) when eating those snacks. This will help you be satisfied longer and provide you with beneficial nutrients to fuel your day. Examples include:
    • Whole grain crackers and cheese
    • Banana and peanut butter
    • Granola and yogurt
    • Whole grain pita chips and turkey slices
  4. Make peace with your food – Don’t beat yourself up because you have an order of French fries late night one day. “Fun foods” wont derail all the the wonderful progress you’ve made with your healthy eating plan. These fun foods can still be enjoyed but in moderation. The fries were good, weren’t they? Then why feel bad about eating it? Instead, you can tell yourself that although you had a great time eating them, then maybe this time you can try to have something less greasy and more nutritious. Its all about balance.  Now, can you think of something you like to eat that’s not greasy as a fries or chips?  Mine is a quick turkey sandwich with fruit! Yum!
  5. Water is key – Keeping well hydrated is extremely important to keep focused. Water helps you with basic body functions such as alertness. One sign of dehydration is drowsiness and memory fog. See why drinking enough water is so important?  For example: a 120 pound person should be drinking at least 60 ounces (7.5 cups) of water. Buy or bring a water bottle with you and fill it up often.


Sign up for nutrition coaching.  Make an appointment with a Nutrition Coach  here in the Health Center. We are here to help you make and work toward your nutrition goals. You can make an appointment by calling 301-314-5664 or emailing nutritioncoach@umd.edu.


This entry was posted in Nutrition, Physical Wellness, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 5 Nutrition Hacks for Acing Your Finals

  1. Rebecca Heming says:

    Love this! Hummus and whole grain crackers make a great study snack. It’s so nice to take a break from studying and enjoy a mindful snack.

  2. Rebecca Heming says:

    Love this! One of my favorite snacks is hummus + whole grain crackers. It’s great to be able to take a break from studying and enjoy mindful eating!

  3. Avital says:

    Great tips Thea! Staying hydrated and studying away from your room definitely help a lot!

  4. Thanks Thea for timely reminders on how to fuel our brains for finals! I love the purposeful snack idea and it looks like all your suggestions can be found on campus! Best of luck to everyone on their final exams!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s