Explore ways to maintain a healthy eating habit for good health and wellbeing.
A balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Eating well affects our mood and helps us to feel mentally healthy. Learn about foods that boost your mood and energy.
Problems with eating and body image
Eating disorders are mental health conditions where the person who experiences them copes with feelings and situations through their control of food. People from any background, ethnicity, gender or age can have an eating disorder.
It is common for people to feel dissatisfied with their body size and shape. This can be reinforced by peer pressure and by the media, giving rise to the idea that conforming to an idealised body type will lead to increased happiness and admiration by others.
Eating or not eating can also be used as an attempt to deal with emotional distress and, while obsessive thoughts and behaviour connected with food may bring temporary relief, the underlying problems are not confronted and healthier ways of managing stress or conflict are not developed or are reduced.
If you have anorexia you may try to keep your weight as low as possible by not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both. This can make you very ill because you start to starve.
You may have a distorted image of your body, thinking you're fat even when you're underweight.
Men and women of any age can get anorexia, but it's most common in young women and typically starts in the mid-teens.
Visit the NHS for more information and help.
If you have bullima, you may well maintain a normal weight and body shape, but have bouts of out of control eating, usually in secret, which may then be followed by feelings of self-disgust and guilt, which may be compensated for by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or excessive exercise.
Your relationship with food may have become a problem if you notice any of the following:
- diet and food becoming a central preoccupation
- relying on eating or not eating as a way of dealing with stress or difficult feelings
- being perfectionist and highly self-critical about your appearance.
Acknowledging that you have a problem may be difficult, but it may help to talk things over with a counsellor and see if there are underlying problems, relationship worries or past events that disordered eating is in some way an attempt to deal with.
You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from the eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.
Visit the NHS for more information and help.
Buying food on a budget
Buying food on a budget can be great fun. It just requires a bit more planning than a trip to the supermarket. Markets are a great place to buy food more cheaply.
Find out where to shop and eat on campus and around Brighton & Hove.
Accessible food shopping
The Students’ Union’s Co-op store in Bramber House has introduced quiet hours between 11am and 1pm on Saturdays and 3pm and 5pm on Sundays.
This quieter time is designed to make the store accessible to customers who might struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping. The lights are also dimmed.
Cooking your own food
For recipes designed to suit the student lifestyle and budget, visit:
- The Student Food Project – hundreds of recipes that are designed to be easy to follow, quick to make and cost-effective
- Student Cooking – recipes for every occasion; cheap, healthy, vegetarian, vegan, for groups and posh nosh
- Brighton and Hove Food Partnership – for details on how to find and cook healthy food locally.
If you’re new, you can get help with your loan and budget.
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