5 Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to Try in College

Let’s face it; we’ve all engaged in unhealthy habits in college. Over winter break, I decided that I wanted to begin a healthy lifestyle, and I knew that I had to reevaluate what I was eating in college. Realistically, having a strict diet in college is not feasible considering how much you go out with eat with friends and the little time you have to cook at home. Also, living on a diet just in general is not going to make you happy; instead, I’ve been eating everything in moderation with integrating exercise as well. I’ve compiled a list of healthy lifestyle hacks that I have found to be useful since returning to school. I’d like to emphasize that I’m not a nutritionist nor a doctor and every person’s body is different. I’m just sharing these tips because they have worked for me and maybe can work for you.

1. Cut down on the lattes

Nothing makes me happier than ordering a vanilla latte at Starbucks. Last semester, I fell into a routine of laziness; I would decide not to make coffee at home since I could easily use my points at Liz’s. Well, those lattes add up in points… and calories. Get in the habit of making coffee at home and maybe just adding a little bit of almond milk. Not only is it cheaper to make your own coffee, but you have control over what you put in it. Of course, I still encourage you to grab a cup of coffee with friends here and there; I just advise you to not make it a daily occurance. Also, play around with your drink order because there are plenty of simple coffee options. Right now, my order is a latte with almond milk and no foam. No more vanilla flavoring. My goal is to eventually be capable of drinking coffee black; wish me luck with that.

black and white starbucks GIF

2. What you eat for breakfast matters

I love bagels. LOVE. Unfortunately, eating them everyday is just terrible for you. Last semester, I found myself not enjoying any of my breakfast options at home, so I would walk over to Liz’s place to use a meal swipe to get a bagel. Well, I need to eliminate this habit. Find a healthy breakfast option that you enjoy. I personally love oatmeal, and it takes 2 minutes to make in the morning. I throw my instant gluten free oatmeal in a bowl with a little bit of almond milk and microwave it for 2 minutes. I then add some blueberries and some almond shavings. So delicious. I also love chobani greek yogurt as well. I find that I look forward to my breakfast now, and I don’t have the bagel craving anymore. Of course, a bagel will always be a treat for me, but I really needed to cut out the daily habit of them.

hungry parks and recreation GIF

3. Making dinner at home doesn’t have to be complicated

Last semester, I found myself in the predicament of what to eat at home. I wouldn’t plan ahead at all and end up grabbing something quick that wasn’t healthy. Although I watched a lot of youtube videos about meal prepping over break, I just knew I would not be consistent about it. A tip I have is to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and then cut it up. I then use the pieces of the chicken throughout the week to add to quinoa, brown rice or salad. Trader Joe's, as well as other places, have lots of instant quinoa and brown rice mixtures that can be microwaved in two minutes. These types of meals are so quick to make, healthy, and require little effort.

fox tv help GIF by 9-1-1 on FOX

4. Take your vitamins

I implemented taking vitamins into my lifestyle last semester, and I’ve really seen a difference. With anything, you have to be consistent for a while to see results. For example, I’ve been taking vitamin C for four months straight, and I’ve seen a huge difference in my immune system. Sorting vitamins, though, can be a hassle for time. To keep track of all my migraine supplements, I bought a set of vitamin containers labeled by the days of the week and times of day. You can find a set on Amazon or at the Container Store. I sit down for 10 minutes Sunday evening and fill the containers; this way i’m set for the week and only have to grab my vitamin container for that day as I head out the door. Of course, don’t take just any vitamins; only ones recommended to you by your doctor.

jimmy fallon christmas GIF

5. Implement physical activity into your daily life

As students, we tend to sit a lot with our books. You don’t have to workout daily, but it’s important to make time for exercise. Don’t look at physical activity as something to do to alter your appearance, but rather as something that will help you build up your endurance and help clear your head. Something I liked doing over break is I found a few podcasts and an audio book I enjoyed, but I only allowed myself to listen to them while on the elliptical. This gave me the incentive to return to the gym. You can also do this with a TV show. Not to mention, there are great workout classes in the city if you can afford it or Barnard Fitbear as well. Orange Theory just opened on West 72nd Street, and I highly recommend it! Also, the little things go along way. Maybe instead of taking the elevator in Milbank, walk up the flights of stairs. When the weather gets better, maybe walk around more. Just try not to sit all day in the library; that’s not beneficial for your physical or mental health.

music video vintage GIF

Let us know your healthy lifestyle tip for this semester!