Lifestyle Hacks for a Happier, Healthier You
Become happier and healthier with just a little bit of effort? We’re in.
Lifestyle hacks are small, easy things we can do that have the potential to add up to big changes. Whether you’ve got a pretty good routine going or you’re looking to jumpstart some major changes, making these small adjustments to your lifestyle can result in major boosts to your physical and mental wellbeing.
1. Eat plenty of good mood food
Our favorite foods make us feel good, and there’s a real scientific reason why certain foods stimulate those happy chemicals in our brains! Here’s how to add more of them to your routine.
Eat more chocolate
Yep, you read that right. More chocolate can be good not just for your spirit, but for your whole body— in the right context.
“When we talk about the nutritional benefits of chocolate, we’re not talking about the milk chocolate candy bar you pick up at the convenience store,” says Carissa Galloway, RDN, Premier Protein Nutrition Consultant and Personal Trainer. “We’re talking about the flavonoids in dark chocolate. These flavonoids can help lower blood pressure, decreases inflammation and a small portion can curb a sweet tooth.”
Do you have a favorite recipe using our Chocolate Protein Powder? Be sure to tag us @PremierProtein when you share it!
Eat healthy fats
University of Maryland Medical Center researchers suggest Omega-3 fatty acids can help lift mood, alleviate mild depression and improve memory. Keep an eye out for walnuts, avocado and chia seeds. They are all good sources of Omega-3’s.
Sip on green tea
Sip your stress away with some green tea. “Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress. L-theanine increases the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with improved mood and well-being,” Galloway explains.
A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that participants who consumed green tea high in L-theanine showed a decrease in stress compared to the placebo group.
Get your whole grains
We all crave carbs, right? Our neurotransmitters might be trying to tell us something!
“Carbohydrates tend to top the list of comfort foods for a lot of people and there’s science behind the reason why,” says Galloway. “One theory surrounding why you crave carbohydrates is low serotonin levels. Carbs are thought to boost the production of these mood-regulating chemicals.”
Satisfy those cravings with healthy whole grains, like those found in our Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats.
2. Get outside for 10 minutes daily
Go for a 10-minute jog a few times this week and see how you feel. Take breaks between chapters of your beach read for some jumping jacks. Walk to get coffee or ice cream instead of driving.
Before long, we think you’ll notice you feel great and you’ve increased your overall activity level without much effort.
3. Start your day with a high-protein breakfast
Pumping up your protein intake in your first meal of the day can be a small but powerful change to help you feel satisfied as you start your day. According to Galloway, eating a breakfast that’s high in protein offers many health benefits, including:
- Increased satiety: “Protein is known to be more filling than carbohydrates or fats. Having a high-protein breakfast can help curb hunger and reduce cravings throughout the day,” says Galloway.
- Improved appetite control: “Protein has been shown to regulate appetite hormones such as ghrelin and peptide YY, which can help control hunger and promote feelings of fullness.”
- Enhance muscle maintenance and growth: “Adequate protein intake is crucial for the maintenance and repair of muscles. Consuming a high-protein breakfast can provide the necessary amino acids for muscle protein synthesis, particularly important for those of us who exercise regularly!”
- Blood sugar regulation: “Protein has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels compared to carbohydrates. Including protein in your breakfast can help stabilize blood sugar levels, providing a more sustained release of energy and reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes.”
Browse Premier’s breakfast recipes to find new ways to add more protein to the beginning of your day.
4. Be prepared when you travel
Whether it's for work, pleasure, or somewhere in between, travel can be stressful. But we’ve got an easy way to avoid feeling caught off guard.
“When you travel, don’t forget to pack ready-to-drink protein shakes,” Galloway says. “They are perfect for keeping those hangry vibes at bay and are a better-for-you alternative to gas station candy bars or airport snacks!”
What are your favorite life hacks for a healthier, happier you? Share them with us @PremierProtein.