Tips on Eating Healthfully in the Winter
by Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
Have you found a little extra padding around your middle lately? You are not alone!
Many people find that wintertime eating is tricky when it comes to maintaining weight. The holidays and their fattening menus have passed, New Year’s resolutions are almost forgotten, and we are back to our old habits.
Here are 9 tips that can help you reach the warmer days with your waistline intact and a healthy spring in your step:
- Drink more water. The dry winter air tends to dehydrate us, and what we mistake for hunger is often just thirst. Drinking a glass of water before you eat will hydrate you, help curb your appetite, and aid digestion.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to make sure half your plate is fruits and vegetables. Try to pass up anything with fat or sugar added, such as fruit compote or au gratin potatoes. Eat your vegetables and fruit before you eat your main course, so that you acquire the nutrients you need and do not overdo it with the more high calorie entree. (No, French fries and potato chips do not count as vegetables!)
- Opt for lean meats. If given a choice between a hot dog, cheeseburger, or a chicken breast, choose the chicken breast more often.
- Focus on whole grains. The fiber in a true whole grain product is better for your heart and digestion, and whole grain products contain more nutrients. Try to choose whole wheat or whole grain products instead of white bread.
- Avoid processed food. Try to avoid quick fix solutions, like cereal bars, protein bars, and other foods in prepackaged containers. Whole foods are better and have fewer additives.
- Eat just half. It’s okay to eat only half of the food on your plate, or simply use a smaller plate to control your portions. Do not let your conscience guilt you into retaining your membership in the Clean Plate Club.
- Sample the fattening choices. Yes, it is okay to “treat yourself” to more fattening items. Just limit it to a spoonful or two!
- Stay away from junk food. Keep away from the bags of chips, cookies, popcorn, and other temptations. This is a good time to “just say no.” If you need something to munch on, go for the carrots, almonds, apples, bananas, and other easily tote-able foods.
- Skip dessert more often. Save dessert for one day per week. You can curb your cravings and satisfy a sweet tooth by substituting fresh fruit for dessert after a meal.
Do you have helpful, healthful tips to share? Comment below!
If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at firstname.lastname@example.org.