Health Advocate Blog

Ways to eat healthy this winter

Eating well can be challenging at any time of the year, but can become more difficult in the cooler months due to comfort food and treats, holiday meals, family gatherings, and sporting events. This winter, as you plan and prepare your meals, keep these healthy eating tips in mind.

Plan ahead. When healthy eating is your goal, having a well-thought-out plan can help you follow through. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Be a sneaky chef by incorporating hidden fruits and veggies into recipes for added nutritional benefit. Click here for ideas.

Cook smart. Cooking methods can greatly influence the healthfulness of foods. Opt to grill or bake and avoid frying foods, when possible.

Flavor wisely. When preparing your foods, consider alternate ways of flavoring rather than overloading on things like salt, sugar and butter. For tips and inspiration, check out our posts about flavoring food the healthy way and healthy baking substitutions.

Enjoy a nutritious breakfast in the morning. Start the day with a healthy and filling breakfast to help prevent grazing or snacking while you’re cooking and save you from overeating at the big meal.

Savor your meals. Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Take small bites, chew slowly, and don’t eat too fast!  Not only can eating too quickly make you overeat, your stomach might not feel great afterward!

Beware of liquid calories. Beverages like soda and alcohol can be high in calories. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages (and are of age!), or a sugary soda, drink them only in moderation. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated–and remember, water won’t pack on the pounds!

Eat treats in moderation. Eating sugar and fat often makes us crave even more sugar and fat. Only put one serving, or a few bites of, a treat on your plate. Ask yourself whether that treat is worth it before you take another bite.

Avoid slathering your food with creamy, heavy gravies or dressings. These toppings can pack quite a calorie punch!

Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day. That way, you won’t be starving when you arrive at a gathering, and you can afford to indulge in a treat since you’ve eaten healthily the rest of the day.

Scope out your food options before loading up your plate. Choose a few favorite foods, skip foods you don’t have to have, and load up on fruits and veggies–they’re naturally fat-free.

Bring your own healthy dish to gatherings so that you know there’s a good-for-you food there to eat.

If you’re going to a function and don’t know what’s being served, stash some healthy snacks in your car or handbag–cut-up carrots, a piece of fruit, some nuts, a granola bar, etc. If you don’t like what food is being served there, or you feel it’s too unhealthy, at least you’ll have a few healthy things to munch on.