Personally, winter is my favorite time of the year. Holiday decorations line the snow-covered streets, warm hot cocoa to warm you up on a chilly winter day, a warm fire and Elf playing on the TV. However, there is always one draw-back in the wonderful world of winter. I like to call it the “Winter Slump.” It’s that period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s where the food is plentiful and the gym slowly gets covered in dust. So to help get RIT students out of the “Winter Slump,” here are some tips to stay happy and healthy during winter quarter.
Maintaining a good, balanced diet is the most important thing to remember.
- Vary Your Meals
- Instead of reaching for the usual grilled cheese or slice of pepperoni pizza, change things up and get a salad or a sandwich.
- Eat Three Meals a Day, No Matter What
- Skipping just one meal a day can throw you off. Make sure to start out the day with a healthy breakfast, try to incorporate fruit and protein in. Make sure not to eat dinner too late. Eating right before you go to bed can actually cause you to gain weight while you sleep.
- Stock Up on Healthy Foods
- When you’re looking for new food, look at fruits, veggies, proteins and grains. If you really have trouble, think of this, for every five healthy food items you buy, grab one small indulgent snack. Try to pick out something that is still relatively healthy like Cheez-Its or pretzels. Take only a ¼ cup, or small handful, of the indulgent snack no more than once a day.
- Drink a Lot of Water, and Less Alcohol
- Don’t deprive yourself of water. That only leads to dehydration, which especially in winter is not fun. Try to avoid surgary or carbonated drinks like soda and coffee. Cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink will also make a huge difference.
- Cut Back on Sugar
- This is one of the hardest things to do during this time. There’s pies, cookies and cakes everywhere you go. So instead of going sugar crazy in baking goodness, try to go for the sugar-free or low-sugar snacks. Just make sure to check the nutritional facts to see if there is any other kinds of sugar added. If there is an ingredient that ends in –ose, it’s likely that there is sugar in the product.
Having a regular exercise regimen is also very important to avoid that “Winter Slump.” Grab a friend and make an exercise goal together. It can be anything from taking a kickboxing fitness class together, to working out at the gym at least 3 times a week. If you work together, you will be more likely to stick to your plans.
At RIT, every restaurant or coffee shop on campus is required to make their nutritional data available to all students. If you want to look up the nutritional facts for your favorite meals, you can go to http://finweb.rit.edu/betterme/nutrition.html
They provide the nutritional data for all on-campus eateries and even more helpful hints to stay healthy on campus.
Here are a few healthy choices at some of the eateries on campus:
- Beanz: Try a Freshens Low-Cal No Sugar Added Strawberry Oasis Smoothie (70 Cal). All of the Low-Cal No Sugar Added Smoothies have 80 Calories or less.
- Ben & Jerry’s: Try a single scoop of No Sugar Added Vanilla Fudge Chip Ice Cream (180 Cal), or go for some Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt (170 Cal or less) or Sorbet (100 cal).
- Nathan’s: Try their Cream of Broccoli with Cheese soup. 1 Cup is only 65.7 Calories.
- Salsarita’s: Try a crispy taco with grilled steak, a teaspoon of salsa, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce. All for about 120 Calories.
If you can, try to make more of your meals at home too. That way you know exactly what is in your food, and you can choose healthier items to eat.