EAT RIGHT TO HEAT RIGHT
Staying dry and wearing the right kinds of clothing are very important for keeping warm. But just as important, if not more so, is eating enough of the right combinations of food.
The food you eat is just like the gasoline you put into your car: The car can have all kinds of great features, but if it doesn’t have any fuel—or the right kind of fuel—it won’t do anything for you.
In cold weather, make sure you—
• Keep yourself well hydrated. Without enough water, your body cannot digest and metabolize the food you eat, so keep your water levels up. An easy way to tell if you are starting to get dehydrated is if your urine starts to get a yellowish or straw color to it. The darker yellow it gets, the more dehydrated you are becoming.
• Eat a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Your body needs all three to operate efficiently and effectively. Make sure you eat a good mix of them throughout the day—not just at breakfast, lunch and dinner. A good mix is 50 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein and 30 percent fats.
• Cold weather reduces your hunger and your thirst, so drink and eat throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty or hungry.
• “Dirty” soups such as beef vegetable are the perfect cold-weather food. They help keep you hydrated; they provide warmth to your core without your body having to burn calories to heat the food up to your body temperature; and they have a good mix of fast energy-releasing carbohydrates, slow-releasing proteins and slower-releasing fats. (Plus, it tastes great!)