Fight Off the Winter Bloat and Blues

Fight Off the Winter Bloat and Blues

Winter stories feature gathering for celebrations, overeating, and hibernating, often leaving behind muffin tops and snail speed energy. To fight off the winter bloat and blues, Hurley Wellness Services shared insight to help you stay your healthiest in the cold winter months.

Make Low-Calorie Versions of Favorite Treats.

Staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean sacrificing the taste of your favorite treats! Try making lower-calorie versions by swapping out high-calorie ingredients for a lower calorie option. Try using unsweetened almond milk or other dairy substitutes in lattes or hot chocolate to cut a few calories out of full-fat drinks. You can still order the gingerbread latte, just ask for fewer pumps of syrup – you still get the taste of the drink without as much sugar. 

Get Moving – Even When it Snows! 

 Just because it snows doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise! If the gym isn’t your forte, try doing some at-home fitness routines. There are thousands on the internet for you to choose from – search “at-home exercises,” and pick one that looks promising. If you want to get out of your house to exercise but don’t want to go to a gym or exercise outdoors, hit up your local shopping mall! The mall offers a large indoor space that is perfect for walking. Go before the stores officially open to get some steps in to beat the crowds – or go when it’s busy for the added challenge of bobbing in and out of holiday shoppers. There’s no obligation to buy anything, and you can spend as much time as you want walking around. 

Choose Smart During Parties.

Holidays are meant for getting together with friends and family to celebrate in joyous occasions. These get-togethers often center around food, which can mean being around high-calorie, high-fat foods. There’s nothing wrong with indulging once in a while, but eating less healthy food all the time can lead to excess weight gain. To help you get through the party without overeating, make sure to eat consistently throughout the day instead of skipping meals to “save up” your calories for the party. Katie Hacker, a registered dietitian from Hurley Medical Center, explains the science behind why skipping meals before a party is not a smart idea.

“Skipping meals actually increases your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases your fullness hormone (leptin), leading you to overeat. Instead, keep your meal schedule as normal as possible.”

At the party, portion control is key. Create a balanced dinner plate with smaller portions of heavier foods. Have some potatoes and stuffing, but don’t make them your whole plate. Choose a variety of fruits and veggies, proteins, carbs, and fats for your plate to nourish your body during holiday parties. 

Check Out Community Wellness Resources.

There are plenty of programs in the community that aim to help individuals and families stay healthy this winter season. The University of Michigan is offering a weekly mail service for individuals who are interested in managing alcohol consumption, as well as staying healthy over the holidays. Check out local ice rinks for skating events, which is a fun way to get some exercise in the cold weather. Many gyms in the area will also have reduced fees or deals around the holiday season.  

Prevent Overeating.

Nobody likes the sluggish feeling of overeating. To prevent that uncomfortable bloat experience, practice mindful eating. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and don’t be afraid to say “no thank you” when you’re full. Even if Grammy made her special Christmas pecan pie, it’s okay to decline if you’ve had enough to eat. Save it for later, when you’re hungrier and can truly enjoy it. 

From Kudos Magazine 5.4 2020