First, turn up your own body furnace. This is done with calories, lots of fat and juicy calories. Calories provide the fuel your body needs to maintain its heating system.

Between the activity level of skiing and the body’s need for heating energy in cold weather, skiers bum up calories at an astonishing rate. To try to maintain comfort on the slopes by following a low-activity, low-calo - rie, hold-down-the-fat-and-avoid-the-sugar diet is precisely wrong. Add calories - especially fats, the most concentrated form of food energy. Lqng after your body has digested the sugars and carbohydrates for quick energy, the fat will still be providing fuel for all-day warmth. Fat has almost twice the calories per gram of any other nutrient, and calories are heat. At least one-third of the calories in a cold-weather diet should come from fat.

Skiers aware of the need for fats for body warmth often carry small sticks of sausage to chew on during the ride up on especially cold days, thus maintaining the body’s fuel level. Nibbling sausages is also popular among winter mountaineers who backpack on snowshoes, climb icy cliffs, or pitch their tents protected by a snowbank. Chewing chunks of blubber between meals is a winter-survival technique the Inuit have practiced for centuries.

Vegetarians reluctant to turn to fat-rich proteins still can slather on butter, eat cheese, and drink whole milk to put fat in their diets. And all of us can gulp down those rich, tasty, sumptuous desserts we only fantasize about at home. We’ll burn up every calorie the next day.

Protein is the fuel for tissue growth and critical for all body processes. The body doesn’t bum protein for energy until all fat reserves are used up. Proteins should make up from 10 to 20 percent of daily calories.

Even on the coldest days, the body sweats. At high altitudes, dry air removes body moisture via respiration. Water is a temperature regulator, so the lost fluid must be replaced - if for no other reason than to increase your comfort. In addition to normal fluid consumption, drink extra water daily.

All caffeinated fluids, including coffee, tea, and Coke, as well as those containing alcohol, are diuretics, speeding the loss of body fluid. While
aromatic herbal teas don’t contain caffeine, be certain you’re not allergic to the herb in the tea you drink.

Advocates of leave-out-the-salt diets must also be aware that, since salt helps the body retain fluids, it’s important to return to normal salt use on those icy winter days - unless, of course, minimizing salt has been recommended by your doctor for genuine medical reasons.

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