School is back in session and the work calendar is jam-packed. In the wake of summer, the fall season is second to New Year’s for diet changes. The cooler weather and kick off to the holidays can easily lead to a dip in will power and a spike in calories. Here are five things you can do to avoid packing on the winter weight.
1. Nothing Drastic
That’s right: do nothing. Sometimes the best plan is to not have one. Making dramatic changes to your diet and exercise routine typically sets you up for failure. Crazy fad diets, cutting out groups food and committing to 100% more exercise maybe spark initial motivation but often leaves you bitter, disappointed and hungry! For long-term success, set small, attainable goals like cutting back on sugar or trying that new exercise class.
Before grabbing another snack or pouring that second glass of wine, check in and ask yourself a few questions. Am I really hungry? How much did I just eat? Taking an extra moment to assess your behavior can really help cut down on bad dietary habits.
3. Find A New Exercise Plan
For many parts of the country, the fall means cooler temperatures and a lot less daylight. Instead of sinking into the couch, change up your routine. Switch your workout times, days or favorite activities. Nothing drastic is needed (see tip #1) but visiting a new yoga studio or taking advantage of a new customer deal at a local gym or spin studio can help keep you motivated until the warmer weather returns.
Many famous fall foods are bursting with nutrients. It’s prime season for apples, pears, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato and hardy greens like kale and Swiss chard. Hit up your local farmers’ market (you may need a sweater) and snatch up some of these quintessential foods. Not only are they tasty, they hold up in cozy recipes like soups, stews and casseroles.
It seems like the holiday food fest sets in earlier every year. Holiday schwag is displayed on store shelves before Labor Day and it can be difficult to resist the temptation to buy everything drenched in chocolate, pumpkin spice and peppermint. Commit to buying candy the day before Halloween, not several weeks beforehand and plan holiday menus that feature some fruits and vegetables instead of only fat and sugar.