Soon the days will get shorter, the temperatures will fall, and we will want to snuggle into our wintertime routines.
This also means the holidays are around the corner and we will be eating more. Typically the average person consumes 200 more calories during the winter months than they do during the summer. It could be the holidays, but it could also be we associate comfort foods with cooler weather. What does that mean for the number on the scale? It means a two to three-pound increase a year.
So why do we eat more in the fall?
Some experts think its biological–putting on weight in preparation for the potential winter famine our ancestors faced. It all makes sense–the fall harvest, storing up for the long winter months because they never knew when their next meal was going to be available. Some also think the mood disorder that is caused by the lack of light is the culprit. People with this disorder typically eat more carbohydrates, particularly sweets, during the winter months.
So what can we do to prevent this?
It’s easy! Get outside and let the sun provide you with plenty of natural vitamin D! Making sure you get at least 30 minutes a day of heart beating exercise in the sunshine will help ward off those extra pounds that tend to creep on in the winter.
You also can try to incorporate some of these healthy fall tips into your life:
- Even though we turn the clocks back and our days get shorter this isn’t the time to forgo your workout. It’s time to join a gym, walk the mall, or find a new home for the clothes that are using your treadmill as a closet.
- If it’s going to be pie, try making pumpkin pie with stevia, egg whites, and low-fat milk. And of course, watch your portion size. Even better, when making desserts, make them in mini bite sized portions!
- Apples are not just for pies…they make a perfect snack right off the tree. Now is the time to visit one of the many apple orchards and bring a bag of freshly picked apples home to enjoy.
- Soups are great in the fall and can add an array of fall harvest vegetables to your diet. Clear broths tend to be the healthiest. Or try replacing cream in your typical soup with cashews blended with vegetable stock!
- Go light with the potatoes and meat in fall time favorite stews.
- Avoid mindless eating at football games. Measure baked (not fried) snacks out in 100 calorie bags and never bring the whole bag of snacks to the sofa when watching the game on TV.
Keep in mind that as the weather changes, so should your routines. Your Fall/Winter lifestyle will look different than your Spring/Summer one so stay in tune with the changing seasons and keep working toward a healthy lifestyle all year round.