Fall can definitely be a time when we start to ease up on our healthy habits. After spending months at the gym, enjoying fresh fruit and salads, and squeezing into a bikini, it can often be a time when we cut ourselves some slack. After all, you have sweaters and baggy clothes in your future. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Tune in to your body and follow my top tips for easing into the fall season and staying healthy.
1. Get active in the morning.
During the fall and winter, days are shorter, and by the time you get home from work or school, it's likely dark out. Take advantage of the morning sunlight by getting your workout done early. When nighttime hits, you won’t have to worry about forcing yourself to the gym. Plus the endorphins will keep you happy throughout the day.
2. Take advantage of seasonal foods (and I’m not talking about pumpkin pie!).
Fall is full of many nourishing and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. Fill up on seasonal items like apples, squash, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cranberries, green beans, and eggplant. These are all great options and they’ll taste best, be freshest, and have their highest nutritional value throughout the season.
3. Up your awareness of hunger and fullness cues.
Our ancestors were predisposed to gain weight come fall so that they could survive the winter. This means that your body is now programmed to put on weight come the fall and winter. To prevent this natural inclination, take extra caution to pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels while you're eating. Make sure you're eating out of genuine hunger and not for emotional reasons, or simply out of craving. Eating slowly, mindfully, and without distractions is the best way to make this happen.
4. Enjoy comforting filling meals.
Things like soups, stews, sautéed greens and squashes, are all great seasonal options that will also feel comforting and filling. We tend to crave heartier, warmer meals in the fall, but this doesn’t have to mean casseroles, creamy concoctions, and warm desserts. Fill up on heartier vegetables like squashes and potatoes, and enjoy warmer food choices. This might not be the best time for your smoothies and salads, and that’s OK. You’ll likely feel unsatisfied after cooler, lighter meals, and will be better off feeling satisfied from healthy, nutritious, comforting food choices.
5. Go for an afternoon walk.
There's a correlation between depression and sunlight, which is why some people get the seasonal blues. These seasonal “blues” may actually be causing you to eat more, so make sure you are getting enough sunlight and vitamin D in your days. Make it a priority to get outside in the afternoon to soak up some sunlight before it get dark.
If you're in need of more support come the fall, feel free to reach out! Sign up for my newsletter and get weekly updates from me, as well as my Free 5-Step Guide to Ditching the Diets for Good. Get it all here.