Fall Nutrition Guide

By Lizzie Myers, September 9, 2013

The beach-going, bike riding, pool-hopping days of summer are quickly coming to an end and we must prepare for the crisp air and short days of autumn. With autumn comes hot cider, huge turkey dinners, and rich stews. It’s no wonder why people eat an average of 200 calories more per day in the fall than they do in the summer. There are many possibilities to explain this occurrence. For some, the darker days triggers seasonal affective disorder, causing a higher consumption of carbs. Overeating may also be a biological reaction to the colder weather because as the food metabolizes, heat is generated. Whatever the reason is, you can avoid those extra winter pounds and still enjoy the delicious foods that fall has to offer!

Soups and stews are the perfect meal in cooler weather, but be aware of which types may be more fattening than you think. For soup, try to avoid creamy or cheesy types. While soups like broccoli cheddar are always tempting, they are often loaded with fat and calories. Instead, try a lentil soup. This delicious alternative is low calorie and packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients. For more flavor and a kick, sprinkle in some curry powder. As for stews, the heartiest ones are the most fattening. Make sure to use plenty of vegetables while keeping the meats light.

As the watermelons and blueberries begin to disappear from the fresh produce aisle, new and delicious choices emerge. Sweet potatoes, a thanksgiving favorite, are a great source of vitamin A and iron. Look for these healthy treats between September and December, just make sure to skip that gooey marshmallow topping. Another lesser-known produce is rutabaga, an egg-shaped vegetable that tastes a bit like a turnip. These veggies can be roasted with ginger or honey, or pureed into soup. Rich in fiber and vitamin C, rutabaga will keep you full and healthy!

Do not get into the mindset that it is too cold to go to the gym. That is the oldest excuse in the book! While it may seem like a bigger chore to work out in the fall, remind yourself that the exercise will help to warm you up. We move around much less in the fall and winter because we spend less time outdoors, so keeping up a fitness routine will help to keep your metabolism working.

Don’t let yourself fall into that cold weather trap. Follow these tips and when May rolls around, you’ll be strutting your stuff in a swimsuit while everyone else is scrambling to get back in shape!

 

 

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