As the weather gets cooler, many of us look forward to snuggling up in cozy blankets, wearing fall fashions, and of course indulging in some warm, comfort foods. But as it gets chillier, you may be doing fewer outdoor activities and trading out your cool green smoothie for something a little ‘richer’—not a great combination if you’re trying to watch your waistline.
If you’re worried about keeping that summer health mentality while being tempted by fall’s fattening foods, we’ve got an action plan for you. Here are 4 ways you can implement the same behaviors that helped keep you fit and feeling great during the summer right through the fall and winter months.
Give yourself an incentive.
Just as your goal may have been to rock that bathing suit in July, how about finding a fall outfit goal? Is there a pair of jeans or a form-fitting dress that you want to don for Thanksgiving? Having a goal can remind us on a daily basis that you have something special to look forward to (as long as you stay away from the delicious but disastrous deep fried mac and cheese!). Put that dress in a visible place so you’re encouraged to keep to your weight on track.
Make a healthy eating pact with your friends and family.
Misery loves company but feeling good is also contagious! Ask your friends and family to make an effort this fall to bring healthier comfort foods to pot lucks and to order healthier foods when you all go out to eat. Group mentality can work in your favor here. Need some inspiration? Click here for my Moroccan vegetable soup recipe. It’s always a crowd-pleaser. Plus soup helps you detoxify, lose weight, and boosts your immunity. Win-win!
Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the fall and winter months.
Joining a fruit and vegetable co-op before you start putting on the cold weather pounds may be just the motivation you need to make healthier comfort food choices this season. Having a lot of fruits and vegetables arrive consistently may inspire you to actually use them. If you prep them quickly for easy use when you’re ready to cook, you’re 90% there to making a healthy choice for your snacks and meals! Check out localharvest.org to find a CSA near you.
Make healthy comfort food substitutions a challenge for the family.
Instead of feeling deprived that you can’t eat rich comfort foods (feeling deprived can often lead to overeating), how about creating new and health-improved favorite dishes with your family? Try them out and have a taste contest! One example might be lasagna made with wide zucchini strips instead of pasta. Another might be cauliflower pancakes instead of potato pancakes. Or whip up this Spanish Chickpea Stew or these healthy-but-yummy Yam and Beet and Parsnip and Carrot Latkes and see which recipe gets your family’s thumbs up. If the whole family is involved, the more likely everyone will eat the finished product.
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