Fall is in full swing and besides the cooler weather and darker mornings it is also the time when Americans gain more weight than any other season.
While we start trading in the shorts for jeans, unfortunately we also start trading in salads for casseroles and iced green teas for warm pumpkin lattes. October and November get us started into a downward trajectory of adding on more calories into our diets, combined with moving around a little less which rolls up right into the holiday season of cakes, pies and thighs. Just because it’s time to put on a few more layers of clothing doesn’t mean we need to add on any more layers on our mid-section. Luckily I have a few tips I use with my clients to keep them right, tight and light all fall season long.
Plan your indoor workouts
One of the biggest causes of fall weight gain is plain and simple that its colder and darker outside. During summer, the weather makes us more apt to walk places instead of drive, jog outside instead of sit at home and get up earlier making your body burn more calories over the course of the day.
Since none of us can change mother nature, we have to plan around it. If you know that you aren’t as likely to jog outside, replace that with another indoor activity that is consistent. This is a great time to add in new fitness class to your schedule, check out your local rec to add in swimming or join an indoor sports league.
Building in that commitment with an indoor workout will keep you moving and burning calories throughout fall. Most importantly the commitment will keep your motivated and consistent even on those cold days where you may not want to get up.
Soup it up
Fall always gets a bad rep for being the time of year sponsored by sugar and starch, but there are some healthy alternatives out there too. Fall is my time of year to add in lots of hot healthy soups and chilies to my diet. It’s comfort food that your trainer can be comfortable with. The best thing is many soups are pretty easy to make and can even be done in the crock pot while you are away at that spin class that you newly registered for.
Key thing is avoid the biscuits and corn bread as the sides and cream-based soups and you’re good to go. For my extra hungry people out there, know that soups generally are low in calories and the liquid base fills you up quickly. That means yes, you can eat as much soup as you want. You’ll get full before you get fat!
If you’re still holding on to your outside workouts and want to catch the last bit of daylight, remember that as the length of your workouts decrease, the intensity of them must increase. So for my distance runners who are used to having a whole hour to get that nice relaxing jog in before the sun goes down, you may now only have 30 minutes. It’s time to pick that pace up and maybe switch to some conditioned sprints to get the same amount of calorie burn, but in less time. The great thing is by turning your intensity up, you’ll get even better after effects than you would on the long run. We love the after-burn effect.
Overall fall can be one of your healthiest seasons of the year as long as you do it right. By following these tools, you can go into the holidays and new year with resolutions that don’t involve losing fall weight.