How to avoid autumn weight gain

Say goodbye to Summertime (it’s long gone!), but don’t wave farewell to that beach body you worked so hard for! At PALO , we’ve been working hard to answer the age-old question of how to prevent weight gain in the fall. Here’s what we found out!

Holidays and sunshine aside, our schedules don’t change that drastically in the autumn. We still go to work every day, we still get about the same amount of steps on our Fitbits, and we still eat about the same amount. So why does autumn always bring a few unwanted pounds with it?

We looked into the average lifestyle choices and diets of people in the cooler months compared to summer, and we found some interesting differences. Take a look at our before/after chart. “Before” is the summer, and “After” is, well, you get it.

Average daily steps:

Before: Iced tea- 2 calories

After: Pumpkin spice latte- 380 cal.

Before: Fruit salad- 50 cal.

After: Apple crisp with ice cream- 368 cal.

Before: Garden salad with dressing and a bread roll- 249 cal.

After: Grilled chicken sandwich and chips- 382 cal.

Before: Grilled fish and potatoes with white wine: 350 cal.

After: Typical chilly-weather comfort food: 1 BILLION CALORIES.

We may have exaggerated the last one…but just a bit. Regardless, it’s easy to see how

it may seem like we’re eating, drinking, and moving about the same amount when in reality, the picture is quite different.

So what can we do to fight back against the fall flab? Do we really have to give up all the delicious things we love about this season just to keep the weight off?

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent weight gain this autumn and still enjoy your Halloween candy, and none of them involve frightening chemicals or scary dieting.

How to Prevent Weight Gain this Fall

At PALO, we are experts on how to prevent weight gain, because we’re obsessed with holistic nutrition. We’ve figured out how to keep off the weight without sacrificing all the things you love or having to live at the gym, and we’re ready to share our secrets!

Smart Hot Drinks

There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee with extra cream on a blustery day, but as we saw in our chart above, some of those coffee favorites are not worth the endorphins. Or at least not every day. Fill up your own coffee thermos at home and add low-fat milk or a milk substitute instead of cream. Or, better yet, drink hot tea with milk and honey. Once the weekend arrives, reward yourself with your favorite cream-filled caramel delight from Starbucks.

Walk, Walk, Walk

We walk less in the cold, but we often don’t realize it because we feel more tired. In the autumn, the weather is still pretty manageable, so get on your feet for a half an hour after work (or during your lunch break) and get moving! Just a little more time spent strutting your stuff can boost your step count by 10,000 a week!

Block those Carbs

Sugary snacks, pasta, sandwiches, Halloween parties complete with that vanilla porter you can’t resist—these are all things we crave when it gets colder outside. Resisting temptation is a skill you have to develop, but no one wants to be a buzz kill at gatherings, parties, or dinners. If you find yourself in a carb-filled situation that you just can’t miss (there are many, we know), then take a 100% natural carb blocker to limit the number of carbs that convert to fat. Carb blockers are inexpensive, safe, and have the added benefit of boosting metabolism and promoting heart health.

Soups vs. Salads

Crisp salads and tart vinaigrettes taste so good in the summer, but once the weather cools off they start to seem watery and boring. The result is that we switch to meat and carbs and start packing on the pounds. Instead of going the carb route, try a hot and hearty bowl of soup. There are about a million different soups out there, and about 20 portions can be cooked at once in a pot you probably already own. If you’re eating out, make sure to choose soups that are not cream based or loaded with cheese.

Drink Wine

You have our blessing. Go forth and be merry! Red wine in the autumn is not just a smart choice for calorie counters, it’s also really, really good! Beer and cider may abound at parties this time of year, but stick to the wine and you’ll get to have all the fun without the guilt.

PALO Pro Tip: We love wine! But too much can lead to a nightmare that doesn’t end when you wake up the next morning. If you’re planning to go wild, make sure to plan a detox too!

Live Seasonally, Live Naturally

Change is inevitable, but we can’t always just let it happen. We have to take charge! If you want to know how to prevent weight gain this autumn, you need to be aware of the changes that come with the seasons. Knowing how the weather changes—and how your body changes with it—is how to stay happy, fit, and on good terms with Mother Nature.

Sure, we’re told to “fall back” in early autumn, but that doesn’t mean you have to be negligent with your healthy eating and fitness goals. So how does one battle the blues in the face of gray skies, dipping temperatures, and the urge to crawl back under the covers on dark, dismal mornings?

Here are seven tips for avoiding fall weight gain…

1. Fall Back—Don’t Be Lax With Your Health

According to research from the National Eating Disorders Association, Americans tend to “fall” into bad habits come autumn, which means they tend to exercise less and eat more—compared to any other time of the year.

However, packing away your swimsuit and retreating into hibernation for winter isn’t really an option for we humans. Fight the urge to hit the sofa after work (I realize it’s tough when you leave the office shrouded in darkness) and make a stop on your commute at the gym or take a brisk walk or run prior to settling in for the night.

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2. Fall and Comfort Foods

The fall season is all about comfort—warm sweaters, pumpkin spiced lattes, crackling fires, and hunkering down for winter. However, those comfort foods and hibernation tendencies can cause you to gain weight, especially if your nights are comprised of eating continence foods while binge watching Netflix.

According to research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fast food is fine—in moderation. But when hitting the drive thru on the way home from work becomes routine, good nutrition is thrown out the window.

4. Hydrate to Beat Hunger

Oftentimes we feel hunger pangs when we’re actually thirsty. If you eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day and still can’t shake those mid-afternoon snack cravings, you may not be hydrating your body adequately.

Research from the University of Tennessee indicates that keeping fluid levels up can stave off the urge to binge eat. Try sipping warm cups of green tea throughout the day for the brew’s immune boosting benefits and comfort. Also, carry a water bottle with you to satisfy a thirst that’s often misconstrued for appetite.

6. Eat Like Your Ancestors

Most of our ancestors were not Americans, but immigrants who traveled to the U.S. from faraway lands. Perhaps your ancestors arrived in the U.S. with the pilgrims on their renowned Mayflower voyage? Or perhaps your lineage can be traced back to the original Native American inhabitants?

Either way, we can take eating tips from both groups because they sure ate better than we do today. For instance, Native Americans consumed a diet rich in natural fed beef, poultry, and fish as well as plant foods. So skip the holiday appetizers packed with enriched white flour, pasta, baked goods, candy, and deep fried processed foods and opt for fresh, organic fruit, veggies, and lean proteins instead.

7. Embrace Fall Freshness

Believe it or not, fall is filled with fresh, in-season produce that can be purchased at your local farmer’s market in peak season. Seasonal favorites include an impressive and colorful array of fruits and vegetables—such as apples, bell peppers, Swiss chard, squash, pumpkin, beets, broccoli, parsnips, cauliflower, and apricots.

And all of this seasonal produce can be incorporated into holiday as well as regular dishes. Puree squash and pumpkins for soups, prepare baked root veggies as sides, and utilize fresh apples and apricots in oats, snacks, and healthier holiday dressings.

Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

When the leaves burst into an array of fabulous colors and the crisp fall air leaves us looking for warm, comfortable clothes, we indulge in comfort food and drinks. Hearty soups. Hot chocolate. No one counts calories. Plus Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas are all perfect excuses to forget about healthy eating and weight loss goals. In case you’d put a few pounds, you can easily hide them under oversized sweaters and coats. It’s trendy. It’s comfortable. But, do you need that bulk?

As the weather gets chilly, it’s exceedingly important to create a new eating plan that will prevent you from sweating in the gym when the spring comes. These weight loss tricks are all tricks I’d give to my bestie, my aunt and anyone else that I love, so I’m giving them to you, because I love my readers too.

1 Foster a hydration habit

Water is essential regardless of the season. During the summer months we can’t leave home without a bottle of water. The crisp autumn air tricks us into thinking that we don’t need water anymore and that delicious beverages like tea, coffee and hot cocoa can keep us hydrated throughout the day. Plain water can’t be replaced. The only thing you can do to improve its taste is to add some lemon or berries to it.

2 Befriend carbs

Eliminating carbs from your diet is a bad idea. Consuming carbs each day is a bad idea. The way out? Opt for healthier varieties and reduce your carb intake during the fall months. Instead of eating white bread, choose diet-friendly options like oat bread, rye bread, flaxseed bread and whole-wheat bread. The same goes for pasta. Choose whole-grain pasta that is higher in fiber and nutrients than regular pasta.

3 Treat yourself wisely

Pumpkin and apple pies, creepy Halloween muffins, and other baked goods may remind you of your childhood and home much you loved the fall months. As sad as it sounds, all those treats are high in calories, which means extra pounds and ruined waistline. Sure, it doesn’t mean you should munch on apples and carrots and forget about desserts for good. Just learn how to treat yourself wisely. Practice portion control to avoid weight gain during the fall season.

4 Invest in a gym membership

This is one of the best investments you can make this fall season. Not everyone can find courage to work out when the temperatures drop. Moreover, you may not have time and space to exercise at home. An after-work visit to a local gym twice a week can do the trick. You will be more inspired and motivated to exercise. Plus, you will look perfectly slim during the holiday season and down the road.

5 Stock up on local veggies and fruits

Boost your immunity during the fall season to have more energy and fun during the winter months. Most fall veggies and fruits are absolutely healthy – just go for organic ones. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your autumn eating plan is a great way to improve your health and avoid weight gain at the same time.

6 Take responsibility for yourself

You are the only one who can make you exercise and stick to a healthy diet. Don’t rely on your mom, your friend and your partner. A responsible dieter eats whatever they want without restrictions. If you want to try one Halloween muffin, do it. Eating small portions of your favorite foods won’t make you fat. Teach yourself to follow a moderation rule and you will notice how slim you will be at the end of both fall and winter seasons. Don’t forget to check nutritional labels before buying food, and try to make your own meals as often as possible.

When the fall season hits, we experience mood swings and seasonal depression. We turn to comfort food hoping it will help us feel better. Nope, it won’t. Stay in tune with your body and give it all of the nutrients it needs. These are some of the most effective autumn weight loss tips I follow. Feel free to tell us about your autumn eating plan and share your own tips, if you have.

Autumn Weight Gain – How To Stop It Before It Starts

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Autumn Weight Gain – How To Stop It Before It Starts

  • By: Robert Cywes
  • Date: Sep 22, 2010
  • Category:Weight Loss Tips

For many people, weight follows a cycle that seems to march in time with the changing weather. As spring comes, we work harder JSAPA Weight Loss Surgery in time for summer. As summer ends and the temperatures drop, we find ourselves gaining weight through the fall and winter months. What causes this cold weather weight gain, and how can we prevent it?

Many people are more active during the summer months because they spend a lot of time outdoors. A lot of outdoor activities require us to move around, and definitely involve less sitting in front of a screen. As the weather gets colder and there are fewer daylight hours, you may find yourself less inclined to exercise or even engage in recreational physical activities.

You might also change your diet in the fall and winter months. If you’re sitting inside watching TV, you may be more likely to snack on some of your favorite comfort foods. Eating in front of the TV is especially dangerous because it’s easy to consume an excessive amount of calories without paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth.

How can you break this cycle and maintain a healthy weight all year long? Be aware of your tendencies to avoid exercise during the colder months. Think about ways you can stay active as the temperatures drop. Perhaps you take a fitness class, try working out at home or take up a winter sport. Look into fruits and vegetables that will be available in your grocery stores during the colder months as well and experiment with working them into your diet.

As soon as October hits, our calendars become booked with holiday events, football games, and scary movie-watch parties for the rest of the fall season. And although this is a fun time of year, it can bring new opportunities for weight gain and veering away from our health goals.

Now, we’re not here to tell anyone they can’t enjoy their favorite Halloween candy. But if you’re someone who wants to have fun and maintain your weight goals, there are some simple tips you can follow, according to the experts.

Read on to learn the dietitian-recommended tips for avoiding the fall weight gain, and for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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“The stressful start of a new school year, colder weather, comfort food, and food-central holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving can be a recipe for your weight to creep up in the fall,” says Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, “which is why it’s important to get outside and move whenever you’re able.”

Balancing out your holiday treats with more walking or biking can be an easy way to avoid the dreaded fall weight gain.

“A healthy life is not about avoiding your favorite indulgences, but rather balancing them out in other consistent ways,” says Burak.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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The fall season can feel like one of the busiest times of the year, which means that prepping the right snacks becomes all the more important.

“Stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies, hummus, or guac to keep in your house so you always have an alternative to the mini Snickers bar your son just offered you,” says Burak.

And if you’re on the go throughout the day, you can take your snacks with you!

“Packing snacks in a lunch box or keeping non-perishable snacks in your bag can help you make better choices when you’re busy,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, “so try packing something easy like protein bars, beef jerky, or nuts.”

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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Another great way to avoid the extra pounds this season is by trying to cook at home more and order less take-out.

“The more you eat from home, the healthier you will naturally eat and therefore, the less chance you have of seasonal weight gain,” says Burak.

And if cooking is something you really enjoy, you can get into the festive fall spirit by trying new recipes or using seasonal produce.

“For the fall, focus on seasonal fruits and veggies like pumpkin, squash, and apples because you will naturally be taking in more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as fewer added calories and less salt,” says Burak, “and you may even feel a sense of connection by eating with the season or eating something you prepared yourself.”

How to avoid autumn weight gain

It’s normal that as the fall season gets busier and the days start to feel shorter, you may be tempted to skip out on your workout routine.

“Naturally, people will enjoy more high-calorie foods during the fall and holiday season,” says Goodson, “so if you don’t keep up with exercising, it could lead to weight gain.”

Even if the type of workout you usually do needs to be adjusted to fit your busier schedule, it’s still important to get some type of movement every day.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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The fall season brings holiday parties, Halloween candy, and tailgating drinks, but does this mean you have to miss out on all of these treats?

“You can still enjoy some fall goodies, but maybe not multiple times a day, seven days a week,” says Goodson, “so as you go into a week, look at what’s coming up, and pick and choose where you want to splurge.”

And if you’re heading to a fall festivity but decide you don’t feel like splurging that day, Goodson suggests coming prepared by “bringing a lower-calorie, nutrient-rich option to the party so you know there will be a better-for-you choice available!”

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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According to registered dietitian Kim Rose, RD with Lose It!, getting enough fiber is a crucial step in watching your weight this fall.

“Fiber helps you stay full for a longer period of time while simultaneously reducing your appetite,” says Rose, “so try incorporating high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your daily diet.”

Rose also adds that if you need some high-fiber seasonal options for the fall, go for apples, pumpkin, spinach, or fresh cranberries.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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Registered dietitian Sarah Williams, MS, RD, owner and founder of Sweet Balance Nutrition, notes that fall can sometimes bring more time at home, with possibly more boredom or seasonal depression. For some, this can lead to emotional eating, which can in turn lead to weight gain.

“To prevent weight gain from emotional eating, it’s important to practice recognizing the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger,” says Williams, “so before you eat, ask yourself ‘am I physically hungry or am I just bored?’ or ‘am I physically hungry or am I just sad?'”

Williams suggests that whenever you may be wanting to eat for emotional reasons, try finding another distraction like calling a friend, cleaning the kitchen, or going for a nice autumn walk!

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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Eating more vegetables is an important part of avoiding fall weight gain. According to Williams, veggies are great because they’re “low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so you can eat a lot of them without going overboard on calories.”

Not only that, but she also points out that the fiber you get from vegetables can help you feel full for longer periods of time throughout the day.

“To incorporate more veggies into your fall routine, try making new and unique salads, eating veggies and dip for a snack, or enjoying roasted veggies as a side dish with your meals,” says Williams.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

Fall is here and the holidays are just around the corner. Most American holiday traditions involve food, and fall and winter foods tend to be more calorie dense “comfort foods.” We stuff ourselves during the fall while also being less active, staying indoors out of the cold. Then January 1st rolls around and we have to make a new year’s resolution to get healthy again. It’s a vicious (yet delicious) cycle, full of candy, pies, breads and smoked meats.

What can be done to avoid the classic fall weight gain? It’s not as bad as you might think. Avoiding overeating and making some subtle changes to your holiday recipes can go a long way. Also, don’t forget to stay active during the fall and winter. Find ways to get outside when the weather permits, bundle up and go for a walk, just keep moving! A more active lifestyle will keep your metabolism burning through some of those extra holiday treats. The website Livestrong.com provides us with some healthy eating tips to avoid fall weight gain.

Posted by: LIVESTRONG

How to Avoid Fall Weight Gain

In a 2000 study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, researchers looked at the weight and overall health of 195 men and women over the course of six months. On average, each persona gained 1.05 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

While one gained pound may seem insignificant, holiday pounds tend to stay, say the researchers, and increase your risk for serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. By starting your fall season off on a healthy foot (or plate), you improve your chance of dodging these risks. Doing so can also reduce emotional risks associated with overeating and weight gain, such as depressive moods, anxiety and intense sensations of shame.

Healthy Eating Lessons From History

“We should be adopting almost all of the Native American and pilgrim eating principles,” Kress says. “Lean meats in the form of naturally-fed game, poultry and fresh-caught fish from pure streams and a clean ocean. Fresh fruits and vegetables. [There were] no bleached, enriched white flours or pastas, no fast-food joints, convenience stores or junk food. Those were the days.”

While it isn’t necessary, or perhaps realistic, to limit your fall foods to fresh-picked, organic fare, cutting back on processed foods and eating more natural, seasonal options adds ample bang to your nutritional buck.

The NICHHD and NIDDKD study of 2000 revealed only two contributing factors to holiday season weight gain: increased hunger and reduced physical activity. Following early Americans’ lead by eating more grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables adds plentiful amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber to your diet.

Because fiber promotes satiation, you’ll experience less hunger between meals. Whole foods typically also require more chewing, which slows your eating pace and promotes portion and appetite control. And emphasizing nutritious food guards against food cravings, which can stem from nutrient deficiencies.

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, a holistic nutritionist, natural-foods chef and creator of the Healthy Voyager brand, recommends pumpkins, sweet potatoes and yams as prime fall-friendly food choices.

“While folks tend to eat them at holiday meals or as fried snacks, such as sweet potato fries or chips, these veggies are incredibly versatile and should be incorporated regularly in fall meals in order to take advantage of their seasonal health benefits,” Scott-Hamilton says. So make like the pilgrims and Native Americans and eat vegetables fresh or cooked from plates, not packages.

Although seasonal foods vary somewhat by region, fruits and vegetables particularly lush during autumn include:

  • Apples
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Chard
  • Eggplants
  • Bell peppers
  • Rutabagas
  • Apricots
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Apples

Here in Northern California, we have the luxury of access to all sorts of locally grown fruits and vegetables during most seasons. So find the nearest farmers market and find some healthy seasonal produce, while also supporting your local farmers. With the substitution of fresh fruits and vegetables for more calorie dense processed foods you will feel more full on fewer calories. Add a daily walk or some yard work to those diet changes and you just might head into the new year without those extra pounds.

It’s always smart to get a checkup and assess your current health to establish a baseline so you can measure your progress. Visit the Medical Specialty Center – Your Everyday Health Care Clini c – at Orchard Hospital. Walk-ins are welcome. Open 7 days a week. It’s our goal to have fast and friendly care while delivering quality health care.

Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.

Try these tips to stop ‘weight creep’ as you get older.

Your favorite pair of pants once zipped easily, but lately you can barely get them over your hips. Sound familiar? Most adults experience the dreaded “weight creep,” where the numbers on the scale gradually increase — and before you know it, you’re 10 pounds heavier. But it’s not inevitable. Simply by making a few gradual lifestyle changes, experts say, you can stop gaining weight and even drop some pounds.

There are several reasons most adults gradually gain weight.

First, as you get older, your body changes. Your body slows down with each passing decade. And that’s not all.

“The effect of aging also slowly changes your body composition, decreasing the amount of calorie-burning muscle and replacing it with fat,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD.

Further, most adults become much less active as they get older but continue to eat as much as they did in their 20s. The combination of aging, less exercise, and a healthy appetite are the reasons so many of us eventually experience “weight creep.”

Add Muscle to Stop Gaining Weight

One of the best ways to stop gaining weight is to power up your metabolism by increasing muscle mass. Experts recommend strength training a few times week to both retain and build muscle.

“Muscle is metabolically active, and to minimize naturally occurring muscle loss, you need to be physically active every day, including resistance training two to three times a week,” says exercise physiologist Felicia Stoler, RD,host of TLC’s Honey We’re Killing the Kids. “By being active, you can enjoy more calories without gaining weight — if you choose your calories wisely.”

And change up your fitness routine every six to eight weeks to keep your body from getting too accustomed to your workout.

“It has to be challenging; otherwise, it won’t work,” says Ward.

Stop Gaining Weight by Eliminating Bad Habits

Some of the common mistakes people make that lead to weight gain include:

  • Not making time for physical activity
  • Mindless eating in front of the TV after dinner
  • Drinking too much alcohol or sweetened drinks like specialty coffees
  • Skipping breakfast
  • Eating irregular meals
  • Finishing kids’ meals
  • Reaching for second helpings
  • Eating too many simple carbs (like sugar and white bread) and not enough protein

Continued

The older you get, the more diligent you have to be, says Ward, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

Figure out where your own problem areas are, and find solutions to control calories and fit in more fitness. If you’re a sweet eater, no problem — just work a small portion of sweets into your diet. Ward recommends stocking the freezer with 100-calorie frozen treats to keep calories and portions in check.

Eating healthy does not mean following a super-restrictive diet. But you do have to watch what you put into your mouth.

For example, a diet high in simple carbs creates a vicious cycle. The more you eat, the more you want — because these foods aren’t as satisfying as foods with protein and fiber. That handful of chips with your sandwich here and half a cookie there adds up. And adults have very little room for those extra calories.

“Flip around the idea that you need to cut calories to maintain weight and instead, think about what you need to eat to lose weight,” suggests Ward. Choose whole-grain carbs, fruits and vegetables, and always include lean or low-fat protein with meals and snacks. You’ll feel fuller and be less likely to pick between meals.

Experts recommend eating regular meals, paring down portions of high-fat and high-calorie foods, and never skipping breakfast.

“Gone are the days when you can skip breakfast and eat a 16-ounce steak and maintain your weight,” says Stoler.

Stop Gaining Weight by Making Small Changes

Yet you don’t have to go to great lengths to stop gaining weight. You can avoid adding extra pounds by making some simple changes to your lifestyle.

To avoid weight gain, experts recommend adding 2,000 steps a day to your routine, doing strength training two to three times a week, and shaving 100 calories from your diet each day.

Here are some simple ways to shave 100 calories a day:

  • Eat two fewer cookies.
  • Quench your thirst with sparkling water or a diet soft drink instead of sweetened beverages.
  • Leave a few bites of food on your plate.
  • Hold the mayonnaise or cheese on your sandwich. Replace it with mustard, lettuce and tomato.
  • Switch from whole to fat-free milk.
  • Use half your usual amount of salad dressing, and choose vinaigrette instead of creamy dressing.
  • Use nonstick cooking spray instead of butter, margarine, or oil for pan-frying.
  • Substitute low-fat or fat-free yogurt for sour cream in recipes.
  • Control snack portions by putting your snacks in a baggie or on a plate instead of eating out of the bag,
  • Drink 100% fruit juice instead of juice with added sugar.
  • Choose light beer or wine instead of frozen or fruit-based cocktails.
  • Order a cup of broth-based soup instead of a bowl.
  • Pass on supersized menu options.
  • Hold the croutons on your salad.
  • Have a healthy appetizer and salad instead of an entrée when eating out.
  • Top your pasta with vegetable sauce instead of cream sauce (and be sure to control portions.)
  • Hold the butter on steamed vegetables. Flavor them with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Limit meat portions to 3-4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards).

If you want to lose weight, begin by shaving 500 calories a day via diet and exercise. That should help you lose about a pound a week. Keep in mind that one pound of fat – not muscle or water weight — is equal to 3,500 calories.

Sources

SOURCES: Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author, The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Felicia Stoler, MS, RD, host, TLC’s Honey, We’re Killing the Kids.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

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We can’t help noticing the change of seasons. In nature living organisms do not resist these changes and follow the natural course of events. We, humans, are the only ones who try to keep up a static way of life in a dynamic world. We are the only ones who have come to believe that we must do the same things every day, have the same schedule, sleep the same number of hours and eat the same amount of food. In nature other living organisms bring their actions into conformity with their body’s needs. We try to bring our body’s needs into conformity with the actions we believe we must undertake. A behavioral pattern that we can’t get away with, and the more we try, the stronger our body resists it.

In the past week I have received a lot of messages from people, saying they don’t know what is going on, but they are experiencing an increase in appetite. They have not changed anything, but at the same time the amount of food that used to fill them up in the summer, keeps them starving now. It goes without saying that they all have strong willpower (I am being sarcastic now) and try to resist their body’s need for more energy. They do their best to try and control the amount of food they consume, they even increase the intensity or duration of their workouts a little bit in order to burn extra calories… only to succumb to the temptation a couple of days later or on the very same evening and overeat.

Before I explain what is going on in the body and why sometimes it is best to succumb to the temptation than to resist it, here is some background information.

The cyclic pattern of seasons, food availability and the connection to vitamin D

From the point of view of evolution, back when we were not able to control our environment and tur winter into summer by setting the air conditioner to 25 – 26 degrees on a frosty winter’s day, temperature differences signaled the body what it had to prepare for.

For example, summer was the season for reproduction, because children conceived at that time are born in the spring, when food is beginning to be plentiful and this helps the parents raise a healthy child.

Autumn preceded winter and the temperatures and the food that was available acted as information to the body that it had to prepare for scarcity and cold weather.

If you pay attention, you will see that during different seasons food has a different macronutrient ratios and different micronutrient composition. We are talking seasonal food. I have already discussed this and you can read about it in more detail in my first book – The IFS Gene: A Vision for Health.

In autumn, the foods have more fructose and also more polyunsaturated fats. At the same time, in this season the sunshine duration is lower. From my book you know that carbohydrate-richer foods are favored by the body in times of higher sunshine duration, while foods that are high in animal fat are favored in times of lower sunshine duration.

What happens in autumn?

There are foods that are higher in fructose and polyunsaturated fats and there is less sunshine. This means less vitamin D. What is the connection? The increased fructose intake prevents calcium absorption and leads to vitamin D deficiency. That, in turn means that the increased fructose intake should be accompanied by a sufficient intake of vitamin D to compensate. In summer, as well as in warmer countries, this is the reason why we, despite a higher intake of carbohydrates, feel good and don’t gain weight.

What role do the lower vitamin D level and the higher fructose intake in autumn have to play?

From an evolutionary standpoint, this discrepancy between the increased fructose intake and the decreased vitamin D level plays a key role for our survival. These circumstances lead to temporary insulin resistance, a couple of kilograms more, and the purpose of all this is to store more energy for the cold winter and the scarcity it entails.

This is why our increased appetite in autumn and the gain of 2-3 kilograms are part of the natural order of things. This does not mean you are lazy and have no willpower. You must realize that weight varies and as long as you don’t lose control, but just you listen to your body, you will not experience abrupt weight gain that you have to struggle with afterwards.

Also, from an evolutionary perspective, at this time of the year our metabolism slows down a little, the body needs more sleep and we feel slightly lethargic. You know how your mood also changes, when it is cloudy outside. This is called seasonal affective disorder and is not some kind of illness or something to fight. This is the body’s way of making us be less active, so that, once again, it can conserve some energy.

Naturally, there is a discrepancy between what is programmed in our genes and what is happening now, because we live in a totally different environment. And yet, the biological urge is more powerful than the mind.

How to avoid autumn weight gain

Autumn is indeed a beautiful season. Seasonal fruit fragrance and colours surrounds you every time you go shopping. Mornings are getting colder and invigorate you better and quicker than a strong black coffee. Food is becoming tastier, richer in fat and … more. Under these circumstances, you should not wonder why begin to gain weight in the autumn.

In these months of transition, you tend to forget all the good habits you had in the summer.

Recent studies highlight that from early fall until after the winter holidays, we are enjoying any culinary delight due to this holiday season. Then we realize quickly that we have quite exaggerated with this abundant and rich food and sedentary life and we start work ourselves again to be in top form next summer.

There are many and varied reasons why we gain weight during the fall, but basically our bad daily habits and a poor diet are the major factors. So back to our topic: “Why autumn you begin to gain weight?”

1. You Eat More Fat

During the hot season, it is quite difficult to turn on the stove and cook, so you prefer to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy and salad, but when the cold weather is coming you are tempted to eat more fat without realizing it. At this time of year, you usually consume fat meat stews, steaks and sauces, cakes and hot beverages such as hot chocolate with whipped cream adorned in full.

All this food that you savor after a summer of food restriction contribute greatly to your weight gain.

2. You Do Not Have an Active Life

In the hot summer months, it was a delight to walk through the park by bike, run, go hiking and swimming. Daily exercise routine kept you fit and helped to burn calories. Now weather is not too friendly, so you only want to nest under a blanket with a hot cup of chocolate in hand. Lack of movement slows down your metabolism and of course, and your body begins to deposit more calories.

3. You Gain More Weight

All your bad daily habits are related to your weight gain. How are you doing more around the house, you tend to eat more, no matter what, even if you do not feel hungry. In general, while watching television you eat a lot of unnecessary calories (junk food)- chocolate, cookies, popcorn, chips and crackers.

4. You Make Inappropriate Combinations

Also, in the fall, you tend to make only wrong food combinations. Instead of eating a fresh apple, you choose baked caramel apples, instead of eating pumpkin in the oven, you will prepare a pumpkin pie with lots of sugar, instead of doing grilled chicken, you will eat fried chicken with French fries. Autumn, your body feels a greater need for fat and sugar, which actually will sabotage your silhouette.

How to Avoid to Gain Weight in the Fall

First of all, you need a lot of will. Once you have set goal, ie to maintain your weight or lose weight, try to remember all the time that it is your priority. Reduce meals, hydrate yourself properly and avoid eating fatty foods, sweet, salty, processed. Moderation is the key to a harmonious silhouette and you should learn to say “no” even to foods that you love to eat.

Do not ignore the benefits of movement and help your metabolism to burn calories. Choose fresh fruit instead of fruit pies and replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats (especially fish).

With little attention to what you eat you will be able to look winter as well as summer.