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Summer is almost over, and as you pack away your inflatable swimming pool in your garage, you may be pondering how to stay fit this season. But unlike popular misconceptions, summer isn’t the only time you can stay fit and healthy. In fact, autumn (or fall) is a great time to work on your fitness.

Four things you can do stay in shape this fall

  • Bike your way to work/school
  • Enroll yourself for an apple picking event, a grape stomp, or a local harvest festival
  • Go hiking on beautiful fall trails
  • Get in a game of tennis, basketball, or football

What’s on the platter?

Not just exercise, but the fall is a great period to expand your palate. There are plenty of healthy and wholesome produces that are seasonal to autumn and which can elevate your health. Here are some fall-friendly healthy foods to include in your shopping cart:

    • Kale: Kale is a storehouse of nutrients. Vitamins A, B6, C, and K and minerals like manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium call it home. It contains only eight calories and can be grown during winter. This vegetable is the perfect addition to salads.
    • Pumpkin: Nothing screams fall like pumpkin. Renowned for its weight-loss and immunity benefits, pumpkin can help you take control of your fitness. Make it into a pie, a smoothie, or an exotic curry and enjoy.
    • Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes contain Vitamins A, B, and C, plus iron, selenium, and calcium. They are very easy to cook and super delicious. Just boil them and plate them with your breakfast. You could also make a sweet potato soup with spices.
    • Beets: Beets contain manganese, potassium, folate, Vitamin C, and fiber, which are very good for the kidneys, pancreas, liver, and bones. When eaten by pregnant women, they prevent birth defects in the baby. Drink them as juice or add them to salads – they work wonders.
    • Spaghetti squash: Being gluten-free and having a very low glycemic index makes spaghetti squash a very kid and adult-friendly food. It can be boiled, cut in half, peppered, and eaten right out of the skin. You can even make a marinara sauce out of it and serve it with pasta and veggies.

Tips to make sure your fall diet benefits you

Fall is a holiday season for many in America, and while you may include healthy produce in your meals, you may still be at risk of losing out on their health benefits, unless you follow these nine tips:

    • Create realistic health goals: It’s difficult to actively lose weight during the holiday season. So, instead of losing weight, work towards maintaining your weight. This makes it easier to lose weight later.
    • Don’t go hungry: The worst thing you can do is starve yourself in an attempt to lose those extra pounds. This can make you ravenous and prone to overeating during your next meal. Instead, have healthy snacks like almonds or walnuts every two hours.
    • Control your portion sizes: Most of the time, we gain weight because we eat more than we should. Control how much you eat by following the “Half plate rule.” Divide your plate into two halves and fill one half with fruits and veggies. Ladle a scoop of whatever else you’ve cooked to fit the second half of your plate.
    • Chew your food slowly: When you eat slowly, you give your brain time to process the signals it receives from your stomach. You will then be able to identify when you’re full and avoid overeating.
    • Always be mindful of when and how you eat: Some people tend to reach for food that’s within their line-of-sight, even when they’re not hungry. This is a terrible habit since you don’t have control over what you eat and how much. So, make it a conscious decision to avoid eating unnecessarily.
    • Drink a lot of water: Water can fill up your stomach very quickly and reduce hunger pangs. Drinking a large glass of water before each meal can help you reduce your intake of food.
    • Dedicate time for workouts each day: Twenty minutes of intense workout every day, done 5-6 days a week, is enough to lose weight. Whether you like to run a 5K or you’re a Pilates type of person, make sure to set aside some time for exercise each day.
    • Cook healthy foods: Remember those ingredients we’ve listed at the top? Use them in your cooking to achieve maximum fall fitness benefit. Eat healthily, use less oil, and avoid fried food.
    • Always compliment yourself.

Finally, remember to acknowledge the work you’ve put in. If you’re not able to reach a fitness goal, don’t blame yourself. Just focus on how far you’ve come, and get back to your fitness regimen.

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