Ah, fall. There are so many things to love about fall. It’s my favorite season for many reasons. I love the foliage, cooler weather, football and, of course, all the wonderful foods that come about in fall.
There seem to be 2 schools of thought once fall hits. It seems either you have done a fresh new start or are packing it in until the new year. I have always kind of viewed Halloween as the kickoff to the eating season. Of course, Halloween candy is in the stores in September (why???) and chances are if you buy it, you eat it. Then there is Halloween, football parties and we sail right into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. It sure can be an eating trap. While food definitely is for fuel, it’s also a big part of being social with others. It’s not the only reason to get together, but food brings a lot of pleasure to gatherings.
Most long-time blog readers know of my love for candy corn. I adore this stuff and always have. It’s so funny that many people associate me with candy corn. Or maybe that isn’t funny and just sad…I don’t know.
I used to head into fall and do lots of baking, eating lots of candy corn, buying Halloween candy that I loved and eating it. Not minding if there weren’t many trick or treaters because then I could eat the leftovers. Now, I don’t do that so much. I don’t bake a ton anymore. Even though I love baking (and eating it), I find I do better when I go out and get something as a treat like cupcakes when I go riding rather than having things at home. So, baking happens a lot less.
Fall is also the time I have to start rethinking my exercise program. Bike rides become limited from lack of daylight, colder temps, rain, and I have to pull in my weekend eating when I am not putting 50 miles on the bike. That takes some adjustment and I can have a tantrum about that.
I will indulge in fall treats, but portion control is *everything*. Yes, I can have a pumpkin muffin, but I only need one. Yes, I can make a nice stew, but I need to portion out a serving and not be having seconds and thirds just because it is cold out. I love eggnog, but I make a challenge to myself to not drink any until eggnog season, which is Thanksgiving Day to me. So despite all the food being pushed on me early by the grocery stores (QUIT IT!!!), I will do it in my own time.
There are also plenty of ways to bring all those fall flavors in without being super indulgent. I eat pumpkin all year, but I do go into pumpkin overdrive in the fall. I love to have pumpkin oats or add pumpkin to yogurt. We often do crustless pumpkin pie to eat, because the crust is where most of the calories come in – and to be honest, I don’t care about the crust. There are wonderful root vegetables to roast, delicious soups and stews – hello crockpot! Again, it’s all about portion control.
My goal is to not gain weight this fall. It’s an easy trap to fall into. There will be times where I do fall down, but one fall doesn’t mean I have to skid into the new year in a haze of eggnog and pumpkin rolls.
Here are links to a few of my favorite fall eats in my regular diet:
- Slow cooker steel cut pumpkin oats
- Chicken and Balsamic Tomatoes
- Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Bars
- Banana Bread Breakfast pudding (made with coconut flour)
Make sure you read more at my fellow AIMers’ blogs for their thoughts on this topic!
AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you would like us to address!