Every morning, I wake up, walk outside, and expect to be greeted by crisp Fall air. Although it is no longer 100+ degrees outside, I don’t think I can call it cool quite yet. I am so ready for Fall and all of the wonderful things that come with it. Cool weather, football games, sweaters, fire in the fireplace, red and gold leaves, pumpkins, and of course pies, cookies, stuffing, and Halloween candy!! The last part of the list are, what I like to call, “The Diet Dangers of Fall.” We all have a tendency to be a little less strict with our diet when we get to put a cozy sweater on every day. I am definitely guilty of pulling on my favorite pair of sweatpants and cozying up next to Eric for a not so little piece of bread pudding. I think I can almost smell it now. Don’t panic, all is not lost! With a watchful eye, and a little self control we can avoid those pesky Diet Dangers of Fall!
Game Day Tailgates: Game day grub such as chips, wings, hamburgers, sausage wraps, mashed potatoes, beer and brownies (just to name what’s at our tailgate) can be diet disasters if you’re not careful! So what can you do?
Opt for leaner cuts of meat over fatty versions, and definitely avoid anything fried.
Swap chips and queso for veggies and low fat dip or even baked tostitos and salsa.
Reach for green beans, corn on the cob or salad over mashed potatoes or french fries
Try going bun-less. You don't need a bun to enjoy a good hamburger or hot dog.
Opt for light beer and try and keep them to a minimum. Even better stick to diet soda, sugar-free lemonade or water!
Comfort Foods: Who can no say to a great cream of mushroom soup or hearty beef stew? Warm soups and stews that are loaded with cream, cheese, or meat are also loaded with calories and fat. If you serve them in a bread bowl or atop rice or noodles, you add even more calories. Simple modifications can save you from stewing over (cheesy I know).
Choose broth-based soups to fill you up for fewer calories.
Add more vegetables to your soup to add fiber, vitamins and flavor.
Keep the cheese and cream to a minimum. Remember the golden rule, the more transparent the soup is, the better it is for you (in most cases at least).
Seasonal Beverages: Although the latest pumpkin cinnamon mocha chino latte extravaganza from Starbucks might sound delicious, just say no! These drinks are a quick way to rack up calories, sugar, and fat without even knowing it. A 16oz (medium) Peppermint Mocha Latte can run you 400 calories, 15g of fat, and 49g of sugar. Did you just have a heart attack? I sure did! That is more than some meals!! Ok nobody panic, here's what we can do:
If you have to order a crazy holiday drink, stick to a small, order non-fat milk, and ask them to hold the whip cream. You can even ask if they have a sugar free version of the flavor. You never know.
You can always order a basic drink (for example, a non-fat latte with sugar free syrup) and add your own cinnamon on top. Festive, yet still low in calories.
Even better, brew your own coffee at home, and buy non-fat holiday flavored creamer from the grocery store. They have a variety of flavors that are low in fat and sugar.
Halloween Candy: I don't know about you, but the Halloween candy bowl has already made an appearance in my office break room. Already? Really? It's not even October yet, and I already have to listen to M&M's scream my name. Here's our game plan:
Although it sounds silly, avoid the break room (or where ever the candy is). Out of sight out of mind. Hopefully!
Keep healthy snacks on hand. If you find yourself starving to death at 3pm, your self control is going to be pretty minimal.
If you know you have a sweet tooth, buy sugar-free versions or lower fat options such as twizzlers or sugar free Russell Stover chocolates. Just because they say sugar free or low fat on the label, does not mean you have permission to eat them at will. However, they are better options than that snickers bar sitting on your co-workers desk.
Sugar-free gum can also help you stave off a sugar craving.