The changing seasons present a good opportunity to make changes to your eating habits. Rest assured, you can eat healthy while basking in the bliss of pumpkin-flavored delights and enjoying a couple slices of pie at Thanksgiving.
Here are eight tips for sticking to a healthy diet as we move into colder weather.
1. Eat what’s in season
There’s nothing like fresh, in-season veggies from your local farmer’s market. With cooler weather comes fresh leafy greens, like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach. Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, are also in season.
2. Get your pumpkin fix from actual pumpkins
Pumpkin spice lattes and baked goods are delicious but often high in sugar, calories, and unhealthy fats. Substitute these pumpkin-flavored goodies for savory dishes made with pumpkin. For example, try making a pumpkin soup, pumpkin curry, or even a pumpkin quiche. Pumpkin is full of fiber and beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A. This is an important vitamin for your eyes and skin.
3. Consider vitamin D supplements
Vitamin supplements, like vitamin D, may be beneficial for people who aren’t able to get enough sun in the fall and winter months.
If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamin D from your diet or daily sunshine, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D supplements may also help support your immune system.
4. Soup it up
As the temperature drops, there’s nothing quite like a steamy bowl of soup loaded with vegetables. Make a homemade soup filled with herbs, spices, and fermented veggies like kimchi to support digestion and keep you fuller for longer. Plus, it’ll make you feel warm and satisfied. Many soup recipes are low in calories and high in fiber.
5. Don’t deprive yourself
Holiday season is often the time of cookies, pies, and cakes galore. But when it comes to big holiday family gathering, there’s no need to deprive yourself of some dessert. A slice of pie or cake, eaten without guilt or shame, can keep your spirits up. If you fear lack of self-control, consider setting a few ground rules. For example, allow yourself only two “indulgent choices” for the holiday meal. Maybe you have a piece of bread and a slice of pie, but you say no to the eggnog this time around.
6. Set a new standard during holiday events
A holiday party doesn’t mean you need to bring a dessert loaded with sugary toppings. Instead, share a healthy, delicious dish that you love making and eating. Your friends or colleagues will probably appreciate a break from the sugar overload.
7. Create a new exercise goal
Cooler weather may lead you to ditch your early morning run. Now’s the time to set a new exercise goal, join a gym, start a yoga practice, or invest in home workout gear.
8. Drink lots of water
Even though you’ll be sweating less than you were in the summer months, staying hydrated is still important. Water is essential for your overall health, so don’t forget to drink up.
As we roll into fall and winter, synchronizing new habits with a seasonal transition can help you stick to a healthy diet. With fall comes a plethora of fresh leafy greens and root vegetables, which are perfect for making healthy soups and veggie-based dishes. Remember to continue exercising and stay hydrated. Even as daylight hours decrease, you can still create a routine that includes indoor exercise to keep you moving.