10 tips for enjoying your healthiest autumn yet
This past summer felt especially hot, especially towards the end so I am happy to welcome back the shorter days, crisp air and colorful leaves. I like to think of the new season as a fresh start to healthy habits, because though we may be stowing away the swim suit to enjoy the fall season, it’s not the time to fully fill out all those big fall sweaters, if you know what I mean.
This is the season we tend to overindulge in yummy comfort foods. I also think we operate this time of year consciously (or subconsciously) with the expectation of putting on a “few pounds” but accepting it because we’ll set our new years goals to lose the extra fluff. But you don’t have to this year, you can choose to celebrate the holidays like a health pro by enjoying foods without overindulging.
Here are 10 tips for enjoying your healthiest autumn yet.
1. It’s not all or nothing
This fatalistic attitude is my number one obstacle. I am that girl who will indulge in something yummy at lunch then decide that I have blown it for the day, so I might as well just overindulge today and get back on it tomorrow. This all or nothing thinking will quickly snowball into planning to get serious the next day, then the next day, and then before you know it, it’s Friday so I might as well just push the deadline back to the next Monday, you know, new week, fresh start!. But in reality, it’s just digging a deeper hole, instead, accept that it’s ok to say yes to somethings, sometimes and then resume your healthy eating habits.
2. eat veggies and fruit everyday
This is a pretty straight forward and this is something that we should do every day, period. Balance your holiday eating by adding in some seasonal produce. I have a friend who makes it a point to eat a salad every day- every day! When you make one of your meals a healthy array of fruits and vegetables, you are not only providing your body what it needs (and it will thank you!) but you are setting a tone for the rest of your meals. This is how good habits are developed and cultivated.
3. work out in the morning
Get it done as soon as possible while you are energized and life has not thrown any curve balls your way yet. Whether you walk, run, bike, get out there and get it done. Consider this: For a 150-pound person, 30 minutes of raking leaves, 30 minutes of planting and weeding and 30 minutes of playing with the little ones each burn roughly 150 calories. If too cold to go outside already, find an indoor space to practice yoga, or PIYO or whatever exercise you enjoy. Also, it really helps to have a workout partner, you get a chance to connect and catch up and you have someone to help with motivation and accountability.
4. plan ahead to have healthy options at the ready
Have single-portion healthy options for meals and snacks ready to go. Trust me, this is a sure fire way to avoid blowing it, especially if you are feeling snacky or it’s past time for your next meal and you are starving! I don’t know about you but when I get hangry I will grab up the most convenient foods. Having some healthy snacks prepped in advance gives me options to immediately satisfy without eating junk food. I recommend having some of these snack in your purse for these moments too, nuts and dried fruit are perfect purse snacks.
5. ditch facebook and the internet and get outside whenever possible
This is the season for beautiful weather and mother nature really puts on a show with her autumn colors! What better season to throw on a beanie and head outside? Plus, spending time outdoors increases your vitamin D levels, makes you happier and improves your concentration.
6. drink your water
Water is a necessity, especially during this dry season. This is my go-to health recommendation, drink more water. We experience so many negative consequences from not staying hydrated including headaches, fatigue, our memory is affected, and dizziness just to name a few. This is the one thing you can do today and also experience immediate benefits. My recommendation is if your urine is not really pale and almost clear, drink more water (sorry, I know that was probably too much information). Hydrate with tons of water throughout the day, and your immune system will thank you.
7. plan to eat a healthy Thanksgiving meal
It’s all about intention, plan now to eat the healthy side dishes and enjoy the turkey, it is a great source of protein- you don’t have to avoid the unhealthy casseroles and desserts, but practice portion control and limit Thanksgiving eating to one day. Oh and make it a point to go for a walk the morning of Thanksgiving (or get some type of workout in) this helps to set the intention for the day.
8. look for ways to serve others on Thanksgiving
If you are assisting in a local food bank or soup kitchen you are not at home grazing on the leftovers and you are making a difference which benefits those you serve and you!
9. get enough sleep during the holidays
There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally and let’s face it, while spending time with family and friends over the holidays is a joyful time, it is also an exhausting time. Becoming overly tired and experiencing feelings of exhaustion can lead to mindless emotional eating and snacking. . I also recommend not letting your day end or begin with screen time, so make sure you are shutting of devices well before lights out and strive to get a full nights sleep.
10. Strategically placed reminders
I have this quote printed and posted on my refrigerator and it’s my phone lock screen – it’s a reminder to stop and pause before mindlessly grazing through the refrigerator if I’m bored, stressed etc. Remember, God doesn’t want our energy bogged down in feelings of regret and defeat, He has bigger things planned for us than to battle ourselves over food. Click here or the image to download a copy.