Now that fall is in the air, weight gain is around the corner with all of the holidays coming up, so following a few simple rules will help you maintain your weight and maybe even help you lose a few pounds! I always feel like I need some treats, baked goods, and flavored coffees to really get me in the fall spirit, but I have learned there are plenty of other ways to accomplish a holiday feel without gaining 20 pounds.
Avoid pumpkin flavored junk food
It seems companies are rolling out pumpkin spice flavored products in August now! This means I have a few extra months to combat weight gain. At first it’s so exciting to get in the holiday mood, but as the celebrations near, my waist line is screaming stop! Then I bake some tasty treats for my family, and of course, they are not low in calories. After years of operating this way and spending the New Year’s trying to lose a lot of weight, I make myself aware of the calories. My pumpkin spice latte that I just needed every chance I had packed in 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 49 grams of sugar! Multiply that by a few times each week, and my hips have doubled. Same goes for all of the pumpkin breads, cakes, doughnuts, etc. They are loaded with sugar and fat, and while tasty, are best to avoid except for a very special cheat day.
Careful what you bake
Waiting until Thanksgiving and Christmas to bake is nearly impossible for me, so now I have limited myself to only bake something I normally wouldn’t a few times before those holidays. I also make myself adjust the recipes to include healthy substitutes. For example, I use chia seeds soaked in water as an egg replacement, and I make vegan whipped cream. There is not a noticeable taste difference, and it’s much healthier.
Do use fall favorites
Just because I try not to indulge in the sugary fall favorites doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy fall favorites. To satisfy my fall cravings, I buy squash, pumpkins, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. These make delicious soups, healthy breads, and are great baked with cinnamon. I even bake the pumpkin seeds now, which gives me an extra tasty health kick.
Carry a snack
There are way too many pumpkin advertisements for me not to give in while I’m running late to something and starving. My body cannot endure four to five months of this, so now I carry a trail mix of coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips. Every time I consider stopping for something unhealthy, I grab my trail mix so my body feels too full to stop for treats.