Fall is nearly here! Cooler weather and autumn colors are great, but it’s easy to get caught up in the processed foods of the season: candy corn, apple pie, and of course, pumpkin spice in just about everything you can imagine.
Ready to turn a new leaf on your eating habits this fall? Here are a few tips to consider.
1. Prepare meals and snacks ahead of time.
Cook when you are not hungry to prevent overeating, and store extra portions immediately to save them for future meals. Also, keep some healthy snacks ready in the fridge or pantry. Doing so may help you avoid reaching for junk food like cookies, candy or other quick options.
2. Eat frequently.
Make time for three meals and two snacks per day. Be sure to stop when you feel full to avoid feeling “stuffed” or sick from overeating.
3. Get plenty of fiber in your day.
Adults need approximately 25 grams of fiber per day. Getting the right amount in your diet can help to reduce blood cholesterol and may lower the risk for heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are all great sources of fiber. These foods can provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
4. Cut back on sugary foods.
Fight the urge to snack on Halloween candy, and avoid other foods and drinks that contain added sugars. These can easily pack on unnecessary calories throughout your day. Try to be conservative with items like soft drinks, sweetened coffees/teas, cookies, doughnuts and pastries.
5. Choose lean meats and protein.
Choosing lean meats and sources of protein can help cut calories over higher fat choices. Try lean cuts of beef or pork, along with poultry sources like turkey and chicken. Some other great sources of protein include eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and peas.
6. Try fruit for dessert.
Dessert is a great occasional treat. But if you have a sweet tooth, try swapping your dessert for some fresh fruit (apples are great this time of year) to save calories.
7. Save room for dairy.
Dairy foods provide nutrients such as calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein, and are great for improved bone health. They can reduce the risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, and can also help lower blood pressure. Include low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese in your day for a tasty way of gathering nutrients.