Top Tips for Starting a New Diet This Fall Season
Tips for Starting a New Diet This Fall Season
There are so many wonderful things to be excited about for fall – the weather changes, the holidays are approaching, the leaves change, and you get to enjoy your favorite comfort foods.
Unfortunately, this can also mean eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. This is okay in small amounts, but if you feel like you over-indulge in the fall season, it might be a good time to focus on a balanced diet.
Reduce Refined Sugar
There is nothing wrong with enjoying treats and your favorite comfort foods in the fall, but when you over-indulge, it could mean feeling miserable, having no energy, and putting on unwanted pounds.
If you want to try to avoid this and start a new diet in the fall, start with your sugar content. This doesn’t mean natural sugar like in fruit or raw honey, but the refined sugar found in pastries, donuts, cookies, pie, and other baked treats.
Try to keep these to a minimum, saving them for special occasions; it makes them more special, and is a good first step to starting a new diet without feeling like you are completely restricting yourself.
Eat Seasonal Foods
Starting a “diet” is not always about taking something away, but adding in something healthy.
Use this mindset to add in healthy options to your meals and snacks that are in season and perfect for fall. For example, some fall superfoods include brussels sprouts, apples, pear, pomegranate, cauliflower, and squash.
When you add these healthy foods, you get a lot more vitamins and minerals, and often feel fuller between meals when you fill up on your veggies and fruits. The more veggies you eat, the less refined carbs you feel you need.
Focus on a Healthy Balance, Not Restrictions
Again, it is important to focus on a healthy balance in your meals, even when you are trying to lose weight or just maintain your weight over the holidays.
In the fall, get rid of all those diet restrictions, and instead just have balanced meals. If you want bread, eat bread! But eat it with a meal that includes lean protein, vegetables, whole grains, and maybe some fruit.
Enjoy Your Exercise
When you start a new diet, it helps to incorporate some exercise as well.
Exercise is really only 20% of losing weight, while your diet is the remaining 80%. But it does help to burn some calories, keep you fit, and give you energy. Plus, when you are exercising regularly, it helps a lot with curbing those cravings.
Fall Eating: Seasonal Foods to Add to Your Diet
When it comes to following a healthy diet, it isn’t all about calories and restrictions.
You can still eat your favorite foods, but instead focusing on adding in more healthy options. This is easy to do when it comes to eating seasonally. For the fall, try to incorporate more of these fall superfoods into your diet.
Fall is the perfect time to add more greens to your diet.
There are many greens that are considered superfoods in the fall season, starting with turnip greens.
If you haven’t tried them before, now is a great time. They are loaded with nutrients, like vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as a lot of vitamin K. You can also get calcium in turnip greens. These are a little bitter, so combine them with a citrus-based dressing.
Another green that is king of the show in the fall is kale. Start making some kale salads or add it to your smoothies, and you will be getting lots of the same vitamins – A, C, and K. It also has an excellent amount of antioxidants.
In addition to greens, there are some other veggies that are in season during the fall. While you can find these year-round, getting them while “in season” will mean more affordable produce, and often higher quality. This includes:
Sweet Potatoes –
Who doesn’t love a good sweet potato? You are probably used to enjoying these in the fall, where you get a slight sweetness with this complex carbohydrate. Make a healthier baked potato, slice it up into fries, or enjoy it mashed with some grass-fed butter.
Cauliflower is all the rage these days, since it is not only a taste most people can get behind, but because it is a low carb vegetable with a lot of versatility. It also happens to be in season during the fall.
Brussels Sprouts –
Brussels sprouts are also a fall superfood, and they contain some amazing nutrients, including fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants.
Pumpkin is one of the most popular vegetables in the fall, and for good reason. Not only is it delicious, but it can help increase your vitamin A and vitamin C.
Fall is also a great time to add fruits to your diet! Some of the best fruits you can eat are in season during the fall, including:
Fall is the perfect time to start eating apples if you haven’t been already. They are more flavorful and often more affordable as an added bonus. Try to look for apples that are firm, without bruises.
Pomegranates are a source of fiber and antioxidants, plus provide a slightly tart and sweet flavor in the fall season.
Pears – Another great type of fruit to enjoy in the fall season is the pear. Pears are sweet and very versatile. You can eat them on their own, dipped in peanut butter, or even on a sandwich or topped on waffles for breakfast.
Healthy Ways to Have Pumpkin
If any one food comes to mind when fall begins, pumpkin is probably it. This is when it is all about pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin cookies.
While these are delicious treats, it is better to aim for balance with your health. Here you will find some healthy ways to still enjoy pumpkin, but without all the added sugar.
Benefits of Pumpkin in the Fall
In addition to how delicious it tastes and how versatile pumpkin is, there are also some great benefits to choosing this vegetable in the fall. Here are some top benefits:
It adds flavor to any food –
Canned or cooked pumpkin goes a long way in desserts, soups, and so many different foods and drinks. You can add it to smoothies or used canned pumpkin in your cake mixes.
Pumpkin is lower in calories –
One cup of pumpkin is only 30 calories! This means you can have a good amount of this veggie and all its immense flavor with a low amount of calories.
Helps get your veggies in –
Have trouble eating your veggies? Add some pumpkin to the mix and it will be much easier!
It is loaded with nutrients –
You will find out more about the nutrients below, but pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and minerals, from potassium and antioxidants, to vitamin C and fiber.
They last a long time –
Before you cut into a pumpkin, it can last up to 2 months in a cool, dark environment.
Nutrients You Get from Pumpkin
As you might guess, pumpkin has a lot of amazing vitamins and minerals! In addition to the lower calories and just great taste of pumpkin, enjoying it in the fall can increase the nutrients you are consuming.
Some of the nutrients also vary based on whether you are eating the meat inside the pumpkin, or the actual pumpkin seeds. Here are some nutrients you will get:
To start with, your pumpkin meat will contain potassium, which is great for helping to lower your blood pressure and boost your heart health.
Beta carotene –
Beta carotene is found in fruits and vegetables that are an orange color, and that includes pumpkin.
Vitamin C –
If you need more vitamin C, but aren’t a fan of citrus fruits, you can get a good amount of it in your pumpkin meat. This is not only a beneficial vitamin on its own, but it can help you to absorb iron.
Nutrients in Seeds –
As for the pumpkin seeds, you will get vitamins like zinc, omega 3s, magnesium, and tryptophan.
Healthier Pumpkin Ideas
Looking for some healthier ways to enjoy your pumpkin? Here are some quick ideas:
Pumpkin smoothies –
You can also add canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin meat to your smoothie. It will add that pumpkin flavor, and lots of vitamins and minerals without the extra calories. It goes great with pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and Greek yogurt.
Pumpkin Soup –
You can make a pumpkin soup with cooked and roasted pumpkin, along with vegetable stock and spices.
Healthier pumpkin spice latte – If you want a pumpkin spice latte without the added sugar, use your pumpkin and spices, then use a dairy-free option like oat milk or almond milk, and add a lower sugar option for sweetening it, such as Stevia or monkfruit.
Find Relief from Fall Allergies
Seasonal allergies may change throughout the year, but they typically represent with the same symptoms, such as runny rose, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing.
If you notice you only get these symptoms in the fall, you probably have fall allergies – often called hay fever. Here are some ways to find relief from fall allergies.
Types of Allergies in the Fall
Let’s start with the types of allergens you might experience in the fall season. Typically, when you have allergy symptoms in the fall or Autumn season, it is from weed pollen. This occurs near the end of the summer and beginning of fall.
There are many types of weed pollen, with ragweed being among the most common. The types of weed pollen you might be exposed to depend on where you live, but some others to be aware of include:
You might also experience allergy symptoms from dust in your home and pet dander, which are year-round allergens.
Signs of Fall Allergies
The allergy symptoms you experience in the fall are similar to allergies any time of the year.
However, it might first appear like a cold since you get these symptoms in the colder months. Some signs to look out for include:
Coughing and sneezing
The most common are going to affect your eyes an nose, such as having red eyes that keep burning and itching, and a runny nose.
How to Reduce Your Allergy Symptoms
If you are suffering from fall allergies, here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your symptoms and find relief.
Stay inside on high pollen count days. Check your forecast each day to see what the pollen count is outdoors.
This should let you know when it is a little too high for your allergy issues, and when you should spend more time indoors.
Reduce indoor allergens. While many fall allergies exist outdoors, you still need to be aware of those indoor allergies.
This means watching out for pet dander, looking for signs of mold, and cleaning often to reduce dust allergens.
Take your allergy meds. Unfortunately, if your allergy symptoms are moderate or severe, you still need to take medication. However, allergy meds can be a little harsh, so try to avoid your allergens first.
Remember that you can’t always prevent fall allergy symptoms, but you can work on finding relief.
The Top 6 Essential Oils for a Healthy Fall
Do you want to have a healthy, stress free, and productive fall? If so, essential oils are a great option!
They can be added to your routine, help with anxiety and stress, and really give you the push you need to focus on your daily tasks. Here are some of the best essential oils for the fall season.
To start with, let’s talk about using bergamot in the fall. Believe it or not, bergamot is a citrus essential oil, which smells very similar to orange. It is often found in blends along with spices or woodsy scents, providing a slightly spicy citrus scent perfect for the season.
When it comes to those traditional fall scents, clove is definitely at the top of the list. When you buy an essential oil blend for fall, you will definitely have one with clove in it. This is often in spice blends, along with orange, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Though you can also try using it alone if you prefer.
Another amazing fall scent for your essential oil collection is nutmeg. Nutmeg is often found in fall seasonal blends and pumpkin spice blends. But you can also use it alone, just like clove, if you are a big fan of the scent. Nutmeg is a spice that can be relaxing and transport you instantly into your favorite fall dream.
4. Sweet Orange
Sweet orange essential oil is the perfect citrus scent to go along with all the spicy and woodsy scents you enjoy in the fall. Sweet orange is a citrus scent, but not quite as intense as lemon. It has a sweet undertone, and a really fresh smell. It can also be used topically, such as for reducing inflammation or as an antiseptic.
Just because this is not a typical fall scent, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its merits for the season! In the fall, you might have more stress or anxiety, which lavender can help with. It is a light scent that just about everyone loves, and is perfect just on its own or in a blend of your choosing. Use it to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, get better sleep, or just for a nice scent in your room.
The last essential oil for fall is eucalyptus, which is going to make you feel like you are walking through a park or the woods in the fall season. It also has some great health benefits, including helping to ease your cough, relieve joint pain, and freshen your breath. You can use it alone or create your own blend with other woodsy scents.
The Best Supplements to Take in the Fall
Vitamins and supplements are important to take year-round, but there are some that you should be focusing on in the fall season.
This is related to your diet, available produce, and changes in the climate. Here are some supplements to consider taking this season.
We are going to start here because vitamin D is one of the most important supplements you need in the fall. Why is it so important this time of year?
Because you likely spend less time outdoors, which means you aren’t getting vitamin D naturally from the sun’s UV rays.
With less sunny days, you are really missing out on all the benefits of vitamin D. You can get it back with a vitamin D3 supplement, which is going to boost your mood and give you tons of energy.
Next is magnesium, which is a mineral that far too many people do not get enough of on a daily basis.
Magnesium can be found in foods like avocados, eggs, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. If you don’t eat these foods regularly, you might be deficient in magnesium.
With a magnesium supplement in the fall, you can reduce anxiety, really important if you tend to get anxiety in the fall. It can also help balance your blood sugar levels, make sure you are getting enough electrolytes, and even help with nerve function.
If you don’t think you are getting enough zinc in your food, now is a good time to add the supplement to your daily routine.
Many people don’t get enough zinc each day because they don’t eat foods it is found naturally in, like meat, shellfish, legumes, dairy, eggs, and whole grains. If this sounds like you, fall is a good time to add it to your daily supplements.
Last up is vitamin C, which you may be getting less of due to the changes in the food you eat between summer and fall.
You might eat a lot of foods with high amounts of vitamin C in the summer, like grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, and pineapple, but probably much less in the fall.
Consider taking a vitamin C supplement, not just for the health benefits of this particular vitamin, but also so your iron can be absorbed a little better. In fact, if you take an iron supplement, it might be combined with vitamin C for this very reason.