scale

measurementsRemember how hard you worked on your diet (and in the gym) this spring and summer to feel sexy and confident in that bathing suit?

Well, the fall season is in full swing, and it’s no excuse to lose your hard-earned beach body.

Check out five simple tips to beat the fattening casseroles and missed workouts that come with the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall.

1. Don’t Forget Your Numbers

Before you do anything, it’s time to collect your health-related numbers so that you have a starting point — something to hold you accountable as winter approaches.

Be sure to record your current body weight, measurements, and fat percentage so that you can revisit these numbers on a regular basis (every two weeks is ideal).

It can be easy to justify or turn a blind eye to a slow but steady weight gain over a period of three to four months if you don’t have hard numbers to keep you in check.

2. Don’t Take Comfort in Comfort Foods

banana breadI already mentioned the casseroles (they are truly my greatest weakness), but don’t let the cold weather trick you into eating hearty, fattening meals on a regular basis.

Foods like buttery mashed potatoes, salty mac and cheese, and cream-based soups are usually packed with unhealthy amounts of fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. And don’t even get me started on the bounteous amount of homemade breads I see this time of year.

Remember to rely on healthy substitutes like ground turkey instead of beef, whole wheat instead white, and Greek yogurt or applesauce instead of the oil and eggs that many baking recipes call for.

There’s also a wide variety of fruit and veggies that are in season during the fall months, making them tastier and much more affordable. Stick with recipes that include squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, artichokes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, pears, apples, grapes, key limes, and pineapple.

3. Don’t Fall Prey to Pumpkin

pumpkin pieI don’t know exactly how or when it happened, but at some point, pumpkin took over the entire fall season. Whether it’s ice cream, lattes, soups, bread, or even Oreos (does it really surprise you?), people want their pumpkin spice…and they want it now.

The trouble with all of these foods is that, most of the time, the “pumpkinification” process involves an alarming amount of sugar and fat and almost no nutrients.

My fellow USANA Writer and Test Kitchen blogger, Missy Bird, pointed me to this Pumpkin Pie Protein Oatmeal recipe. It’s a healthy twist on the pumpkin craze that makes for a satisfying breakfast or snack. She even substitutes the protein powder for Vanilla Nutrimeal™ or Nutrimeal™ Free.

4. Don’t Make Excuses

Yes, you don’t have to be seen in your swimming suit until next summer. Sure, the days end sooner, keeping you huddled inside. And you bet, you’ll be immersed in tempting foods found at family gatherings and parties.

party foodBut don’t let yourself use these fall struggles as excuses to repeatedly take a break from your healthy habits. Keep your mind strong and come up with a game plan of what you’ll do when faced with these challenges.

5. Don’t Forget USANA

Finally, don’t forget that USANA has your back. Our entire line of foods includes delicious, low-glycemic, and gluten-free protein snacks, nutrition bars, and meal-replacement shakes.

Oh, and they’re super convenient, so it’s a smart idea to incorporate them into that game plan I mentioned earlier. It’s always nice to be prepared with a healthier alternative when huger strikes.

There you have it! You’re totally ready to handle the fall season like a champ. Stay strong and healthy, and — once again — always remember that USANA’s got your back.

Water Cooler Wellness is a USANA series looking at ways entrepreneurs or everyday folks can get healthy — physically, financially and maybe even emotionally.

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