As the weather once again turns chilly, many of us start dreaming of our favorite fall comfort foods. From delicious pies to hearty stews, many different flavors and home-baked goods seem to be synonymous with autumn’s arrival. Unfortunately, many of these yummy treats can wreak havoc on your winter waistline.
Many of the foods that become popular during the fall are based on the produce that comes into season. On a fundamental level, the different varieties of squash, pumpkins, and apples are all healthy foods that can form a part of a balanced diet. Traditionally, however, these yummy foods get packed into dishes full of fat and sugar. Examples of these travesties include pecan pies, and apples dipped in hot caramel. The sugary caramel masks the nutritional value of the vitamin-packed apple, while nutrient-rich pecans drown in thick corn syrup. To get the same flavors with minimal caloric input, try enjoying the fruits and nuts in their natural state.
While pies and pastries may tempt your sweet tooth, an even worse dessert lurks during the fall-candy! From Halloween candies found in your child’s trick-or-treat bag, to fun sized candy bars found throughout offices around the country, sugar seems to hide in every corner during the fall season. The best way to avoid these unnecessary sugars is to simply abstain. If you simply can’t resist the temptation, limit yourself to one fun-sized candy bar.
Particularly cold days often send people running to the kitchen, looking for a warm stew to comfort them. Though these soups are often packed with veggies, if they are made with a cream base, you’re consuming many more grams of fat than needed. Adding cheese or carbohydrates to your soup will only further the caloric content. Stick with broth based soups and limit the amount of meat in your stew to minimize negative calories in these foods.
Another popular option on chilly days is one of the many seasonal beverages. From apple cider to pumpkin lattes, most of these drinks all suffer from the same problem: massive amounts of sugar. Eggnog is another culprit that expands your waistline. If you’re looking for a hot drink, stick with your standard coffee or tea. For those who are particular to fall flavors, consider eating fresh pumpkin or apple slices.
Speaking of pumpkin, beware of the many desserts full of it! Though pumpkin on its own is full of rich vitamins, most pies and pastries full of pumpkin also incorporate butter and sugar to make this yummy food rich and decadent. In fact, in one slice of pumpkin pie, there are nearly 320 calories and 17 grams of fat!
By carefully choosing which foods to indulge in and which to avoid, you’ll prevent yourself from gaining weight during the fall season. For those treats you can’t resist, limit your indulgence to a few times throughout the season. Though it can be easy to let yourself backside during the cold months, remember, bathing suit season is only a few months away!