Fall Eating Habits That Make You Pack On The Pounds
When fall rolls around, you may feel like your bikini body got the memo. In fact, your fall wardrobe is suspiciously a size larger than your summer one. Do the stores just incorrectly size summer clothes to encourage people to buy teeny tiny shorts and tank tops? Is it all some grand scam? Or is it possible you just put on weight in the fall? It’s probably the latter (and a little bit of the former). A lot more changes in the fall then what’s on the clothing store shelves. The grocery stores also swap out their summer inventory for the items they know customers crave once it gets cold. The bars use new marketing techniques to get you inside (these usually include things like free hot snacks with your beer). Fall seems tailored for weight gain. Here are fall habits that make you pack on the pounds.
Seasonal depression makes you skip the gym
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) then you might lose interest in things you usually enjoy or stop taking pleasure from activities that usually make you happy, including the gym. When you don’t quite get the endorphin kick you usually do from exercising, you won’t feel very motivated to do it.
Seasonal depression makes you crave carbs
SAD could also cause you to crave more carbohydrates. They can cause a blood sugar spike that can feel like happiness. For many of us, carbohydrates are also nostalgic. As children, we had cookies after school or mashed potatoes for dinner during the fall. So carbs provide comfort, too.
You aren’t hitting the farmers market
The farmers market isn’t as appealing when it’s cold out. But going to the farmer’s market every week put you in a healthy mindset each week. Walking around all of that fresh produce and trying all of those healthy samples motivated you to eat well for the next six days. Now, you don’t quite have that motivation.
You want warm food
You’re cold and looking for any way to warm up, including from the inside. So you’re reaching for more hot foods. But hot foods are inherently heavier on the carbs and calories than things like salads and fresh fruit. Prepare yourself with healthy warm recipes like broth-based soups and sautéed vegetables.
You drink more alcohol
Alcohol warms you up, it (temporarily) drives away seasonal depression and it’s just around you a lot because you’re meeting friends indoors at bars rather than outdoors on the beach or at the park. But alcohol contains a lot of calories and makes you crave comfort food.
You sleep more
Since there are fewer hours of sunlight, your body naturally craves more sleep. SAD can also make you feel tired. So you’re hitting snooze on your alarm instead of going to the gym. You may also wake up ravenous from a 12-hour snooze session and eat everything in the kitchen.
You have less social motivation
People just aren’t socializing as much as they did during the summer. The summer was a time to get out and see people; the fall is a time to stay in. So you don’t have pool parties, beach barbecues and other events motivating you to look your best. You don’t see much reason to be in great shape for yourself and your mirror.
You buy bulky clothes
You lean into the oversized sweaters a little too much. Then you grow into the oversized sweaters. You can still dress warm without dressing like a marshmallow. Stick to fitted sweater dresses and you’ll feel more motivated to stay in shape.
You don’t want to leave the restaurant
You get a little cozier at restaurants and dinner parties than you normally would. There isn’t any nice weather to beckon you outside. In fact, you actively don’t want to step out into the cold weather. So you order another dessert or help yourself to another serving of lasagna, all as an excuse to stay indoors.
Eating becomes the social activity
When you meet up with friends in the fall, it’s usually to eat. During the summer you meet to hike, jog, kayak, camp or enjoy the beach. But eating because the social activity when it’s cold outside and when you’re socializing, you don’t pay as much attention to how much food you shovel into your mouth.
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas…oh my!
Between October, November, and December, you have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of these holidays dominate their month. Stores begin putting little pumpkin-shaped candy on their counters in October, turkey-shaped cookies in November, and cinnamon-everything in December.
Your coffee order is changing
You’re switching from the refreshing coconut milk iced latte in the summer to the hot chocolate with marshmallows, the pumpkin spiced lattes, and all of the other seasonal drinks that aren’t exactly low-calorie.
People are bringing food to the office
Something about the fall makes your coworkers turn into pastry chefs. Every day somebody brings muffins or donuts or cookies to the office. It could be because they, too, are turning to carbs to cope with seasonal depression, and they’re hoping you’ll join them.
You waste energy staying warm
Your body has to expend more energy to keep your warm. This can rev up your metabolism, so you need more food. But you’ll likely end up reaching for a little more food than you actually needed, and pack on the pounds.
Movies and Netflix are your main activities
Fall is entertainment season. You have football Sundays, which come with their own cheesy, greasy snacks. You also have simple Friday nights home alone, when you wind up watching movies instead of taking a walk or cleaning your apartment. And you know what goes well with movies? Food.