Avoiding weight gain in the fall can be a bit difficult with all the holidays lined up. However, you can take steps to keep your weight in check, starting with eating well and trying to avoid overindulging. You can also increase your physical activity and try to manage your stress in an effort to keep your weight down.

Method 1 of 4:
Eating Well

  1. 1
    Watch your daily calorie consumption. It is easy for little bites and snacks to add up to lots of extra calories in a day. Therefore, keeping track of how many calories you eat in a day is essential for avoiding weight gain. Start tracking everything you eat and drink throughout the day.
    • You can write down what you eat in a journal and look up the calories or use a smartphone app to track your calories.
    • Pay attention to small bites and snacks that you have throughout the day. For example, if you go to a party, make sure that you write down the bite-sized sausages, cookies, and beverages you consumed.
  2. 2
    Eat regularly. When you're busy in the fall, it can be easy to skip a meal. The problem is, you end up at a party or gathering, and then you eat more than you should. Try to keep your blood sugar steady by eating at least three meals a day or five to six smaller meals, if you prefer.[1]
    • If you plan on indulging later in the day, try eating smaller, healthier meals, such as a lean protein with a veggie. You could try hummus with celery sticks.
  3. 3
    Include your fruits and veggies. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you need to make fruits and vegetables an integral part of your diet. You should be eating at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. When you fill up on these options, you're less likely to overindulge in higher-calorie foods.[2]
    • During the fall, you have plenty of options for fresh fruits and veggies, including pumpkins, pomegranates, and apples. You'll also find winter greens and root vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, and cabbage.[3]
  4. 4
    Stick to lean proteins when you can. When you're not at a party, try to make your protein choices lean ones. Think skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, fish, beans, and legumes, for starters. Tofu is also a great lean protein choice. By making lean choices when you can, you're saving some room for less healthy choices later.[4]
  5. 5
    Pick whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains keep you fuller for longer, plus they generally provide more fiber and nutrients than refined grains. Think whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta or whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Other healthy whole grains include quinoa, bulgar wheat, oatmeal, and lentils. [5]
    • For instance, with your Thanksgiving sides, you could sub whole wheat bread for white bread in your dressing, as well as picking whole wheat rolls over white rolls.
    • Instead of a pasta salad, try a whole grain salad made with quinoa or bulgar wheat, vegetables, and a light dressing.
    • While not a whole grain, you can sub cauliflower for half the potatoes in your mashed potatoes without a big difference in taste or texture. Try including the skin of the potato, which adds more fiber, too.
  6. 6
    Change up fall recipes by lowering calories. Many fall recipes are holiday favorites, which are high in calories. However, don't despair. You can lighten them up switching out lower-fat items for higher ones and by reducing the sugar in them. For instance, if a recipe calls for full-fat sour cream, try using nonfat Greek yogurt. [6]

Method 2 of 4:
Avoiding Overindulgence

  1. 1
    Fill up on healthy foods first. When you go to a party, try sticking to the fruits and vegetables for the bulk of your food. Of course, you want to try some of the other foods, but try to limit your intake to just a few bites of the higher-calorie foods.[7]
    • If you're not sure if the party will have healthy snacks, try eating something healthy before you go or even bringing something healthy with you. For instance, you could volunteer to bring a vegetable tray, so you know you'll have something healthy around.[8]
  2. 2
    Savor what you love. When you do pick out higher-calorie foods at parties, take the time to really enjoy it. If you plow through it without really tasting it, you'll just end up going back for more. You might as well take the time to really enjoy the calories you're taking in.[9]
    • For instance, if you want a bite of Halloween candy, don't just gobble down three or four pieces. Take small bites, and let each one melt in your mouth. Pick and choose. For example, you could have a small Kit Kat one day and a piece of hard candy the next day.
  3. 3
    Skip the sugary drinks and alcohol. Parties are notorious for having free-flowing high-calorie beverages, from punch to alcohol. If you indulge, try to keep it to just a little bit, as you can add on calories quickly. Plus, drinking alcohol in particular can make you hungrier and dissolve your resolve, reducing your self-control, affecting your judgement, and increasing your caloric intake.[10]
  4. 4
    Stay away from high-calorie foods. That is, physically try to keep yourself out of areas where they are kept. For instance, if you know there are pumpkin muffins in the break room at work, try to keep yourself out of there. At home, keep as many high-calorie foods out of your house as possible. When you do bring them home, put them somewhere that's not easy to reach, such as in a high cabinet.[11]
    • If you have extra candy leftover after Halloween, consider giving it to a family you know or donating it to an organization that will take candy, such as organizations that send candy to troops.
  5. 5
    Stick to a single serving a day. During the fall, you're bound to run into candy and sweets all over the place, given the holidays. You don't have to completely skip all the fun. Rather, just consume in moderation by only having one small piece a day.[12]
  6. 6
    Laugh it up. That is, instead of congregating around the food table, try to move to where other people are at a party. Put the emphasis on talking to people and catching up, rather than on eating and enjoying the food.[13]

Method 3 of 4:
Incorporating More Movement

  1. 1
    Try a stationary bike or treadmill. If the cooler weather is keeping you indoors, try setting up a treadmill or stationary bike someplace you enjoy the view. You can have it looking out a window, for instance, or lined up with the television so you can keep yourself entertained while you work out.[14]
  2. 2
    Have a dance party while you clean. Cleaning is fairly effective exercise, particularly during cooler weather. You can up how many calories you burn by blasting your favorite tunes while you clean. Start dancing, making cleaning more fun while increasing your movement.[15]
  3. 3
    Take a walk to enjoy the leaves. If you enjoy the cooler weather, autumn is a great time to be outside. Take a walk through a local park or even just your neighborhood to catch glimpses of the changing leaves.[16]
    • Another great exercise option is to rake the leaves in your yard. You'll burn plenty of calories while making your yard prettier.
  4. 4
    Find an indoor gym or pool. If you have trouble motivating yourself to get outside when it's colder, try joining an indoor gym or pool. That way, you'll have a nice, warm place to work out, and you'll be able to motivate yourself more. [17]
  5. 5
    Incorporate more movement into your day. Getting more exercise doesn't mean you have to make a special trip somewhere to do it. You can simply make it a part of your day. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther out at the store. You can also take a swing around the office every time you go to the bathroom.

Method 4 of 4:
Dealing With Stress

  1. 1
    Make sure you are sleeping well. Fall brings with it a busy schedule, with the start of school and multiple holidays. You may find that you are skipping out on some of your sleep to try to keep up. However, not getting enough sleep will only make you crankier and more stressed, plus it can make it harder to avoid weight gain.[18]
    • Make sure you're getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
    • If you have trouble going to bed on time, try setting a bedtime alarm an hour before you need to be in bed. Turn off all electronics at that time to help ready your brain for sleep.
  2. 2
    Try a relaxation technique. When you feel yourself getting stressed, try to employ a relaxation technique to calm yourself down. For instance, you could try a visualization technique, meditation, or a deep breathing technique.[19]
    • For a visualization technique, take a moment to close your eyes. Think about one of your favorite places. It can be a place you went on vacation or your childhood home, for example. Imagine yourself there. Don't just use visual cues. Employ all your senses. Think about how it feels, the sun or wind on your skin. What do you smell in the air? What do you hear? Spend a few minutes visualizing to help yourself relax.
  3. 3
    Be willing to say "no." During the fall, your schedule can become packed. It can be hard to say no when someone just wants you to come over for a little fun. However, you still need room to breathe, so make some time for yourself. You don't have to give a reason why you're saying no. You can simply say, "Sorry, I can't attend."[20]
  4. 4
    Cope with sadness. Sometimes, the holidays are not always a happy time, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you've lost a loved one recently, or maybe you just don't like the stress that comes with this time of year. The important thing is to focus on the good parts of the holidays, by making time to be with the people you love.[21]
    • Realize that some of your traditions will change over time, and that's okay. It's important to adapt as your friends and family change.
    • Make time for community. Go be with your friends, or go to community events at churches or community centers. If you're feeling sad, invite your family over for a impromptu meal. The holiday season should be a time to spend with those you love, and reaching out will make you feel better.
    • Take time to remember. If you're feeling sad about the loss of a loved one, it's good to take the time to actually feel that sadness and remember the person who's gone. Try bringing it up when your family or friends get together, as they'll likely want to spend some time remembering, too, even if it is bittersweet.

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      About This Article

      Michele Dolan
      Co-authored by
      Certified Personal Trainer
      This article was co-authored by Michele Dolan. Michele Dolan is a BCRPA certified Personal Trainer in British Columbia. She has been a personal trainer and fitness instructor since 2002. This article has been viewed 1,974 times.
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      Co-authors: 6
      Updated: May 15, 2019
      Views: 1,974
      Categories: Weight Management
      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,974 times.

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