4 Tips to Manage "The Season of Eating"
The outside air is cooling, sunrises are later, and scents of pumpkin spice, Halloween treats, and Thanksgiving feasts are creeping in. If you live in the southern states, then you've probably started to smell chicken wings, pizza, and queso too, as it's also the season of football food!
With all of the delicious foods floating around this time of the year... HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY STAY ON TRACK WITH YOUR DIET?!
Here are my tips to manage your diet around this time of the year: Fall, otherwise known as "The Season of Eating":
1. First tip: it is okay to have some of these treats.
- I am a firm believer in moderation and enjoying experiences (which typically involve food for me!). So, let yourself have some of those treats you really want. My tip here: be mindful about if you really want that treat you're reaching for.
- My rule of thumb here is: after thinking if I truly want the treat and deciding "yes I do", I take a bite. If it isn't "worth it" (as in, it doesn't satisfy all of my hopes and dreams), I throw it away. It is okay not to finish these treats. As well, if you know a food is a "trigger food" for you (one will make you want a thousand more), I suggest avoiding it.
2. Not only is it okay to have some of these treats in moderation, plan to eat these treats!
- It is naive to think you will not touch or desire any of these yummy foods. As the old saying goes: if you can't beat them, join them! In terms of food this means: if you know you're going to eat some treats, plan for them in advance & work them into your diet.
- If you are a flexible dieter (you track macros) and use a diet-tracking app, account for treats in advance. For example, if you know you're going to have pizza or ice cream that night, input that before planning for other meals. THEN plan your other meals accordingly. Alternatively, if you are an intuitive eater, try having higher-protein & micro nutrient-dense meals for your other meals on these days you know you're having treats.
3. Keep "healthier" treats within easy access.
- If you have "healthier" treats (but those that will still satisfy your cravings) within easy access, you give yourself the option to grab that "healthier" treat to satisfy your cravings, instead of going for the less healthy options available.
- Pro tip: find easy-to-grab, pre-packaged treats that you enjoy. Then, take one with you to outings with less-than-healthy treats. Then, you at least give yourself the option to opt for the healthier treat. My favorite options are: RXBARs, Square Organics SquareBars, Lenny and Larrys cookies, and other protein bars.
4. Stay consistent with your regular diet for other, non-"Season of Eating" meals.
- Consistency really is key. If you keep up your regular diet for meals that don't involve "season-of-eating" events with treats, you are giving yourself the flexibility to enjoy the those yummy meals & treats when they happen! Seriously, lets say there are 5 holiday events per month - you have the option to be "on track" with your diet the other 25 days of the month. Make those 25 days count! At that point, what's 5 days of a little indulgence?
- During this time of the year, I especially lean on meal prepping and sticking to my diet-style for meals outside of "Season of Eating" occasions/meals. Then, when those yummy foods do present themselves, I can mentally enjoy them more, as I feel confident about my consistency.
Moral of the story: you can and should enjoy "season of eating" treats & meals this season. And guess what? That's OKAY! Because you know and accept this, plan accordingly and stay consistent with your regular diet. This will allow you to enjoy these meals with your loved ones, as you should!